EB Games Australia Store Set Up Fake Drugs at GTA V Launch

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EB Games Australia Store Set Up Fake Drugs at GTA V Launch

Drugs are no stranger to the Grand Theft Auto games, but it's quite another thing to see fake drugs when picking up the game at a store.

When Reddit user mattwestcott went to an EB Games store in Australia for the midnight launch of Grand Theft Auto V, he saw employees lining the counter with fake drug paraphernalia. According to him, the staff asked customers for IDs for proof of age before customers even entered the store. Kotaku Australia reported this was an isolated incident done by "one rogue store" and the head office knew nothing about it.

EB Games issued the following statement:

Regrettably, one of our EB Games store locations in Queensland set-up an unauthorised display within the store in support of the launch of the Grand Theft Auto V video game. The display included a white powdery substance that appeared to be some form of an illegal drug. We can confirm that the powdery substance was "sherbet", a type of fizzy candy, and at no point did the store attempt to give any of the fizzy candy away. This was an isolated incident, and we apologise for any offence this may cause.

Grand Theft Auto V is the first R18+ rated game of the series to be released in Australia. The R18+ category went into effect on Jan. 1 of this year. The Classification Board in Australia ruled drug use as a high impact on the game, while themes, violence, language, nudity, and sex were all labeled as a strong impact.

Source: Reddit via Kotaku Australia

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This would be the sole EB store I would ever consider shopping in.

That's actually clever because I remember when I was a kid, myself and others used to snort Wizz Fizz for some unknown reason. It wasn't even mildly pleasant. I don't know why we did it. I'd have loved it if the employee that set it up sat there snorting a line of Wizz Fizz for every copy sold.

Good thing they did this after the game got its classification, I'm thinking.

This seems rather awesome. Its a shame they will get in trouble for it.

Yeah... that's a bad idea. Not everyone enters an EB Games for GTA, after all, and I'm sure they'd be happy to see drugs everywhere.

And this is the same country that took so long to get an R18+ rating, and still at times refuses to use it keeping "violent" games like SR4 from easily entering its borders? I think it's cool and all, actually reminds me of a senior project I saw an art student do at my university[1], but I think it's just incredible this came from Australia given all the censorship we hear about. Guess it just goes to show how different the community is from the politicians, lol.

[1] He used a good portion of the building to display his art, and in the main entrance corridor where his display began he set up a couch and a table with razorblades on it and white powder that spelled out his name.

lacktheknack:
Yeah... that's a bad idea. Not everyone enters an EB Games for GTA, after all, and I'm sure they'd be happy to see drugs everywhere.

Eh, I like seeing cool stuff like this even if it's not a game I like. I don't plan on getting the new GTA, but I would still think the display was cool if I entered the store.

vun:

lacktheknack:
Yeah... that's a bad idea. Not everyone enters an EB Games for GTA, after all, and I'm sure they'd be happy to see drugs everywhere.

Eh, I like seeing cool stuff like this even if it's not a game I like. I don't plan on getting the new GTA, but I would still think the display was cool if I entered the store.

I'm thinking more along the lines of someone's Mom who thought Viva Pinata looked like something their kid would like.

Something I just realized here:

SR4 has one, and only one reference of drug activity and one reference of anal rape. It gets banned until those two references were removed.

The GTA series is infamous for items that are on the "refuse classification" list yet it gets a green light with no problems.

I wonder who got bribed...

We swear, we were not borrowing this stuff from the publisher's stash. They would totally kill us for that...

lacktheknack:

vun:

lacktheknack:
Yeah... that's a bad idea. Not everyone enters an EB Games for GTA, after all, and I'm sure they'd be happy to see drugs everywhere.

Eh, I like seeing cool stuff like this even if it's not a game I like. I don't plan on getting the new GTA, but I would still think the display was cool if I entered the store.

I'm thinking more along the lines of someone's Mom who thought Viva Pinata looked like something their kid would like.

Of course someone won't like it, there will always be people who don't like it no matter what you do.
But it's the launch of a major game, so the store making moms feel uncomfortable for one day during the launch of a game that's already making moms feel uncomfortable doesn't seem like that big of a deal. The customers who will hang around the store around launch are most likely valuable repeat customers, probably worth catering to every now and then.

Given that Saints Row IV was originally refused classification on the drug issue alone, that's kind of a forehead slapper.

lacktheknack:
I'm thinking more along the lines of someone's Mom who thought Viva Pinata looked like something their kid would like.

