Grand Theft Auto V’s removal from Target Australia has caused Rockstar Games’ parent company, Take-Two Interactive, to respond to the situation. After a petition (which gained over 48,000 signatures) requested that Target’s Australian branch remove the latest installment to the Grand Theft Auto franchise for depicting sexual violence and violence against women, Take-Two Interactive’s president, Karl Slatoff, commented on the petition, saying that removing the game from Target Australia’s shelf ” flies in the face of everything that free society’s based on, ” adding that it is also “ a very dangerous and slippery slope to go down. ”
Whilst Slatoff understands why some individuals would find an issue with Grand Theft Auto V’s content, he points out that noone is forcing those offended to play the game, and adds that things get precarious when companies, or even a group of people, make decisions for an entire consumer base.
” It’s one thing for a person to not want to buy a piece of content, which is completely understandable. And that’s really the solution. If you don’t like it, if it’s offensive to you, then you don’t buy it, ” Slatoff said during the BMO Capital Markets Technology and Digital Media Conference. ” But for a person or a group of people to try to make that decision for millions of people… We have 34 million people who have bought Grand Theft Auto V . If these folks had their way, none of those people would be able to buy Grand Theft Auto . And that really just flies in the face of everything that free society’s based on. ”
Slatoff later affirmed that Grand Theft Auto V’s removal from Target Australia won’t impact the game’s distribution everywhere else, and that it won’t really affect Take-Two Interactive itself in terms of the company’s financial performance.
” It’s the freedom of expression, and to try to quelch that is a very dangerous and slippery slope to go down. Our business is going to be completely unaffected by this. It doesn’t make a difference to us. At the end of the day, though, it’s not something that you want because it’s just a poor leadership decision, ” Slatoff continued. “ We are disappointed that an Australian retailer has chosen no longer to sell Grand Theft Auto V –a title that has won extraordinary critical acclaim and has been enjoyed by tens of millions of consumers around the world. Grand Theft Auto V explores mature themes and content similar to those found in many other popular and groundbreaking entertainment properties. Interactive entertainment is today’s most compelling art form and shares the same creative freedom as books, television, and movies. I stand behind our products, the people who create them, and the consumers who play them. ”
The Australia-born petition, which was launched by Australian women who had suffered and survived violent and sexual abuse in the sex industry, wanted to remove Grand Theft Auto V because those who started the petition believed that the title was “ a game of bashing, killing and horrific violence against women. ”
[ Via: PC Gamer ]