GTA 5 and 5 other video games banned from stores

Target may remove Grand Theft Auto V from its shelves after mounting pressure criticizing the video game's encouragement of violence against women, but it's hardly the first store to stop selling a controversial game.

Australian Target won't sell Grand Theft Auto V in stores

Australian Target won't stock Grand Theft Auto Five, citing concerns over violent content. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Target may remove Grand Theft Auto V from its shelves after mounting pressure criticizing the video game's encouragement of violence against women, but it's hardly the first store to stop selling a controversial game.

Below are some other examples of stores that have chosen to halt sales of certain video games.

Medal of Honour

In 2010, U.S. military bases banned the sales of Medal of Honour. GameStop stores on 49 U.S. military bases also participated in freezing out the game, the Washington Post reported.

Medal of Honour lets players become Tier 1 Operators, who are handpicked warriors under the National Command Authority, according to the game's description. As these fighters, who rank higher in skill than Special Operations Forces, players can "apply their unique skill sets to a new enemy in the most unforgiving and hostile battlefield conditions of present day Afghanistan."

Stores stopped selling the game because it also allowed users to choose to play as Taliban characters and attack American forces.

The game was developed by California-based Electronic Arts.


CompUSA, a now-defunct retailer and reseller of electronic goods, refused to sell Phantasmagoria in 1995.

Phantasmagoria's storyline revolves around a couple that has purchased a house previously owned by a magician who practiced black magic and summoned a demon that made him commit crimes. The demon inhabits the husband now living in the house and makes him act violently towards his wife.

CompUSA was concerned about the violence in the game, reported the Seattle Times. One scene showed the husband raping his wife and another scene showed a pendelum slicing her head in half.

Sierra On-Line created the game.

Night Trap

Toys "R" Us and F.A.O. Schwarz stopped selling Night Trap for the Sega CD console in U.S. stores after a 1993 congressional hearing on video game violence, according to the National Coalition Against Censorship.

Night Trap asks players to help protect a group of girls sleeping over at a house where others have previously disappeared. Although the aim of the game is to protect women, people took issue with some graphic violent scenes. In particular, NCAC says, a scene where one woman is captured by Augers — or vampires — while "scantily clad in a private bathroom."

Pipe Trouble

TVO, the province's public broadcaster, pulled Pipe Trouble from its website.

The Bomb Gaza game from PlayFTW invites people to drop bombs on the Gaza Strip and avoid killing civilians. (Google Play)
The taxpayer-funded game allowed users to build pipelines to move gas across landscapes, while balancing costs and risking angering farmers and environmentalists. It included depictions of pipeline bombings.

The game's developer said a portion of game proceeds would be donated to the David Suzuki Foundation.

The game was developed by Pop Sandbox and is still available for purchase in the iTunes store and Google Play.

Bomb Gaza

Although it's not a physical store, Google Play banned Bomb Gaza from its online store earlier this year. 

Developed by PlayFTWBomb Gaza simulated Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip. Users left outraged comments on the Google app store review page and Facebook, where it was also available as an app.

Apple's app store has also banned controversial games, including Baby Shaker in 2009. The game asked users to quiet a crying baby with a vigorous shake.

With files from the Associated Press, Reuters


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.