US Congress takes on Grand Theft Auto

U.S. regulators began an investigation of sexual content in "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" at the urging of the U.S. Congress.

US regulators opened a probe into the publisher of video game "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" on Tuesday, prompted by a resolution from the U.S. House of Representatives.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation comes amid an uproar over sex scenes on the game that players can access by using a software modification dubbed Hot Coffee found easily on the Internet. "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" publisher Rockstar Games, a subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive Software, has said the explicit content was only reachable through the software modification, and was not intended for public consumption.

On Monday, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution by 355 votes to 21 requesting the FTC investigation into "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" to determine if the publisher deceived the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) to avoid an adults only rating.

"The game contains sexually explicit content that is accessible by consumers but that appears to have been hidden from the ratings board," the resolution said.

"Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" was previously rated mature, meant for anyone 17 and older, and avoided the stigma of an adults only rating. But last week, the ESRB re-rated it adults only, prompting some retailers, like Wal-Mart Stores to remove it from their shelves. Take-Two Interactive halted production of the title after the change, and revised down its sales forecast for the year by US$40 million.

The second part of the resolution asks for stiff penalties if the FTC finds the game maker deceived reviewers.

"Should the FTC determine that Rockstar Games deliberately misled the ratings board and consumers nationwide, they will pay the price," said congressman Fred Upton, lead sponsor of the resolution, in a statement on his Web site.

The FTC will target advertising claims surrounding "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas."

"The company intends to fully cooperate with the FTC inquiry, and believes that it acted in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations," said Take-Two Interactive, in a statement.

"Rockstar Games and Take Two Interactive regret that consumers may have been exposed to content that was not intended to be accessible in the playable version of 'Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas,'" the company added.

The company has already started working on a version of the game that will not contain the elements used to enable the Hot Coffee modification. It also plans to refine its game editing process and enhance the security of its game coding "to prevent such future modifications," the company said.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?