The Target Australia retail chain is making a show of halting sales of Grand Theft Auto V
in response to customer complaints about the game's depiction of violence, especially violence against women.
"We feel the decision to stop selling GTA V
is in line with the majority view of our customers," stated Jim Cooper, Target General Manager Corporate Affairs, in a press release confirming the move. "We have listened to the strong feedback from customers that this is not a product they want us to sell."
The decision seems likely to have little impact on the strategies of Target's retail operations in other parts of the world, and Target Australia will continue to sell media with an Australian R18+ rating
going forward; this is a one-off response to critical consumer feedback, including a Change.org petition
that garnered over 40,000 signatures.
The depiction of violence against women in games has come under greater public scrutiny in recent years, due in part to critical works like Anita Sarkeesian's series of videos examining Tropes vs. Women in Video Games
"We are disappointed that an Australian retailer has chosen no longer to sell Grand Theft Auto V
," reads an excerpt of the prepared response issued by Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick to Polygon
and other outlets. "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."