All copies of Grand Theft Auto 3 in Australia have been recalled following the game being effectively banned in the country. The Australian equivalent of the BBFC, the Office of Film and Literature Classification Board, has refused to give the game a rating, making it illegal for retailers to sell it. A strange and apparently quasi-legal approach from a country that is otherwise extremely liberal.
Take 2’s Rockstar games originally released the game with an unofficial 15+ certificate in Australia. This was then revoked following the OFLC taking part in an extensive demonstration of the game play.
OFLC director Des Clark said it is now illegal to sell the game or view it. "I have been assured by the distributor all stock will be recalled and retailers had previously been asked to remove stock from their shelves," said Clark. "Community liaison officers have also been visiting retailers to let them know of the substantial penalties involved in selling refused classification stock."
The game, that involves the player breaking almost every law in existence, had a surprisingly easy run with the press everywhere else in the world. It was widely expected that Rockstar’s latest and most controversial offering, would kick up a stink when it was released a few weeks ago, but is somehow managed to slip through mostly unnoticed.
Take 2 did not wish to comment until the situation is resolved.