LA city attorney files Hot Coffee suit

Take-Two stock down sharply after latest in a series of woes befalls Grand Theft Auto publisher.

Ever since the Hot Coffee scandal, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas publisher Take-Two Interactive has taken a series of public and private hits. The company pulled the game from shelves, was the subject of a class-action lawsuit and FTC investigation, delayed the filing of its annual report with the SEC, saw one of its Manhattan offices scorched by fire, and had a member of its board of directors resign, leaving some choice words for the company on her way out.

Take-Two is dealing with more bad news today, as new litigation filed against it and an analyst downgrading the stock from "buy" to "sell" combined to send the company's stock tumbling.

Los Angeles city attorney Rocky Delgadillo announced yesterday that his office has filed suit against Take-Two Interactive, claiming the publisher "engaged in unfair business practices by hiding pornographic material in a game which received an M rating."

The suit alleges that Take-Two was fully aware of the Hot Coffee minigame when it made the game and that it manipulated the Entertainment Software Ratings Board rating process into giving the game an undeserved M for Mature.

While Delgadillo's complaint acknowledges that the Hot Coffee minigame can be played only with the help of a third-party program or device that violates the terms of Take-Two's end-user license agreement, it says that the company marketed the game "in a fashion that encourages the creation and use of mods" to boost its counterculture image and popularity.

As for what punishment Take-Two might face if found guilty of the allegations, the suit demands that Take-Two be ordered to relinquish all profits it made from sales of the game in the state of California "by affording restitution to the victimized public" and offering full refunds to customers. The city also wants the publisher and San Andreas developer Rockstar Games fined $2,500 apiece for each act of unfair competition or misleading statement under a pair of California business codes. Finally, the suit demands that Take-Two pay for the cost of Delgadillo's filing of the suit against them, and "such further relief as the court may order."

According to Delgadillo's statement, the suit is part of an ongoing investigation into the marketing of video games, though it's unclear what else the investigation entails. It bears mentioning that Delgadillo is currently running for another office, hoping to be elected the Attorney General of California this November.

The news didn't get any better for Take-Two today, as Banc of America Securities downgraded its investor recommendation on the company stock from Neutral to Sell, and it appears investors were listening. Take-Two stock was traded at more than 10 times its average volume today, shedding almost 14 percent of its value along the way, closing down $2.34 to $14.69.

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253 comments
Proman84
Proman84

Glad it all worked out in the end.

janzenp281
janzenp281

Welcome to America, Beyoncas! No wonder we haven't done anything worth mentioning in the last couple decades, we're too deep in litigation

thefathobbit
thefathobbit

Fahenheit has a far better sex mini game less pixelated, better sound effects.

thefathobbit
thefathobbit

maybe the politians had their own sexual scandal that they thought they would cover up with Hot Coffee ?

thefathobbit
thefathobbit

is it just me or is real porn far more satisfing than that anoying up down minni game. with both hands on the keyboard i find it hard get pleasure out of it.

highlife
highlife

Wow some people will do anything for a little money and attention. Um judge sir, i saw pix-elated boobs after i searched for hours on the internet for a patch to do so. Then i spent another couple of hours getting it to work. Can i have some money please, doing all this work has to be worth some money right. Too bad no one knows this guy so they can slap him for me. later

bloodyx
bloodyx

The GTA series are great, but they scewed it up with the hot coffe. This was a big mistake of Rockstar games

jtbudda
jtbudda

what is this world coming to! there was no penetration in the hot coffee mini game and rated R movies show a lot worse as it is REAL SKIN!!! They are not rated Adult only...Lame. Everbody just needs to take one of those pills from Grand Theft Auto 3 lying about in the alley's and CHILL.

boolow407
boolow407

Just some info for those that are supporting this lawsuit. If you go to cnn.com they have a video clip of "backyard wrestling" with a bunch of idiot kids beating the hell out of each other. Can we guess what the media says is the cause of this? VIDEO GAMES YAY! Lets see...This week I have seen old news brought up on the GTA series,a car wreck in Canada that the Canadian officials thankfully debunked video games as the cause,and now wrestling games (pro AND mock backyard)now being blamed. Where will this stop? Will Mario be next for glorifying drug use? (He DOES eat mushrooms) I say ban Hillary Clinton for glorifying drug use and adultery. Look at her husband Bill. Those two need to go back to their inbred town that they came from.

