Customer finds ecstasy pills in pre-owned GTAIV box

Gamestation promises "immediate investigation" into the issue

A consumer has discovered pills, believed to be ecstasy tablets, inside the box of a pre-owned copy of Grand Theft Auto IV.

Richard Thornhill bought the title from a Gamestation store in Gloucestershire and found the pills inside the box - wrapped in cling film - which he delivered to a nearby police station.

He was offered an apology by the store, but expressed his fear over concerns that his 12 year-old son or 16 year-old daughter could have been harmed.

"When I opened the box up, the cling film wrap fell out. I could not believe it," he told the Telegraph. "I have two children and my son plays Xbox all the time. He could easily have opened the box and found them.

"I dread to think what the consequences would have been if he had. He is only 12. He could have died.

"It was a pre-used game, but that should not make a difference," he said. "My wife is beside herself over this because she keeps thinking about what could have happened and so do I."

Gamestation commented: "We have rigorous procedures for accepting pre-owned titles and checking them before they are put back on sale.

"We have launched an immediate investigation and we will work closely with police to find out what happened in this instance. It would be inappropriate to comment further until the police investigation is complete."

Gloucestershire police said: "We have collected the tablets and will be destroying them at a later date. It is likely that they are ecstasy pills.

"We are now conducting enquiries to see if it can be established who brought them into the store."

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Latest comments (9)

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.11 years ago
Forget about the ecstasy, notice the dad admitted his 12 year old son engaging in under age gaming. I think we have a real serious problem here.

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Alex Wright-Manning Head of Recruitment, Splash Damage Ltd11 years ago
Will the Gloucestershire constabulary be destoying them, or getting destroyed on them?
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Craig Oman Producer, Climax Group11 years ago
"Buying pre-owned games may seriously damage your health"
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Show all comments (9)
Malachy O'Neill Lead Tester, Microsoft Studios11 years ago
I bet the old owner is pretty upset that he lost his stash.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.11 years ago
Good thing this didn't happen here in America. The dad likely would have taken the ecstasy, become hooked on it and bought several more used copies of GTA4 hoping to find more E.

The real crime not so much perpetuating the addiction to ecstasy but providing GameStop with hundreds of dollars in used game revenue.
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Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games11 years ago
Adults can handle this situation any way they see fit, and ofc cases like that are not often. It is not something to worry about.But i am sure some parents will blame video games about that happening...

What is more worrying is the revenues that go out of the gaming industry with all these second hand sales. But then again this is an entirely different topic.

...and jokes aside, can you imagine what would have happened if the child thought this was candy?
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Nicholas Lovell Founder, Gamesbrief11 years ago
According to the Telegraph "The father of a 12-year-old boy found four ecstasy tablets in the packaging of a second hand video game he bought for his son from a high street store. "

An 18 rated game. Bought for his son. It's not the fault of GameStation that a 12 year old will be playing an 18-rated game: the dad admitted buying it.

Finding Ecstasy tablets in a pre-owned game is a terrible thing, but the only reason your son was at risk, Mr Thornhill, is because you ignored advice, stickers and warnings and bought your son an inappropriate game.

What can we do, when we are up against parents like this?
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David Braben Chairman, Frontier Developments11 years ago
There is an ironic hypocrisy here, as Nicholas Lovell hints at - in a few weeks time will this same angry father be complaining about his son seeing the drug references in the 18-rated games he has now bought?

To be fair, I presume the drugs could have been in a pre-owned game with any rating (as for that matter could there be scribbled lewd comments or phone numbers in the manuals). It is a risk the father chose to take.
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Andrzej Wroblewski Localization Generalist, Albion Localisations9 years ago
Oh... My... God...

Day 1:
"Son, if I ever see you killing people on the screen, I swear there will be consequences!"
"Yea, b....., yap-yap-yap-yap...stop"

Day 2:
"MOM?! You didn't return my GTA did you!?"
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