'Hot Coffee,' stock-option suit settled for $20.1 million

Take-Two Interactive will set up fund to pay plaintiffs in class action stemming from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas sex minigames, 'historical stock option granting practices.'

Over four years after the "Hot Coffee" scandal rocked the game industry, Take-Two Interactive has settled the matter once and for all. Today, the Rockstar Games parent announced that it has reached an out-of-court agreement with the members of a class action suit stemming from the hidden sex minigames in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

"Oh, no. I'm not falling for that 'Wanna come up for some coffee?' line again."

The class action is different from another settled in late 2007, when purchasers of the sex-minigame-tainted version of San Andreas were offered a partial refund or a cleaned-up edition of the game. The suit settled today also addressed accusations of stock-option backdating, over which Take-Two paid the Securities and Exchange Commission $3 million in April without admitting any wrongdoing.

"We are pleased to have reached this settlement and put this historical matter behind us," Take-Two CEO Ben Feder told analysts during a post-earnings release conference call.

In exchange for the plaintiffs dropping the suit, the New York City-based publisher will put $20,115,000 into a fund to dole out payments. Of that, $15,200,000 will be paid by Take-Two's insurers and $4,915,000 by the company itself. The publisher said it had saved up its part of the settlement during "several quarters" before April 30, 2009. Ironically, it was during that month that Take-Two settled another class action suit filed by shareholders after the company refused to be bought by Electronic Arts at a hefty premium in 2008.

Today's settlement ends a chain of events that began over four years ago. In summer 2005, hackers unlocked hidden sex minigames in the PC and console editions of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. As a result, the game was rerated AO for Adults Only, forcing Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive to edit and rerelease the game at an estimated cost of over $50 million. By the end of that July, the Federal Trade Commission had launched a now-concluded investigation.

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Discussion

233 comments
MrKyleKatarn
MrKyleKatarn

People on the right don't like stuff like this but unlike the left the right doesn't actually try to stop it. Their general behavior is to respect other peoples' freedom of speech even if they don't agree with it. The left doesn't care about the constitution, they just want their point of view heard to hell with anyone else's opinion. The left literally stifles freedom of speech especially if they disagree with it.

boobush
boobush

Agreed with arther-la-pew. Right wingers are angry pants and stick to family values from the VII century hahaha

Arther-la-Blunt
Arther-la-Blunt

@MrKyleKatarn that sounds more like a move by the religious right than the liberal left

MrKyleKatarn
MrKyleKatarn

Quit crapping on America, it's not our fault some liberal nanny state jerkoff wants to ruin fun in general.

LeonK54
LeonK54

$50 Million to just take out the sex!!!! DAMN!!! Why so expensive?

HaVoC_DX
HaVoC_DX

Good thing that Jack "pu**y" Thompson is not around ..

HaVoC_DX
HaVoC_DX

ah man that's old news why they bringing it up again ?? whats wrong with 'em?

HaVoC_DX
HaVoC_DX

ah man that's old news why they bringing it up again ?? whats wrong with 'em?

Rx_Nightmare
Rx_Nightmare

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

buffdaddy69
buffdaddy69

people are still complaining about this?

73X
73X

I thought this whole ordeal was over years ago.

AcidRainPain
AcidRainPain

Oh no naked simulated filth blah blah blah 20 million dollar loss blah.

simonsworld
simonsworld

stupid case, did it really matter 4 years later? patethic more tax payers money down the drain,in a "inner city" location where it looks at guns,murder and drugs and hookers, why something as natural as sex become so outrageous, and yea the game had age restritctions i no san andreas was banned from austrailla at some point,over reaction to the limits.

Jaguar_Shade
Jaguar_Shade

Wasnt the game MA17+ in the states anyways? So I am to believe 17 year olds in America dont know about sex and seeing it in a game was... too much to bear? :o

X-RS
X-RS

oh and podxcom, mario killed hundreds too, just less graphic. usually crushed someone by jumping on em. i thought it was artisitic and fun like many, but is really something a stoner would think up. this whole thing is bs btw. you know how many tv series there are just about people f#ckin/doin drugs with endless love triangles n most are barely 18. sex is ok in tv and music. violence is ok in games and movies.

X-RS
X-RS

@OF-5 lol if the transformers were more organic then itd be the goriest kung fu flick eva. chestbuster scene where optimus punch>crushes decepticons hearts, bumble bee spinal rip, etc.

ianbradley26
ianbradley26

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

ianbradley26
ianbradley26

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

ianbradley26
ianbradley26

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

tekken220
tekken220

Ever since hackers made the Hot Coffee mod, I've seen 6-year old kids talk about how "super duper fun" (lol) the mod is. I also heard that 2 kids had sex and learned how to do that because of the mod. Why do parents buy games like this for their kids if it's rated M?

OF-5
OF-5

@ PodxCOM Transformers 2 as bad as Alien?!!?! I don't think that we are thinking about the same Alien. Last time I checked their were no chestburster scenes in Transformers 2...

Brianfox1
Brianfox1

They shouldn't have don't that if parents don't want their kids to see that they shouldn't buy them the games.

TheMassEffect
TheMassEffect

The game is M for Mature for a reason. If parents buy their kids these games its their fault. Just like scarface_dm said, If anyone saw it they must have been looking for it.

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

@grey_SUN: Have you seen the Transformers movies? I don't know what is wrong with Michael Bay, but that is *NOT* what you show to kids! Alien The Movie had Nothing as bad as whats in Transformers 2, yet it gets a 'R' while both Transformers gets a 'PG-13'. You know why? Because Alien was made in 1979. If Transformers was made then, It most likely would get an 'R' too!

grey_SUN
grey_SUN

@PodXCOM: gonna have to disagree with you there...the gaming industry is not heading in any direction in which violence and sex is more prominantly in games. Just look at the Wii and how much it sold. Plus the "music" genre such as guitar hero, rockband, DJ hero and so forth.