Col-Neil
Col-Neil

who cares about this hot coffe thing, on any GTA game its clearly shown this is a game not for kids, and has adult themes. So agian like Joshua250 said its a guy just getting his 5 mins of fame. Ps youd think folk would have better things to do with there time but guess not

boolow407
boolow407

It is stupid and sad consequence....people today would sell out their own parents to make a buck. They say people who play these games have no morals or values. Really? They have nothing better to do but chase after video game developers? I guess the rest of the world is perfect. There is no need to spend tax money on REAL crimes that are going on. They cant be lobbying for better police pay (which ironically being a fan of this game and its genre, I STRONGLY support). Hillary Clinton and Jack Thompson are the ones that dont know the difference between make believe and real life. Here is real life-Right now our country is up to its neck with corrupt politicians. Our military is spread thin from Iraq, Afghanistan and we face a possible nuclear crisis with Iran. Our borders are a joke. Bird flu, global warming, terrorism, gas prices, social security etc. etc. etc. and we are worried about a video game?! I know who im voting for next election! At least in the sewer that the US is gonna become, I can be rest assured my TV wont be playing the likes of GTA. Why would I need to? When the reality is alot worse and is happening right outside my front door.

boolow407
boolow407

Heres a thought...Walmarts and Best buy want to be correct and not offend anyone. These people that are suing Rockstar dont know the can of worms they are opening, and should really just let things be. Support the rating system and NOT these stupid lawsuits because it will only give other lawyers more ammo for their lawsuits against other games. Which ones? Okay, if I was Muslim, and go to Best buy and see "The Bible Game" on the shelf, im gonna sue. That offends me because I am Muslim, Athiest, or whatever. The gaming industry doesnt have an Allah or prophet Mohamed game. If I was a vegetarian, or an animal rights loon, I can sue over Cabellas "Big Game Hunter" because it promotes violence against my furry friends. If I had a kid killed or my relative was killed by a reckless driver, I can sue over games like "Need for Speed" and all I had to do to prove my case is show the reckless driver owned NFS. This is scary, and actually, there was another post here concerning some dumb kids racing their parents Benz in Canada. They crashed and killed a cab driver. In the back seat a copy of Need for Speed. The only ones who win in these lawsuits are politicians and money hungry lawyers. If this all keeps up, pretty soon we will be all playing pong again because they are eliminating every game in the gaming industry, one by one. No game is safe as long as a scumbag lawyer can make a buck off of its contents.

The_Consequence
The_Consequence

This. Is. Stupid. I hate the fact that so many people are suing Rockstar and Take-Two, for their own stupid fault. Or joining in to sap cash out of 'em.

GCN49
GCN49

boolow407... i couldn't agree more...

boolow407
boolow407

GCN49-I get what your saying. Few years back the Walmarts here (In Cali)pulled guns off their shelves because of the Columbine incident. All that did was boost sales of guns for the little gun shops around. What Rockstar can do if they really want to screw these loonies over, is to go ahead and sell these games from Rockstar direct,and/or (and I believe its gonna happen)online.Game retailers like Best Buy who want to be "politically correct"have their day coming.No offense to them,but online purchasing is gonna be the thing. They can go ahead and slap an AO rating on the game and this SHOULD please everyone. Really,how many 17 or 14 year olds have a credit card to purchase a game online? Then it all comes down to one thing and I will say it again. Parents need to be parents. If they are cool with their 14 Y.O. playing these games,cool(Ive been watching R rated movies since I was REAL young,I turned out OK). If not, take a more proactive role in your kids life. Censor what they see at home, they will only sneak behind your back. Talk to them and be a parent. Stop having Hillary Clinton and Jack Thompson play Mommy and Daddy because YOU cant.

