Feeds

GTA maker coughs up $20m for 'hot coffee' sex

Grand Theft Auto Rumpy Pumpy

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Take-Two Interactive will shuffle $20 million out the door to make its "hot coffee" headaches go away.

The game publisher said Wednesday it has settled a longstanding class-action shareholder lawsuit over an infamous sex scene squirreled away in the code of Grand Theft Auto: San Andres. Take-Two will stuff $20,115,000 into a settlement fund for members of the class-action suit. The company's insurance carriers will pay $15,200,000 of the settlement, and Take-Two will foot the rest.

The lawsuit stems from a normally inaccessible sex minigame in GTA:SA that's initiated when the game's protagonist is invited into his girlfriend's house for a cup of "hot coffee." Said offer of joe inevitably leads to a somewhat explicit virtual bootknocking, which beget several years of angry parents, grandstanding politicians, and disgruntled shareholders.

While the sex minigame itself cannot be activated in the game proper, a hack to unlock the scene was discovered and circulated on the net in the summer of 2005, nearly a year after the game was released. When word of the blue content spread, Take-Two first claimed it was created entirely by hackers – only later to admit the scene had inadvertently been left in the game's code by its developers at Rockstar Games.

The subsequent uproar over a sex scene (hidden within the notoriously violent video game) led to the Entertainment Software Rating Board revoking the game's "M for Mature" rating and slapping it with an "Adults Only" score – a kiss of death in the US market. The game watchdog then declared game makers would henceforth be required to document all hidden and inaccessible content during the ratings process.

Take-Two then spent tens of millions of dollars pulling existing copies off store shelves and replacing them with "hot coffee"-free versions. The recall loss lead to Take-Two's stock plunging, prompting investors to sue over the company's questionable statements made during the outbreak of the controversy.

"We are pleased to have reached this settlement, which represents another important step forward for the Company," said Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick, in a statement.

In addition to more class-action lawsuits hounding Take-Two to this day, the "hot coffee" scandal also served as a platform for politicians like Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman to propose legislation that would regulate the sale of mature games to minors.

So remember, kids: Always stick to nicking cars and popping caps in innocent pedestrians. Sex is about $20m too expensive. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.