Take-Two settles "Hot Coffee" sex content case

Take-Two announced a settlement on all class action lawsuits in the US related to sex scenes on the popular game "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas."

Game developer Take-Two Interactive announced a preliminary settlement on all consumer class action lawsuits in the US related to a software modification called Hot Coffee, that unlocked sex scenes on the popular game "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas."

The preliminary deal, if the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York accepts it, would end the suits against Take-Two and subsidiary Rockstar Games without any admission of liability or wrongdoing by the two companies, Take-Two said in a statement.

The lawsuits were filed over a controversial sex mini-game on Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (GTA), discovered in 2005. A software modification that came to be know as the Hot Coffee mod unlocked a sex mini-game that otherwise could not be accessed.

The point of the mini-game was for the main character, CJ, to impress his girlfriends. A successful mission would end with a girlfriend asking CJ if he wants to come in for a cup of coffee, meaning sex. The mini-game actually showed the characters having explicit, simulated sex. But this content was not available without users actually downloading and running the Hot Coffee mod for their PC or game consoles such as the Xbox and PlayStation 2.

At the time the controversy broke, US parents, lawyers, religious groups and politicians such as New York Senator Hillary Clinton attacked Take-Two, and some retailers, including Wal-Mart, removed GTA from their shelves.

Take-Two's preliminary settlement offers a cash payment of up to US$35 for customers who provide proofs of purchase before July 20, 2005 and attest that the Hot Coffee mini-game upset them; or users can simply trade in for an edited copy of GTA. The company will pay additional monies to cover defendants' out of pocket costs as well as the cost of providing notice to class members and legal fees.

The company said it believes "the court would have agreed that Take-Two was not liable for consumers acting independently to modify their games with third-party hardware and software to access normally inaccessible content," but that "it is in the best interest of the company to avoid protracted and costly litigation to prove our case and finally put this matter behind us."

Take-Two may still face lawsuits in other countries. The game was also shipped to Europe and other parts of the world, including Australia, where a ratings board revoked its classification and ordered stores throughout the land to remove it from their shelves. Prior to the discovery of the sexually explicit content, it had been sold to anyone 15 years of age or older in the country.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?