GCN49
GCN49

It seems to me that the only video games being attacked for their violence are games that are Mature rated. Why? I have a theory... because all the critics want to have the ratings for Mature rated games increased to Adult Only ratings like what happened with Grand Theft Auto... why is this? Because they care for the well-being of the nation's youth... no, not really... it is because Wal-Mart, EB Games, Gamestop, Target, Best Buy, and Circuit City, the primary establishments where video games are bought and sold all have policies against selling Adult Only rated video games... this is about getting video games off of store shelves and away from the public because a few people don't like video games for some reason or another... they could care less otherwise...

boolow407
boolow407

Another thought on this, I think people are attacking the hot coffee mod for other reasons. The mainplay of the game has carjacking, gang violence, and cop killing. People then find a hidden mod that has pixelated nudity and there is hell to pay. The Sims has pixelated nudity but is nowhere near the scrutiny GTA is facing. Ok, all the violence stated earlier, then we find a censored act of sex and the game is demon spawn. Did these people ever watch a nature channel (designed for children!)? The sex in the game is somewhat censored. All this boils down to is lawyers once again making their fat pockets fatter by looking for any loophole necessary to make a buck.Really, get a life. I think LAWYERS should be censored on the frivolous lawsuits they pull out of their A**. As stated earlier, if you support them banning games like this, be a real parent and stop having the government babysit for you. Dont like the game? Play the bible game for all we (GTA) fans care. Have a looky at what goes on at your kids playground rather then a game made for adults. Its not candyland anymore.

Sirian808
Sirian808

Take-Two is getting what they deserved. You can't just put that in a game and forget about it...and seriously, why did they put it in in the first place?

gils0n
gils0n

Ouch. You had to know some greedy lawyer would take advantage of an already awful situation.

irongiant14
irongiant14

I want a front row seat the day this ambitious political hack is put before an electorate of irate gamers. I'm playijng San Andreas, now, and it is one of the deepest, most playful games ever. Him and the other anti-gaming demagogs can dri up and blow away. He's probably funded by movie, beer & tv industry money, where they sell sex all day long.

krisalid
krisalid

:)) quite right onimushaiw. I don't wanna see the end of Gta when i saw all new Gta III in 2002 i remained shocked.Liberty,your choice in doing things;so beautiful..... Thing again people

onimushaiw
onimushaiw

it's a joke suing over a game and any retard can get a gun with police background check :)))

boolow407
boolow407

brywalt-By the way....I like your profile and go figure. Avid democrat. Thats all fine and dandy,but you blasted Rockstar for this and you rated Halo 2 at 9.2? Not all democrats are bad,but they seem to be the the crybabies lately because they cant get their way. Imagine Hilary in office! Theres a winner. As a war veteran, alot of them make me want to puke. I support Rockstar and will continue to fight for simple things taken for granted that alot have forgotten lately. A simple thing called freedom.

boolow407
boolow407

Brywalt-First of all if you dont like the content of the game then dont play it!!!I agree with the rating system and there should be regulations on selling to minors etc. People no longer enjoy just Mario, Sonic or Pong.We have grown up and video games are not just for children anymore. If the movie industry was based on that we would all be watching Disney or religious movies.I hate when people cant be real parents and supervise their own children.They need the government to step in and do it for them.You also dont like people saying things about California.Maybe some hatred towards the game is based on this.Have you ever been through Watts or Compton?This stuff goes on EVERYDAY.Yeah,some people play out the character and glorify him in their mind.Imagine living that life!The game is just for fun and entertainment.The governor not the populace?Was he miracled in office?California has its good and bad.I cannot even believe some parts (San Francisco)wanting to ban military recruiting.When disaster strikes like a quake,we can keep the military out,federal funding out because the people up there dont want military presence.Rioting will happen as it did in New Orleans.I really doubt they will be holding hands up there after the disaster.Thats another story in itself.Bottom line and I will say it again.DONT HAVE THE GOVERNMENT BABYSIT YOUR KIDS FOR YOU.Also,check out the bible game.Maybe if we get enough frivolous lawsuits like this one,that will be the future of games.I can think of alot of better things to put our tax dollars towards than this BS.

