Feeds

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

Grand Theft Auto Rumpy Pumpy

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU
And hey - no need to tell the website you've de-listed. That'll make it easier ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.