New Zealand Gets Edited Version of Grand Theft Auto IV

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Australians hoping to get an uncensored copy of Grand Theft Auto IV from New Zealand retailers are in for a disappointment: Take-Two has revealed both countries will be getting the same edited version of the game.

According to a New Zealand Herald report, the country’s Gameplanet Store was hit with large numbers of Australian orders for Grand Theft Auto IV following news the game was being edited to conform with an MA15+ rating, but now has been forced to cancel $50,000 worth of advance orders.

The reasons behind the decision are unknown, but Simon Barton, co-founder of Gameplanet, said, “Everyone’s assuming it is logistics. It just makes sense for them to send us the Australian version.” Despite the cuts, the New Zealand edition of the game is being released with an R18 rating, and Barton said demand for the game remains high and he expects stock to sell out quickly.

The censorship isn’t enough for lobby group Family First, who has called for the game to be banned outright. “It is completely naive to believe that teenagers and young children won’t have access to and be able to play the game,” said group spokesman Bob McCoskrie. “It is also completely unrealistic to believe that young people will not be influenced in their attitudes and behaviors by constant exposure to this type of material.”

Cuts in the Australian version were revealed earlier in April in order to meet the requirements of the country’s Office of Film and Literature Classification, which does not offer a rating higher than MA15+ for videogames. Specifics about the censored content have not been revealed, but the announcement has led many gamers to cancel their preorders with Australian retailers in order to buy a fully-functioning version of the game overseas. Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto IV goes on sale worldwide tomorrow.

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