Smut-free GTA: San Andreas coming next week

Hot Coffee-exposed exploits excised

Games publisher Take-Two Interactive will next week re-release Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas having culled the controversial game of its naughty bits.

GTA:SA hit the headlines in July after it emerged that the game contains x-rated content, although it takes a special 'Hot Coffee' modification code to open the software's virtual kimono. In normal circumstances, the nudie shower scenes and digital rumpy-pumpy are never shown, merely hinted at with some suggestive sound effects.

Soon after the revelation, the Entertainment Software Review Board (ESRB) re-rated the title with an AO - Adults Only - certificate, a step up from the Mature rating it had previously been granted. That forced retailers like GameStop and Wal-Mart to drop the title, in turn pressuring the publisher to pledge a cleaned up version.

Now, according to retailers EB Games and GameStop's websites, the smut-free incarnation of GTA:SA Second Edition will ship next Tuesday, this time with a Mature rating.

Still, will that be enough to spare Take-Two from the Federal Trade Commission's investigation into the game, prompted by the porn content revelation - or indeed from the lawsuits that have followed close at hand? ®