You gotta remember it was at a midnight release thing for GTA V.

How many moms are going to go into EB Games after midnight looking for little Johnny's next game?

And the ones that are really should be offended by it and refuse to give the game to their kid.

The idea is funny in that sort of "we dont give a fuck" mentality but to do it in Australia really doesnt help that whole thing going on there.

At least it probably kept the soccer moms from buying the game for their kids because they cant say no to them.

Australia has such a positive view of video games that I'm sure they'll undertsand. e_e

I'm not sure there is a country right now where this would have gone off as a good idea, maybe Amsterdam.

It's a good marketing idea; I wish they did more things like this.

Like having a corpse lying around somewhere then RE7 comes out (May Micheal of the Holy Order slay the beast of the abyssal, tarnished oblivion on that day. It's an excuse not to buy it)

Agayek:

lacktheknack:
I'm thinking more along the lines of someone's Mom who thought Viva Pinata looked like something their kid would like.

You gotta remember it was at a midnight release thing for GTA V.

How many moms are going to go into EB Games after midnight looking for little Johnny's next game?

And the ones that are really should be offended by it and refuse to give the game to their kid.

I'd say that rather depends on whether little Johnny is a drug fueled psychopath or not.

And stay classy EB Games. Good work at showing just what kind of thug-life misanthrope customer base this game actually has, instead of just a following of sane rational individuals who are only looking for a good time, with no intention of actually hurting anyone, or participating in real life any of the actions they see on screen.

Oh no, non-illicit props relevant to a title they're releasing.[/sarcasm]

Seriously, I'm grateful that some of the responses here also think the disdain for this is silly. Like people going to buy GTA V are going to be prudes or something. They even checked ID BEFORE entry.

Could not be more ok with this.

Lets be honest...... NO ONE that goes to a midnight launch event for a GTA game is going to be offended by fake drug paraphernalia.

We can confirm that the powdery substance was "sherbet", a type of fizzy candy, and at no point did the store attempt to give any of the fizzy candy away.

I find it hilarious that they deem it important to assure us that no one at the store tried to give away fizzy candy.

"I'm going to video game retailer's midnight release to purchase a game filled with drugs, murdering, car theft, the penises of ugly men, other things considered bad by society. I'm clearly okay with all of this-

But if I see a drug reference while I'm buying it- that's the falkin' line."

lacktheknack:
Yeah... that's a bad idea. Not everyone enters an EB Games for GTA, after all, and I'm sure they'd be happy to see drugs everywhere.

Why would you enter a midnight launch store opening for GTA V on a weekday if you're there to buy another game?

I mean I suppose it's possible, it just seems terribly inconvenient to choose a time in the middle of the night when you know there will likely be big lines.

Hagi:

lacktheknack:
Yeah... that's a bad idea. Not everyone enters an EB Games for GTA, after all, and I'm sure they'd be happy to see drugs everywhere.

Why would you enter a midnight launch store opening for GTA V on a weekday if you're there to buy another game?

I mean I suppose it's possible, it just seems terribly inconvenient to choose a time in the middle of the night when you know there will likely be big lines.

Yeah, I missed that part. :P

I've known some pretty insane parents, though...

I have no problems with props to show off game launches, but using fake drug props in a country that already has a problem with drugs of any kind in games seems a bit antagonistic. The advertising bonuses from this will most likely be minimal and the possible backlash could be much more hassle than it's worth.

Just don't see the point of the store doing this really.

lacktheknack:
Yeah, I missed that part. :P

I've known some pretty insane parents, though...

Probably true...

You've been working for 12 hours straight again, still no free-time during shopping hours and little Timmy just won't shut the hell up about this game he wants you to buy for him. But lo and behold! EB games is open at midnight! You'll skip whatever few precious hours of sleep you could have otherwise gotten and drive over to get little Timmy his game so you'll at least have a chance at some quiet during the rest of the week.

So you arrive at the shop and to your utter shock there's lines of Cocaine everywhere. Fake cocaine. None of the real stuff. Not even a real joint to be found.

I'd be pissed too.

Truthfully, this was a bad idea. The gaming industry is currently trying to seek legitimacy as a genuine form of art, and stunts like this just make us look childish; I know that sounds like "oh lets all be srs and boring", but theres a difference between being funny and clever at the same time, and YOLO. This feels more like the latter than the former.

