American multinational video game developer and publisher Rockstar Games’ upcoming release ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ (GTA 5) has been rated R18+ in Australia, amongst concerns that it would be left out of classification. The installment managed to secure its Australian release and the Australian Classification Board posted the ruling on Wednesday, July 31, 2013, which warns against GTA 5’s ‘high impact’ drug use, as well as violence, language, nudity and sex.
The game’s approval by the board means that no rewards or incentives connected to illegal drugs are being offered in the latest installment, which is set to be released on September 17, 2013. On the other hand, for the second time this week, ‘Saints Row 4’ was refused classification because of the game’s incorporation of illegal drugs as an incentive or reward.
Australia has been a tough and strict market for GTA series in the past as well, as a changed version of ‘Grand Theft Auto IV’ was originally released in the region which did not allow sexual contact with prostitutes, along with other, smaller amendments. Later on, Rockstar Games submitted an uncut version of the game to the classification board consequent to the PC edition’s release and it was passed as an MA15+ title. ‘Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas’ was banned after the launch because an inaccessible code was discovered in the game which portrayed graphic sex and the studio released a patched version afterwards.
Australia introduced an R18+ rating in January 2013 after a long campaign. ‘State of Decay’ was also refused classification in June 2013 because of drug use, but a changed version received R18+ rating.
Photo Credits: PC Games