New Zealand receiving Australian censored version of GTA IV despite R18 classification

Australia has a long, tumultuous history when it comes to video game censorship -- largely due to the fact that their system of video game classification currently lacks a rating above MA15+, meaning any game deemed too intense for 15-year-olds is often censored (or even banned, in some extreme cases). However, just a stone's skip across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand provides a more favorable environment for mature titles, whipping out the Banhammer and the Censorstick much less often than its Southwestern Pacific counterpart.

You can imagine our surprise when we read that the version of Grand Theft Auto IV that will be tailored to Australia's OFLC guidelines will also be the only version available in New Zealand. It seems that the debaucherous adventures of Niko Bellic were deemed inappropriate by the somewhat hipper Kiwi chapter of the OFLC, much to the chagrin of the thousands of Australians who pre-ordered the naughty version of the game from New Zealand's online gaming retailers.

Oddly enough, the version of GTA IV that will be sold in fellow Oceania nation Papua New Guinea will not only be uncensored, but will be accompanied by an actual foul-mouthed, gun-toting hooker. In the words of New Zealand pop sensation OMC, "How Bizarre, How Bizarre!"

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This article was originally published on Joystiq.