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Grand Theft Auto maker settles with the Feds

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Grand Theft Auto has settled with the Federal Trade Commission which was investigating the company over the "Hot Coffee" scandal - a hack which allowed players to view adult, animated content within the game.

The US reacted with horror to the very idea of a pixelled nipple and several Senators demanded action. Although accessing the content required users to download code and install it, the FTC ruled that the game's publishers Take Two and Rockstar Games should have put a more restrictive age rating on the games.

The Entertainment Software Rating Board gave GTA a M for mature rating because it contains "Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, and Use of Drugs". But given that it also included a naked lady, it should have been given a AO rating - for Adults Only.

The re-rating, and recall of previous games, cost Take Two $24.5m. The publishers also provided a patch, which can be downloaded from www.nomorehotcoffee.com, to stop access to the racy scenes.

The agreement with the FTC requires the publishers to ensure there is no such content in future games and that it fully discloses game content to the rating authority. Failure to do so will land them with fines of $11,000 per offence.

The whole FTC statement is here. ®

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