GTA V

Take-Two President Blasts Australian Retailer’s GTA Ban

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After Australian Target and K-Mart stores pulled Grand Theft Auto V from their shelves because of a petition decrying sexual violence in the game, the people who make GTA have been relative circumspect in their objections.

Or they were until GTA V publisher Take-Two Interactive’s president Karl Slatoff spoke at BMO Capital Markets 2014 Technology & Digital Media Conference yesterday. He called the ban something that “flies in the face of everything that free society is based on.”

“It’s one thing for someone to not want to buy a piece of content, which is completely understandable,” Slatoff said, according to gamesindustry.biz. “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 Australia is a relatively small market for the company and that there are other places in Australia to buy the game, so the ban doesn’t seem to have seriously affected people’s ability to get the game at retail and doesn’t seem to have pushed people to buy it digitally in any significant way.

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