• FILE - This publicity photo released by Rockstar Games shows a screen shot from the video game, "Grand Theft Auto V." (AP Photo/Rockstar Games, File)

    FILE - This publicity photo released by Rockstar Games shows a screen shot from the video game, "Grand Theft Auto V." (AP Photo/Rockstar Games, File) (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This Sept. 10, 2013 file photo shows the "Grand Theft Auto V " billboard at Figueroa Hotel in Los Angeles. Target Australia said Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, it is removing “Grand Theft Auto V” from store shelves after an online petition signed by more than 40,000 individuals asked the retailer to stop selling the video game because they said it encourages players to murder women for entertainment.  (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

    FILE - This Sept. 10, 2013 file photo shows the "Grand Theft Auto V " billboard at Figueroa Hotel in Los Angeles. Target Australia said Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, it is removing “Grand Theft Auto V” from store shelves after an online petition signed by ... more than 40,000 individuals asked the retailer to stop selling the video game because they said it encourages players to murder women for entertainment. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File) (The Associated Press)

'Grand Theft Auto V' video game pulled from Target Australia stores

Industries Associated Press

Target Australia is removing "Grand Theft Auto V" from store shelves after more than 40,000 people signed an online petition asking the retailer to stop selling the mature video game because they say it encourages players to murder women for entertainment.

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Rockstar Games' "GTA V" originally debuted in 2013 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. A new edition for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One was released last month.

Strauss Zelnick, chairman and CEO of Rockstar Games' parent company, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., says he's disappointed the Australian retailer decided to stop selling the game.

Evan Lapiska, spokesman for Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Target Corp., notes Target Australia is not operated by the U.S. retail company. The game will continue to be sold in Target stores in North America.