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Australia strikes back: GTA IV pre-orders canceled, imports inevitable

1:32 PM on 04.16.2008

Jim Sterling

Former Reviews Editor

As we have stated many times by now, life sucks when you're an Australian gamer. Overcharged, underappreciated and barred from legally purchasing a variety of titles, the Australians don't have it easy, and it seems that the latest farce over Grand Theft Auto IV was too much. Not only is the game censored, but Australians would have to pay comparatively more money for the cut down experience, and they're now turning to less legal methods for great justice.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that angered Australians are hitting back in full force:

Many Australian gamers have cancelled their [GTA IV] orders.

Already angered by the price of the blockbuster in Australia - $120 compared to $US60 ($64) in North America - gamers have reacted with outrage to news… that developer Rockstar has edited the game for Australia in order to obtain an MA15+ rating.

Many gamers said they cancelled their orders with Australian shops and will import a cheaper, uncut version, flouting the law.

As someone who wishes consumers would talk more with their money than their mouths, this is truly encouraging, and I would like to applaud the Australian gaming public for both giving their tormentors a significant "up yours" and also making a very smart consumer decision. Let's face it -- why should you be expected to pay more for a lesser experience, when you can spend less on the full game?

I hope the Australian government gets completely humiliated by this, especially as its actions have now indirectly influenced crime -- and they say it's the violent content IN videogames that does that, not violent content taken OUT. Maybe they should think about having that 18 rating now, like a real society.

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