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Post by Eorl @ 09:18am 04/12/14 | 38 Comments
Target has reportedly pulled all copies of the new-gen and old-gen versions of Rockstar's hit open-world game Grand Theft Auto V, in response to "feedback from customers about the game's depictions of violence against women."

Target Australia's general manager of corporate affairs Jim Cooper said the call was made because of "community and customer concern" about Rockstar's open-world crime game. The game was listed as an R18+ title, meaning only those above the age of 18 could actually purchase the game.

"We've been speaking to many customers over recent days about the game, and there is a significant level of concern about the game's content," said Cooper.

"We've also had customer feedback in support of us selling the game, and we respect their perspective on the issue. However, we feel the decision to stop selling GTA V is in line with the majority view of our customers."

Cooper explained that Target will continue to sell other R-rated DVDs and video games.

"While these products often contain imagery that some customers find offensive, in the vast majority of cases, we believe they are appropriate products for us to sell to adult customers. However, in the case of GTA V, we have listened to the strong feedback from customers that this is not a product they want us to sell."

The petition on was launched by female survivors of violence in the hopes of having GTA V pulled from the shelves of Target Australia. As of writing, the campaign has gained over 40,000 supporters.

"Please Target," the campaign reads, "we appeal to you as women survivors of violence, including women who experienced violence in the sex industry, to immediately withdraw Grand Theft Auto V from sale." Looking further into the petition however shows that some of the descriptions used for the call to action are incorrect, citing that players gain "health points" for using violence against women. The petition also lacks in outlining that Grand Theft Auto's violence extends not just to the female gender, with players able to do what they will to both genders thanks to the game's sandbox tactics.

Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two Interactive, has issued a statement regarding Target's decision:
“We are disappointed that an Australian retailer has chosen no longer to sell Grand Theft Auto V -- a title that has won extraordinary critical acclaim and has been enjoyed by tens of millions of consumers around the world. Grand Theft Auto V explores mature themes and content similar to those found in many other popular and groundbreaking entertainment properties. Interactive entertainment is today's most compelling art form and shares the same creative freedom as books, television, and movies. I stand behind our products, the people who create them, and the consumers who play them.”
It also seems like Kmart in Australia has decided to pull the game, most likely due to the company being owned by Wesfarmers, who also owns Target.

grand theft auto vrockstartargetviolence against women
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Latest Comments
Posted 09:44am 04/12/14
I for one thank Target for taking the moral high ground right after they took all the early release sales.

Such Brave and principled act, to stand with survivors after claiming the best sales period of one of the best selling games of all time.

It's funny last time I was in Florence I got an overwhelming urge to steal all the women in Sabine after seeing a sculpture of the rape of the Sabines. Should probably get it destroyed. It's a time bomb waiting to go off.
Posted 10:24am 04/12/14
everything old is new again
Posted 10:29am 04/12/14
I wonder if they would of pulled the game if it was a woman killing a man?
Reverend Evil
Posted 10:39am 04/12/14
I wonder how many of those people shop at Target anyway? Prolly just jumping on the bandwagon like lemmings.
Posted 10:44am 04/12/14
was it just target that this campaign was aimed at

seems odd,
Posted 11:18am 04/12/14
Wonder if they sell Fifty Shades of Grey?
Posted 11:19am 04/12/14
I said this in the other thread, Target's demographic isn't GTA's demographic, this means little for target and little for gamers. It's a good head line, nothing else.

If you purchased GTA from target it wasn't because you were in the store, browsing games and got sold on the purchase based on the cover/marketing material, you went there for the price and convenience. You will take your business elsewhere and targets sales and company image or anything else won't be affected.

I don't support there decision, I can rationalise it however. I will likely not buy my games from target in the future (not that I ever did anyway) as I'd rather spend my money with companies that support the creative industry that I am passionate about. That's my personal choice.
Posted 11:20am 04/12/14
They should pull all their games from their shelves.
Posted 11:39am 04/12/14
Haha, makes me wanna run out and grab a copy tbh..
Posted 12:10pm 04/12/14
The only reason I would shop for it there is if they had it cheaper than other stores as they do for the PS4 bundles are $55 cheaper than EB but I'm sure someone would price match it. They probably took all that into account and realised it wasn't much of a revenue loss and isn't any publicity good publicity.
Posted 01:15pm 04/12/14
according to kotaku, kmart has also pulled the game. i can't believe they caved over a petition full of lies and misinformation.
Posted 01:20pm 04/12/14
The time is ripe for a anti-trope game that totally makes fun of all these issues.
Posted 01:46pm 04/12/14

So if that gets more signs will they get it back
Posted 02:07pm 04/12/14
Wonder if they sell Fifty Shades of Grey?

