Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. and Rockstar Games, Inc. wish to express our sincerest apologies to the Haitian people and Government of Haiti for any offense that may have been caused by statements made in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
As its name implies, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is a virtual crime world, in which characters are involved in criminal activities, including fictional gang warfare between rival groups. In creating the game, it was not our intention to target or offend any group or persons or to incite hatred or violence against such groups or persons.
In addition, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is "M" rated; it is not intended for sale to under-17 audiences. Contrary to what some may believe, it must be recognized that video games have evolved as an adult medium, not unlike literature, movies and music. The fact that the game is popular does not mean that it will encourage players to act out hatred or violence against any group or persons in the "real world." Certainly, this is not our intent, nor is it the effect of the game.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was released in October 2002. We believe that recent media coverage has taken certain statements made in the game out of context, and has blown it out of proportion by mischaracterizing the nature of the game play, as well as the actual portrayal of persons and groups in the game.
As with literature, movies, music and other forms of entertainment, we have strived to create a video game experience with a certain degree of realism, which we believe is our right. Nevertheless, we are aware of the hurt and anger in the Haitian community and have listened to the community's objections to certain statements made in the game. Accordingly, we will remove the objectionable statements from future copies of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
We have forwarded this statement to the various groups within the Haitian community that have contacted us in an effort to address the concerns of the community. We trust that our actions and our formal apologies can help to mend our relationship with the Haitian community.
12/12/2003 Aaron Thomas