Take-Two ‘Unaffected’ by Australian Stores Taking GTA5 off the Shelve

Posted by at 1:24 pm on December 10, 2014

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Target and Kmart stores in Australia pulled Grand Theft Auto 5 from their shelves last week, following a review of the game’s content and feedback from customers, the companies said. A change.org petition with nearly 50,000 signatures decried the game’s depiction of violence against women and called upon Australian Target stores to remove the game. Take-Two President Karl Slatoff called the situation “disappointing” at a conference this week, but said it’s not that big of a deal.

“Australia is relatively small for us and two retailers are relatively small in the context of Australia,” Slatoff said. “There are other places for folks to buy Grand Theft Auto in Australia.” Despite the low impact of the stores’ decisions – both are subsidiaries of retail group Westfarmers – Slatoff had more to say about the situation.

A lot more!

“It’s one thing for someone to not want to buy a piece of content, which is completely understandable,” Slatoff said. “And that’s really the solution. If you don’t like it and it’s offensive to you, then you don’t buy it. 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 bought Grand Theft Auto, and 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 is based on. It’s the freedom of expression, and to try to squelch that is a dangerous and slippery slope to go down. So it’s really more disappointing for us in that regard than it is in the context of our business. 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 you want because it’s a poor leadership decision.”

Slatoff said that Take-Two hadn’t seen a change in consumer habits in the area.

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