Well, this is interesting news. It seems Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV won't be having any trouble with the PAL territories, provided the recent rating handed down from the Australian Classification Board is any indication. Wait…how did they rate the game so quickly? It's not due out until Q2 of next year, right?
As you can see here , it seems the game has been given the 15+ rating, with warnings for "strong violence, strong coarse language, and drug and sexual references." Why this doesn't translate to the financially deadly 18+ rating is beyond us, but it's still good news for Australian gamers. If GTAIV had hauled down the 18+ label, it would've been banned from sale in the region; they operate off the same ratings system we find in the UK and other parts of Europe. Rather than the 17+ (M-Mature) rating we're all used to by the ESRB, things operate a little differently in other regions. This means we won't be seeing any huge GTAIV controversy – at least in Australia – but it causes us to ask several large questions.
We figured Rockstar would be pushing the envelope yet again, and with other GTA games getting banned outright in many territories (including the land down under), how did GTAIV escape the same fate? Is the game less "edgy" than we all expect it to be? And perhaps this is an even better question- how did they rate it so early? Is the game really that close to completion? Could this mean we see GTAIV earlier than expected? Yes, there are a lot of questions, but few answers. Only time will tell.
Related Game(s): Grand Theft Auto IV