10 controversies related to the GTA series that you might not know about

gta series
This article will talk about some of the controversies surrounding the GTA series (Image via Mforster, PaulVercetti/GTA Wiki Grand Theft Auto V/Steam)

The GTA series is extremely popular due to its open-world maps and amazing storylines. However, it is also safe to say that Rockstar Games is surrounded by controversies due to the content that they add to their games. While some of them, like the Hot Coffee Mod, made headlines and were all over the place, there are some that you might have missed.

This is normal since the internet frequently produces new controversies, and the GTA series falls victim occasionally. Even GTA 6 is already making headlines due to what Rockstar Games showed in the game's first trailer.

So, this article will list 10 GTA series controversies you might or might not have heard about.


10 GTA series controversies that surround the existing titles

1) GTA 3 getting banned in Australia

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GTA 3 is the first title in the GTA series' 3-D universe and was also a revolutionary game that paved the way for future titles. However, it was banned in Australia for some time since Rockstar Games failed to submit the game to the Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC), which provides official age ratings.

Later, the studio released a censored version of GTA 3 with limited gore and no prostitution for fans in Australia to enjoy the title.


2) Cuban and Haitian groups protesting against GTA Vice City

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It is well known that the Cuban and Haitian groups are a major drug dealing faction in the story of GTA Vice City. The original version of the game had several dialogues indicating their role in the supply and distribution of drugs.

However, the Cuban and Haitian groups protested against this as it was harming their reputation as immigrants in the country and causing violent incidents in Florida. This led to Rockstar Games removing several lines from the game and re-releasing it.


3) GTA San Andreas received the "Adults Only" rating

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While the Hot Coffee mod did a lot of initial damage to the game's reputation, it later led the game to receive a revised rating of Adults Only from ESRB. This was a big blow for Rockstar Games as several stores removed the game since they did not cater to adult products. This led to the developers releasing a Cold Coffee patch and re-releasing the game for all the available platforms.


4) The Final Interview mission in GTA 4 enraged Jack Thompson

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For those unaware, Jack Thompson has been an arch-enemy of Rockstar Games and its parent company, Take-Two Interactive. He filed several lawsuits against the company when GTA 4 rolled out, and he even threatened to continue doing so if they did not remove the Final Interview mission from the game.

In this mission, Niko has to kill a laser who says the dialog, "Guns don't kill people, video games do". According to Jack, this is Rockstar Games trying to make fun of his anti-video game stance.


5) New York City official protesting against GTA 4

A screenshot depicting the news regarding New York City officials bashing GTA 4 (Image via Daily News)
A screenshot depicting the news regarding New York City officials bashing GTA 4 (Image via Daily News)

GTA 4 faced a big controversy as soon as its first trailer dropped. This happened when New York City officials said they were against Rockstar Games using their city as the backdrop of their upcoming title.

They also said how video games don't showcase the true crime level of a city, and GTA 4 also promoted killing police officers (it doesn't). This, however, received a lot of backlash as they never protested against movies and books using New York for their crime thrillers.


6) The Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) protest

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While GTA 4 is an excellent game, it has some of the most controversies in the GTA series. One popped up soon after the title rolled out as an organization called Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) requested ESRB to bump the game's rating to Adults Only since it allowed players to drive while drunk.

Although this did not end up happening, there are dialogues in the game where Niko says that he shouldn't drive when he is drunk, and it is also very difficult to drive a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Players even receive a wanted star if found drunk driving.


7) GTA 3 inspires a real-world crime

A screenshot of the news published by CNN (Image via CNN International.com/Law Center)
A screenshot of the news published by CNN (Image via CNN International.com/Law Center)

GTA 3 made headlines when two murderers, William and Josh Buckner, said that their crime was inspired by GTA 3. This led to a huge uproar, and the victim's family sued Rockstar Games for a huge sum.

However, the studio said that everything shown in the game is protected under the First Amendment right of free speech. They filed for the dismissal of the lawsuit and to clear their name.


8) Psychotic killer inspired by Trevor Phillips

A screenshot of the new article published by The Spokesman-Review (Image via The Spokesman-Review)
A screenshot of the new article published by The Spokesman-Review (Image via The Spokesman-Review)

To add another incident to the list of GTA series controversies, a 14-year-old killed his father and brother in 2014 allegedly because he was inspired by Trevor Phillips. Trevor is one of the protagonists of GTA 5 and is portrayed as a complete psycho with no regard for his or other's lives, committing unimaginable crimes in the game.

This once again led to a lot of discussions online regarding this kind of behavior portrayed in video games and the GTA series and their effect on youth.


9) The cop killer

A screenshot of the news about the cop killer (Image via The Register)
A screenshot of the news about the cop killer (Image via The Register)

The GTA series has some amazing titles that have influenced and inspired many. However, a cop killer claimed that his actions were inspired by playing hours of GTA series games, claiming he was innocent as a result of that.

Fortunately, the court did not find it related and dismissed this notion, stating playing video games could not have helped him when committing the murders.


10) GTA 4 getting banned in Thailand

A screenshot of the news (Image via News Beat)
A screenshot of the news (Image via News Beat)

GTA 4 added one more controversy to the GTA series when a man killed a taxi driver and stole the vehicle in Thailand. During the investigation, he said that his actions were inspired by GTA 4 and that he wanted to reenact the scenes in real life.

This led to a huge blowout and the game getting banned in the country. This was a blow for Rockstar Games since GTA 4 was already facing tons of problems at that time.


In other news, the rumors about GTA 6 on PS Pro are getting stronger among the community members.

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Edited by Adarsh J Kumar
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