Rockstar Games has confirmed that the Australian version of Grand Theft Auto IV has been censored to satisfy that country’s restrictions on videogame content.

Rockstar did not reveal what material has been cut, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, saying only that the special version was produced to meet the Office of Film and Literature Classification’s MA15+ rating. The game has been rated R18+ in the U.K., New Zealand and Germany and M (Mature) in North America, but Australia does not have a corresponding rating for mature-themed videogames.

Australia has recently begun considering the possibility of investigating the need to examine the usefulness of further discussions about adding an R18+ rating at some point in the future, but hopeful reaction to the news was tempered by a statement from a government spokesman who said a change could take years to go through. Since then, some Australian politicians as well as the Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney have expressed opposition to a proper adult rating for videogames.

Predictably, reader reaction to the news has been almost universally negative, with many expressing intentions to cancel preorders with Australian retailers in order to purchase the game online from overseas dealers. Previous releases of the Grand Theft Auto series, including Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, were also edited for release in Australia.

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