Recently, Grand Theft Auto V was removed from Target Australia shelves due to the game’s depiction of violence against women.
At the BMO Capital Markets 2014 Technology & Digital Media Conference, Take-Two president Karl Slatoff gave a lengthy response that is best summed up as “If you don’t like Grand Theft Auto V, don’t buy it, but don’t take it away from those who want to.”
“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’s response came from being asked if the removal of the game from store shelves had an effect on the game’s digital sales. While Slatoff admitted the situation was “disappointing on many levels,” the publisher hadn’t seen a significant change in digital adoption.
“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.”
For more on Grand Theft Auto V, check out Gaming Trend’s review of the current-gen version.