Recently, a consumer petition was successful in seeing the removal of Grand Theft Auto V from a couple of Australian retailers. The petition, which reached almost 50,000 signatures in five days, claimed that Grand Theft Auto V is mysogynistic and goes against the family-friendly images of the retailers.
Karl Slatoff, president of Grand Theft Auto V publisher Take-Two Interactive, recently provided a statement regarding the stores’ decision to pull the game from their shelves. Slatoff expressed that his concern is more for an attempt to limit the freedom of expression than it is how Take-Two will be affected by the game’s removal.
Speaking out on the petition and the amount of support it received, Slatoff stated:
“It’s one thing for someone to not want to buy a piece of content, which is completely understandable. 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.”
— Karl Slatoff
In regards to the actual removal of
Grand Theft Auto V from Australian Targets and Kmarts, Slatoff said that the situation was disappointing but that customer habits haven’t changed as a result:
“Australia is relatively small for us, and two retailers are relatively small in the context of Australia. There are other places for folks to buy Grand Theft Auto in Australia.”
— Karl Slatoff
Source: Games Industry