Rockstar Games, publisher of “Grand Theft Auto V,” which broke sales records on the first day of its release on Sept. 17, is was criticized by an animal rights group that's called for a boycott of the popular game, according to TMZ.
In Defense of Animals, an international animal rights and rescue organization, called for the boycott of the game because it allows players to run over and kill animals. The group feels such violence sends an unacceptable message to players, many of whom are children.
Jack Carone, a spokesman for In Defense of Animals, told TMZ the game propagates animal torture and "institutionalized violence" against animals.
"The makers of this game have traded decency for money" Carone told TMZ, adding, "Encouraging the darkest impulses of young people is not an admirable pursuit … Animals don't need any more targets painted on them in the name of fun."
It is not immediately known how the producers of the game, which was five years in the making, are going to react to the boycott demand.
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"Grand Theft Auto V" has been the fastest-selling game in recent times, and just three days after the initial release of the “Grand Theft Auto V” on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, the game took in $1 billion in global sales. The fifth installment of the series is expected to continue raking in money for the next several weeks.
“'Grand Theft Auto' is a cultural phenomenon, and Rockstar Games continues to redefine what can be achieved in interactive entertainment," Strauss Zelnick, Chairman and CEO of Take-Two, which is a developer, marketer and publisher of interactive entertainment, said in a statement. “We are incredibly proud of the extraordinary critical and commercial response to 'Grand Theft Auto V'.”