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Take-Two CEO Responds to GTA 5's First-Person Prostitute Controversy

Take Two CEO Strauss Zelnick defends Grand Theft Auto 5's content amid controversy around prostitution and First Person Mode.

Controversy always surrounds the Grand Theft Auto franchise, and it ramps up with new first-person perspective on the PS4 and Xbox One's GTA 5 upgrade. Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick had an interesting response to those that are upset.

A video that shows the main character receiving fellatio from a prostitute, having sex with her, and then killing her all from First Person Mode hit YouTube recently (Warning: Clearly NSFW). Interestingly enough, this was something that happened on previous versions of GTA, but it's a whole new game from his viewpoint.

On Wednesday's edition of Market Makers, a show on Bloomberg, they questioned Zelnick about killing hookers. He defended the work as "art" and again wonders why there's so much focus on GTA 5 when similar content is in movies and TV shows.

I embrace that art, and it’s beautiful art, but it is gritty. And let’s not make no bones about the environment in which we operate. And we stand shoulder to shoulder with other major motion picture releases and major television shows that explore a similar universe.

Here's the full interview, which also dives into putting the game on the current generation consoles, mobile gaming, and virtual reality in future GTA games.

UPDATE: The video has problems loading on some browsers like Google Chrome. Click here to watch if it doesn't load.

Criticizing Grand Theft Auto on its content should be a retired item on people's agendas. These games are for mature audiences. Some companies like Rockstar and Take-Two are trying to dive into the same market that watches mature HBO programming and movie productions.

What are your thoughts surrounding First Person Mode and the prostitute mode in Grand Theft Auto 5?

Image credit: GTA Wikia

Published Nov. 20th 2014
  • Kathryn Baker
    Contributor
    Honestly, I think the reason GTA clashes more with people is because of the autonomy of the player. Movies and tv shows may have similar graphic content, but we don't choose how the scene plays out. GTA GIVES you that control, and it's a bit disheartening to see what people do with it.

    I wasn't pleased with this whole Youtube video, mostly because the player uses a woman as a sexual object, and then violently "disposes" of her when she no longer is important to him; her life is only valuable for as long as the player says. As a woman, this mindset scares me. A lot.

    I know GTA gives players the power to do what they want to ANYONE, but it always seems to encourage players to do the worst things possible. And often, these acts tie sex and violence together, which is terrifying. So yeah, I get that the argument has been made against GTA over and over and over, but I don't think we should stop discourse just because.
  • Si_W
    The whole killing a prostitute after having sex is distasteful and stupid, but in all honesty I saw no real difference in the first person against what I remember in the third person. Not sure if they added/changed the dialogue though.
  • Kathryn Baker
    Contributor
    I think the whole concept is abhorrent, but the first person makes it more realistic. My brother was actually playing GTA 5 today, and he said the first person made him really feel like he was killing people.

    I guess that speaks well for the graphics and gameplay, but that's not my favorite reaction to murder.
  • Si_W
    Really? How old is he and has he never played FPS before?
  • Benjamski
    Contributor
    Is it is just me or is that video not showing up for anyone else either?

    Oh how i love silly GTA controversy :p I'm surprised I've seen more GTA in the non-gaming news outlets than Hatred honestly.
  • Brian Spaen
    Featured Correspondent
    It loads fine on Internet Explorer and Firefox for me, but it wouldn't load on Google Chrome on two different computers. Thanks for the catch, I've put a link in the article readers can click on if they wish to watch the video.

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