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Rockstar's Hot Coffee mod dispute almost over

by Steven Williamson on 12 November 2007, 09:04

Tags: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO), PC

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Minigame controversy almost settled

Take Two Interactive's Rockstar Games has almost brought the long running dispute over the 'Hot Coffee' mod to a close after agreeing a preliminary settlement with the United States District Court to pay its class members up to $1.025 million in benefits.

The money will be given to a number of consumers who issued a class action against the company after the 'Hot Coffee' modification, which allowed gamers access to a mini game portraying sexual intercourse, was uncovered in the 2005 version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

To be entitled to a settlement,the class members had to swear that they had:

(a) bought a copy of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas before July 20, 2005
(b) were offended and upset by the ability of consumers to modify and alter the game's content using the third-party Hot Coffee modification
(c ) would not have bought the game had they known that consumers could modify and alter the game's content using the third-party Hot Coffee modification
(d) would have returned the game, upon learning the game could be modified and altered, if they thought this possible.

Those people who did complain will receive either an edited copy of the game or $35 to cover the price of the game.

If this preliminary offer from Take Two is approved by the courts "all claims in these lawsuits will be dismissed without any admission of liability or wrongdoing by Take-Two or Rockstar."

"If the case had continued, we believe 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," said Ben Feder, Chief Executive Officer of Take-Two. "Nonetheless, we believe it is in the best interest of the Company to avoid protracted and costly litigation to prove our case and to finally put this matter behind us."

HEXUS Forums :: 1 Comment

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Dear oh dear.

These are people who knowingly bought a ‘Mature’ rated game (18-rated in the UK), in which it is advertised that you are able to shoot and kill people, punch and kick people to death, steal cars, drive dangerously, run pedestrians over and shockest of horrors - fly an aeroplane, sorry ‘airplane’, into a building*.

These people are now crying to the courts because in this game it is possible, by purposefully going out of your way to visit a 3rd party site and download an additional piece of software, which is explicitly mentioned as being an unauthorised modification to the published game**, which allows you to see a short softcore scene involving two cartoon characters (being a PS2 port, you can hardly describe them as ‘lifelike’).


I am, however, glad to note that Rockstar have to choose between the options of

a) paying the class members $35 each, or
b) providing each class member with an updated version of the game. Cost? Maybe $1.50 each, inc postage. :)

*If you so choose. You will of course ‘die’ instantly.

**Even though the code was all already there, it was purposefully not utilised by Rockstar in the published game. It's like an artist painting a naked woman onto a canvas, and then completely covering it with an initially entertaining but eventually somewhat tedious landscape. Millions of people can visit the gallery and view the painting without issue, until a third party takes a scalpel to it and peels back the top layer…