Apparently the Aussies don’t like GTA 5. Retail stores, Kmart and Target, have both removed copies of Grand Theft Auto V from store shelves in Australia the past couple days after angry customers cried foul to the game’s depiction of violence against women.
“Following a significant review of all content in Grand Theft Auto Games Kmart has taken the decision to remove this product immediately,” read a statement that was provided to KotakuAU. “Kmart apologises for not being closer to the content of this game.”
Following the statement, KotakuAU learned that GTA 4 and Episodes from Liberty City are also being removed by the store chain, according to a store representative.
Target also appears to be removing all copies of GTA, 4 and 5, despite only announcing the removal of the latter. An anonymous source told the site that earlier GTA games are being “stealth pulled” from the shelves.
Both Target and Kmart share the same corporate owner, Wesfarmers, according to the site.
“We’ve been speaking to many customers over recent days about the game, and there is a significant level of concern about the game’s content,” said Jim Cooper, general manager of corporate affairs.
“We’ve also had customer feedback in support of us selling the game, and we respect their perspective on the issue. However, we feel the decision to stop selling GTA 5 is in line with the majority view of our customers.”
Despite removing GTA 5 from sale, the retailer said it would continue to sell other R-rated content in stores, including DVDs and games.
“While these products often contain imagery that some customers find offensive, in the vast majority of cases, we believe they are appropriate products for us to sell to adult customers,” added Cooper.
“However, in the case of GTA 5, we have listened to the strong feedback from customers that this is not a product they want us to sell.”
Rockstar parent company Take-Two has responded to the decision with a statemen from CEO Strauss Zelnick.
“We are disappointed that an Australian retailer has chosen no longer to sell Grand Theft Auto 5 – a title that has won extraordinary critical acclaim and has been enjoyed by tens of millions of consumers around the world.
“Grand Theft Auto 5 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.”