That's different. Its aimed at women who want to be in a violent, abusive relationship.
Posted 02:22pm 04/12/14
What can i say, if you put women of the night in a game it will get banned.
Grand theft has an impressive history of "female abuse" so i am rather surprised that Target would even entertain the idea that this game was ever going to portray woman as the pretty girl next door.
Grand Theft Auto III:
Due to sexual violence involving prostitutes.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
Because of the use of prostitutes.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Banned for Hot Coffee.

Grand Theft Auto IV.
sex scenes involving prostitutes.
Posted 03:05pm 04/12/14
The time is ripe for a anti-trope game that totally makes fun of all these issues.
Posted 04:03pm 04/12/14
Reminds me of this:

Posted 07:32pm 04/12/14
Will the nerds now track down the lady that started the petition and bully her to suicide?
Posted 08:09pm 04/12/14
I would like to know why these people directed this petition specifically at Target.

Why not Big W or D*** Smith or Myer or EB any other retailer?

Also I wonder if this will put fuel in the fire of the gamergaters...
Posted 08:26pm 04/12/14
I would like to know why these people directed this petition specifically at Target.

Why not Big W or D*** Smith or Myer or EB any other retailer?

I've worked at Target in a Management role covering this portion of their Stores. They don't sell a lot of games compared to the likes of EB or true game retailers, even Big Dub. Their Home Entertainment department is much more subdued generally. They have a very soft and cuddly public image as primarily a women and children's apparel vendor. Its the combination of this low reliance on the gaming vertical and strong mother-and-child focus that made them the Target ;)

Given 40k signatures its a very easy pushover. EB would not have broken so easily as this sort of product is their core.
Posted 09:07pm 04/12/14
If anything Target/Kmart use games as a simple "us to" approach.
Posted 09:27pm 04/12/14
I may be off the mark here, but I suspect the bestgamers version of Zelda would not be on the Gamergate Top Ten To Play list...
Posted 10:17pm 04/12/14
Whoah Target sells games?
Posted 10:22pm 04/12/14
Whoah Target sells games?

Yeah cheap, you been under a rock or are you just maladjusted?
Posted 11:08pm 04/12/14
As it was stated above, this is irrelevant as target cashed in on the big name game. Lets see what they do for GTA6...
Posted 12:06am 05/12/14
Hurt Me Plenty:


I think they still have this in stock.

(Yes, this really is a game)
Posted 04:12am 05/12/14
If these people saw the interactive torture scene, their tiny heads would explode.
Posted 07:31am 05/12/14
Uh, what?
Feedback from the game about violence against women?

Anyone who has played this game - or a majority of other games - will realize that 90% of violence is committed against men!

Oh what's that, there's no female NPCs?

This is all kinds of wrong.

/r/australia puts a petition on to ban the bible in response to GTAV being pulled from target shelves
Posted 08:16am 05/12/14
Lol some people on here who don't know that target sells games.
The exact same noobs who wait at EB games on cod release night waiting for a copy at full price, when they could have walked over to target and bought it for 30% off.
Posted 10:25am 05/12/14

So if that gets more signs will they get it back

this is pretty funny, it's actually gaining some traction
Posted 11:37am 05/12/14
Gaining some momentum.
I wasn't going to sign but this is starting to get traction.
Posted 02:17pm 05/12/14
even the comments on the original petition are largely against the petition... but they had to sign it to comment.
Posted 11:57pm 08/12/14
Banning GTA is ridiculous, I think this opinion piece says it best (NSFW) “Morons move to ban GTA V because… sexism?”
Posted 11:09am 09/12/14
from ozgameshop in my inbox

Posted 12:56pm 09/12/14
this is a good response from Target

Posted 04:43pm 16/12/14
haha Fail.
Posted 04:55pm 16/12/14
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