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

@danthegamer32: Well, not all, but *most* gamers in this page say that. It seems people don't want any morality in their games. They don't want to holed back the murdering and sex for the kids. 'No!', they say, "the kids should see all this bad stuff! It's good for them.'

danthegamer32
danthegamer32

@PodXCOM: how do you know *all* gamers say that?

scarface_dm
scarface_dm

besides these days theres really no difference between sex and violence

scarface_dm
scarface_dm

dude u couldnt even see it without a code....so anyone that saw it must have been looking 4 it ....so wtf

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

@Catalyst_black Oh, and tell this 'Clive Barker, "the master of horror"', that his Jericho sucks ass, and he should keep to his day job.

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

@Catalyst_black So.... Friday the 13th is art?

Catalyst_black
Catalyst_black

Clive Barker, the master of horror, has proven that sex and violence can be an art.

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

@Chief_Kuuni You have a point. But all you gamers ever say is: 'give us more sex; give us more killing, give us more profanity; Don't Stop! Don't Ever Stop! Until *ALL* Games are *MORE* obscene then *ANY* NC-17 movies!!!' It's like games are being 'bad' when they are trying to be nice, and being 'good' when they are being evil. Games will ***NEVER*** Become art if all we care about is killing and sex!

Chief_Kuuni
Chief_Kuuni

sex wasn't the problem in the game, hiding the sex and not telling anyone about it was the problem. If they were open with it from the beginning they wouldn't have got sued. Cause then the parents wouldn't have bought it for their kids. And if their kids borrowed it from a friend then they could have sued the friends instead

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

That's what you get for putting sex in your game!

caveman76
caveman76

I heard of 1 case were a grandma bought her 14 year old (the game was rated 18 in the U.K ) grandson a copy of the game . He then download the hot coffee mod (his choice ) . She was soooo horrified she just had to sue . Interesting how stealing cars and murder didnt seem to offend . Iam sure this was just 1 of many of the ridiculous claimants .Get a job you money grabbing s***s !!!!! .

solidine
solidine

I still can't imagine anyone who would buy GTA would have been offended by this. Moreover, it WASN'T in the game! How can anyone demand money for something they have to tamper with the game to get? It's like blaming a store clerk an a variaty shop for making you fat because you bought all the chips and chocolate bars they sell. Actually, it might be more accurate to say you blame them after stealing all the junk food, since they didn't actually offer you anything.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

A game with sex in it? Outrageous! Sex is the activity of the devil! (sense the tone)

monson21502
monson21502

dang i need to start selling hotdogs like that dude in that screen shot. i remember this one time. my teacher in the fourth grade asked me if i was selling hotdogs. i said no, she said well your zipper is down.

7Jame5
7Jame5

omg i dont see what is the big deal? its just a game? its not even real, i think its fun in game when once in a while there a crazy minigame lol

schesak
schesak

Violence in the game didn't need to be unlocked, it's part of the core gameplay..and that's okay. But sex is bad. Society has their priorities so f'd up.

dybbuk
dybbuk

This really hurt Take Two and decimated Rockstar. The company has been trying to recover ever since. Didn't seem like management had control over its employees or at least QC seemed to be lacking. Other companies need to take note and learn a lesson (be responsible), cause Take Two fought the law and the law won! Paying the SEC 3 million, another fund of 20 million and the re-release costing 50 million! WOW! That's no chump change. As far as the GOW comparisons go, I agree that the sexual explicitness is just as bad, no argument there (I play GOW). However I think a majority of people that have a beef with the GTA series is that you can kill innocents, cops and is an expected part of gameplay. In GOW you kill "bad guys" for the most part and mythological creatures(things that don't exist in real life). Whereas GTA is set in the real world and one can kill or hurt innocent people and cops, this tends to bother certain people (it bothers me, I won't play GTA, but if you do that's your right and your business) and I think that is why GTA is placed under such a microscope, fair or not.

ThisNameIsDumb
ThisNameIsDumb

wtf... you can F*ck prositutes in your car... that's sex also WTF is going on?

darkcomedian
darkcomedian

I love it how gruesome violence is perfectly okay but people freak out when there is one sexual mini game, wow. Ive never understood Americas' panicky, "if they ever see sex before they are 35 they will turn into psychopaths" ways. Its unbelievable how people overeact to these things, America is so prude, and can be very stupid. If you want to rate my comment badly I dont give a sh**, (really? saying the rest of the censored word which is "it" would really offend people? If people get offended by that they shouldnt be on the internet) I call it like I see it.

FYMonkey
FYMonkey

And that is the end of that!... :)

Shaun373
Shaun373

So apparently sexual explicity is okay if it's obvious and ancient greek but bad if it is less obvious and modern day inner city. Got it.

shadowlord123
shadowlord123

People will complain about almost anything no matter how small it is. Even if the bigger picture being more serious(shooting police officers,hookers,people!.And so forth.) Just to get some attention. So, what if theres a hidden sex game. There are many many other games out there that have this or equal too. for example the game X Blades. That girl is practically wearing spaggetti and two leafs over her breast.

TheJamin
TheJamin

Cockerdoodle doo it's time for chicken

ASG_
ASG_

So this is worse than GTA IV where you can see the hooker doing stuff, admittedly nothing explicit but still no fuzz over that.