That's pretty funny. I do love it when clerks show some character rather than just say the same old drivel that their employers make them say to butter up a customer when they come in. "Hello sir, how can I help you sir, is there anything else you need sir".

I hope no one got fired, although that's probably a far cry from what did happen.

lacktheknack:
Yeah... that's a bad idea. Not everyone enters an EB Games for GTA, after all, and I'm sure they'd be happy to see drugs everywhere.

It was the midnight launch of GTAV, I doubt anyone would have just strolled in for a leisurely look for games during the midnight launch of GTAV because 99% of games shops aren't usually open at midnight unless there's something big happening. Like one of the biggest midnight launches of the year.

Simalacrum:
Truthfully, this was a bad idea. The gaming industry is currently trying to seek legitimacy as a genuine form of art, and stunts like this just make us look childish; I know that sounds like "oh lets all be serious and boring", but there's a difference between being funny and clever at the same time, and YOLO. This feels more like the latter than the former.

The gaming industry is only looking for legitimacy to make more money in the long run, and gamers like you are only looking for legitimacy to make yourself feel better about your hobby in my honest opinion.

And besides, if some people can't take a joke then I think they are the ones that need to mature a little. It's perfectly okay to joke around and have a laugh, because it doesn't make you immature.

I would love to know which store in Queensland this was, it looks suspiciously like the one I visit. (o_o)
OT- tbh I think it was a bit of a stupid mistake it wasn't very professional behaviour, I don't know what makes people think that if you're working in a games store in the retail industry that you're somehow entitled to behaving any differently (everyone in the dvd store I work in would be fired on the spot for trying something like this for the launch of a new season of Breaking Bad or soemthing similar). Also, I guess they kinda did do the right thing by asking everyone's ID before entering the store, but I'm afraid that this will be blown way out of proportion in Australian news if they catch a whiff of it( I can see it now 'Local gamestore offers drugs to families buying videogames'), and we're probably going to have all sorts of wild assumptions thrown about by the media for a couple of days until it settles down. As if it wasn't bad enough that a major new 'breakthough' into the investigation in that mass shooting in America was that the shooter enjoyed playing violent video games. :/

Eh, it was a bit daft. But also pretty cool that they went to the effort to make the biggest launch of the year a bit more special.
Hopefully they don't get into too much trouble over some fun.

Edit:

bimon_1234567:

I find it hilarious that they deem it important to assure us that no one at the store tried to give away fizzy candy.

Okay John, put the candy everywhere. Pretend it's drugs.

But under no circumstances can anyone snort it, understand?

Good on them for having some fun for what was a midnight release....

Although as some people have said, it's a shame they'll get in trouble for it...

It shows that at least SOME employees/managers were into it...

lacktheknack:
Yeah... that's a bad idea. Not everyone enters an EB Games for GTA, after all, and I'm sure they'd be happy to see drugs everywhere.

They do at a midnight launch for GTA...

I think it's a funny marketing gimmick, not likely to offend many people who could have possibly seen it.

This is Queensland. It's so fecking hot & muggy here that it slows your brain and dulls your thinking capabilities, making ideas like this seem good.
That said, this is Queensland, and we are still bogan state for the most part where things like this are considered hilarious. I'm guessing the person who complained was an import, likely from NSW or Victoria, who are states full of sooks and whingers.

Shame on EB for apologising.

Lilani:
And this is the same country that took so long to get an R18+ rating, and still at times refuses to use it keeping "violent" games like SR4 from easily entering its borders? I think it's cool and all, actually reminds me of a senior project I saw an art student do at my university, but I think it's just incredible this came from Australia given all the censorship we hear about. Guess it just goes to show how different the community is from the politicians, lol.

The censorship is blown out of proportion tbh, as GTAV shows it's not drugs that were the issue but rather the way they were being portrayed in SR4 apparently. Classification =/= censorship. It is legal to buy and import/own the unedited version, which I will be doing for my PS3 someday (got aussie PC version on release). It's just that stores in Australia cannot sell them. Censorship would make owning a copy illegal.

showing fake drungs inside a game - gets you banned in australia.
having fake drugs lieing around the store where said game should be sold - totally okay.

because fake drugs in game is worse than fake drugs in real life.

RicoADF:

Classification =/= censorship.

If classification is enforced by law, for example a game classification banning a game, then classificantion = censorship.
classification is a guide, and thats where it should stay. not be enforced.

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