Kmart joins Target in taking GTA 5 off Australian store shelves

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Kmart joins Target in taking GTA 5 off Australian store shelves
Kmart became the second major Australian retailer to remove Grand Theft Auto 5 from sale following a 45,000 strong online petition. In a statement provided to Kotaku, a spokesperson for the department store chain said it plans to take the game off store shelves "immediately."

"Following a significant review of all content in Grand Theft Auto games Kmart has taken the decision to remove this product immediately," reads the statement. "Kmart apologizes for not being closer to the content of this game."
Kmart's decision follows that of Target's to remove the Rockstar game from sale. In a press release yesterday, General Manager Corporate Affairs Jim Cooper said Target sanctioned the move after customer feedback "about the game's depictions of violence against women."

"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," Cooper said. "We feel the decision to stop selling GTA 5 is in line with the majority view of our customers."

As Kotaku points out, Kmart and Target Australia are both subsidiaries of the same retail group, Wesfarmers, though Wesfarmers has yet to make its own statement on the matter.

Australia has a long history with games censorship, though that history took a sharp turn in the opposite direction after the R18+ rating was passed in 2012. The rating, which GTA 5 was approved for, allowed mature games previously banned in the country to go on sale strictly for adult audiences. However, as ABC notes, the Australian Classification Board said it's up to individual retailers to determine which games they choose to make available.

Regarding Target Australia's decision, Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick said, "We are disappointed that an Australian retailer has chosen no longer to sell Grand Theft Auto 5 - a title that has won extraordinary critical acclaim and has been enjoyed by tens of millions of consumers around the world. Grand Theft Auto 5 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."
[Image: Rockstar]
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