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Take-Two settles Hot Coffee suit for $20M

Take-Two settles Hot Coffee suit for $20M

Take-Two has settled the long-running Hot Coffee lawsuit for a huge $20 million.

Take-Two, the parent company of developer Rockstar, has finally settled the long-running 'Hot Coffee' lawsuit in the US by agreeing to a whopping $20 million USD settlement to end the class action lawsuit.

The suit is based around the inclusion of hidden sexual content in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas which was thought by some to be inaccessible in the game but was soon unlocked by players. The Federal Trade Commission investigated the matter in 2006 and found that Take-Two had been deceptive in how it marketed the game, though no fines or criminal charges were bought to bear against the company.

In return for the $20 million USD settlement the class action lawsuit will be dismissed. The money will then be deposited in a settlement fund that claimants can access.

It's also worth clarifying that this settlement stems from a 2006 consolidated securities class action lawsuit which is based on both the hidden content and the stock option issues, not the 2005 consumer class action suit.

Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick released a short statement saying that Take-Two was pleased to have reached a settlement and that it "represents another important step forward for the Company."

Of the proposed settlement Take-Two will only actually pay out $4,915,000 USD, while the remainder will be covered by various insurance firms.

What do you think of the settlement? Let us know in the forums.

20 Comments

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Bauul 2nd September 2009, 12:33 Quote
Totally ridiculous, the whole thing. In fact, I'm not going to even comment on it.
DXR_13KE 2nd September 2009, 12:46 Quote
this makes me sick...
kylew 2nd September 2009, 12:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
Totally ridiculous, the whole thing. In fact, I'm not going to even comment on it.

Looks like you just did... :p

I can't believe how many years later this is.

You'd expect people would have something better to do than complain about hidden 18 rated content in an 18 Rated game.

These people are no better than patent hoarders in my opinion.
Flibblebot 2nd September 2009, 13:27 Quote
Not only hidden, but completely inaccessible unless you're actively looking for it (and have searched the interwebs to find out how to access it).

How you could claim for seeing something that you went looking for is beyond me. :(
Bauul 2nd September 2009, 13:30 Quote
Oi, I spent a good five minutes coming up with my "epresents" witticisms! And you go and remove it all! Pfft, I'll sue you for $20 million.
Combinho 2nd September 2009, 13:33 Quote
ZOMG!! Sexual content on an 18 rated game!! Think of the children!!

Who cares about violence, it's the sex that upsets me, it's unnatural. They're all going to hell etc.
Star*Dagger 2nd September 2009, 13:34 Quote
alot of conservatives in the us are upset they lost the culture wars, so they do crap like this,sad.
Mentai 2nd September 2009, 13:36 Quote
It's not just a case of looking for it, on the console versions you needed a gameshark equivalent disc and a specific code for it. As far as I'm concerned, that is modified content and not something hidden by deceptive marketing. I would consider it tame compared to the rest of the games content anyway. Beyond ridiculous.
NikoBellic 2nd September 2009, 13:36 Quote
@FiddleBot: how is it completely inaccessable if one of the modders modified the Main.Scm file to unlock it?. I'm a GTA Modder myself, and I know that there is a few treats in each game that R* leave for the modders, (although in GTAIV there aren't so many... I wonder why...).
Coldon 2nd September 2009, 13:46 Quote
afaik, the suit was filed due to the supposed insider trading that occurred due to the hot coffee scandal, and NOT due to the content... i may be mistaken tho.
pimonserry 2nd September 2009, 13:56 Quote
+1 at Combinho, it's 'OK' to kill hookers, run from the law, enjoy gang warfare and go on a rampage, but seeing some sexual activity is a strict no-no
AshT 2nd September 2009, 14:30 Quote
The game is rated as Mature 17+ with the following "Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs".

And yet they get fined for a couple of pixels shagging?

Ugh.
thehippoz 2nd September 2009, 17:43 Quote
the hot coffee actually sold copies.. they were hyping it up on g4tv back then- funny to think the devs had that much freedom to play around with it in the office.. they should have taken it out the game though XD they probably figured someone would find it someday
Otto69 3rd September 2009, 05:46 Quote
Pass the shotgun please...
Flibblebot 3rd September 2009, 06:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NikoBellic
@FiddleBot: how is it completely inaccessable if one of the modders modified the Main.Scm file to unlock it?. I'm a GTA Modder myself, and I know that there is a few treats in each game that R* leave for the modders, (although in GTAIV there aren't so many... I wonder why...).
I didn't say it was completely inaccessible, I said it was inaccessible unless you were actually looking for it.

By which I meant that the average user (bearing in mind this is a technical forum, and nobody here could really be considered an "average" user) would never normally get to see the content during the course of playing the game. Only if you actively searched for the changes needed and then actively applied those changes would you ever get to see the content.

That is, it is by your own actions that you saw something - and as such, you have no right to complain or expect recompense.
bridgesentry 3rd September 2009, 09:33 Quote
A failed revolution of AO games. Thank GOD the devs dont end up in jail.:D
NikoBellic 3rd September 2009, 12:34 Quote
@Fiddle:

Ah Ok...

I do also have to mention... I tried that hot coffee mod, and I don't know why people made such a big deal about it really, because when they were... "movin tha pixels" they were still wearing their clothes (they didn't even pull their trousers down) - but some modders seemed like hormoanally desperate 13 year olds who had made mods for them to look naked... lol
MaverickWill 5th September 2009, 19:18 Quote
Wasn't the problem with the Hot Coffee mod that it was hidden, i.e. the censors couldn't see it? That meant the game only got a "Mature" rating, as opposed to an "Adults Only" rating? If I remember this one correctly, an AO-rated game has massive restrictions on it - much more so than a "simple" M game. It also meant stores that wouldn't stock the games based on an AO rating, WOULD stock it as an M rating.

Rockstar tried brushing it off when it appeared on the PC version as "someone inserting modified code", but when it came to light on the PS2 version (which, by the nature of the console, is read-only), they had to admit it was hidden?

Anyway, they did something bad, got busted, and paid for it. It's still not as extreme as the drug-fuelled hooker-murdering, but it was "graphic sexual content", and therefore would have pushed the rating higher.
[PUNK] crompers 5th September 2009, 19:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Star*Dagger
alot of conservatives in the us are upset they lost the culture wars, so they do crap like this,sad.

interesting view

i wont rant as peeps have already said how ridiculous this is. cant believe it though
tsandesson115 9th September 2009, 10:10 Quote
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