QAAQ
QAAQ

That's Such Bull****

brywalt
brywalt

A lot of people support Rockstar in this issue. Well, I for one, say it's about time. Rockstar should have been sued EARLIER, like right when this happened. Rockstar put the entire gaming industry under scrutiny when this happened. I know the First Amendment, but this was immoral, anti-family, and very,very,very wrong. And I don't appreciate people saying stuff about California. Our governor may be an idiot, but not our populace. Remember that most of the gaming,and computer industry is BASED in California.

boo_dat
boo_dat

just another excuse for politicians to play videogames...lol

DrKill09
DrKill09

would they just let the dead dog rot already. I mean, the "hot coffee" scene is SOOOOO OLD. Who cares. I mean, they had more realistic sex scenes in the movie Heavy Metal. The hot coffee scene was merely an unfinished idea that Rockstar SCRAPPED. It was never meant to be seen. Those damn lawers should get over it already, imho.

MadGamer132
MadGamer132

can we just stop the madness, please.

zaofan
zaofan

Another politician running for office attempting to win votes by senselessly attacking those who don't deserve it....my, how suprising.

boolow407
boolow407

Final thought....I live in California. This lawsuit is from L.A. I hope the Governor thinks really hard about this one. How many violent movies did you play in Mr Governor? These idiots are treading on your turf now! Be a man and not a GIRLY-MAN Arnold and step in. We would love to hear your take on this!!!

jaefrmbk2k
jaefrmbk2k

i gotta say it botherd me the most that they lied about knowledge of the code bein' in there. they should jus been gansta wit it like-yeah, AN' what!

jaefrmbk2k
jaefrmbk2k

excellent point Seraphim. i enjoyd yer post.

Seraphim_24
Seraphim_24

Ya know I'm not offended by two barbie doll-esque figures doing the bump and grind, its no mor epornographic than the scene in Team America world police... I still think that people are over reacting, and since there is a mark about sexuality on the rating explanation on the back of the box this should be covered already. In reality the same material would get a movie a mere R rating. I think that the ESRB is already extremely harsh, I would not have given DOA X or DOA 4 an M rating as what nudity is present is not anatomically correct, so why should it be offensive? I mean I got teh same reguar exposure to that kind of "pornography" any time my little sister would leave her barbie dolls in the living room. These sorts of over reacting indicate that our society is really immature sexually. Really immature. I know that sounds odd comming from a neo-radical conservative Christian who is well known for dismissing GTA as corporate manufactured crap like myself, but it would take anitomically correct CGI to offend me. I say that people need to get off Take-Two's case.

Fragmaster3000
Fragmaster3000

Arg, yet another attack on free speech by the Christian Reich (lol) the only reason why anyone cares is this is counrty is nearly a Theocrasy, which beleives sodomy is wrong.

jaefrmbk2k
jaefrmbk2k

i'm not worried. even if no more GTA's come out they can't take the wonderful experiences i've had with GTA so far-i'll die a happy man :)

fumbly
fumbly

dear god only in america could such a fuss be raised over a video game of all things, grow up people and stop making up legal stautes just to cover the eventuallity of a situation like this

thespyhunter86
thespyhunter86

you can't say you didn't see it coming...as for those people who say this is too late, keep in mind that it takes eons to get lawsuits and other court business through and announced. even though it pains me to see this happen, because i really did like all of the gta games, i think take two is getting exactly what they deserve and what they brought on themselves.

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

saw that one coming..... they'll probably win too.

fitzza_1301
fitzza_1301

this is just another example of ppl scrounging money of the people who earnt it from taxes to the hot coffee law suits its all the same.

SinfulSpikey
SinfulSpikey

This is bloody retarded. -_-;;; Has our country will degraded to a point where we can have idiots doing things like this? And probably win? This is almost as stupid as the lady suing McDonalds because she spilt coffee on her. Hey, wait a second...

SWEToryu
SWEToryu

Sadly some people wants to forbid a part of the game.. Well then it's no freedom then....If it goes through with law suit!!! See what happens... Right??

rot3k10
rot3k10

People need to just let the companys make what they want. If you need a third party mod tool thats first off, not LEGAL under the aggrement, then it's not Take-Twos fault! I hate people who just want to sue because it's there. You crummy SOBS!!!!

sharpshooter188
sharpshooter188

christ man. people just wont leave the games alone. im starting to wonder if another random shooting is in order. just as payback =\ tired of everyone attacking the game industry for "edgy" games. first its a murder training thing. oh but now its porno. dude... rated M is 18 and over anyways now. christ people are dumb.