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Lukewarm response to Hot Coffee settlement

<i>The New York Times</i> reports that less than 2,700 US residents have collected under $30,000 following class action over hit game.


In November, Take-Two Interactive reached a settlement with disgruntled purchasers of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas over a class action suit stemming from the the hidden "Hot Coffee" sex minigame. The suit brought threatened to have the publisher pay out as much as $2.75 million for the game, which has generated over $370 million in revenue by selling above over 9.1 million copies in the US, according to the NPD Group.

Those who were offended by the game and pledged that they wouldn't have purchased San Andreas had they known about the Hot Coffee content could snag between $5 and $35 from Take-Two in restitution. Despite the mainstream media furor and political posturing that arose in the wake of the minigame's discovery, only 2,676 filed claims in the Take-Two class action settlement, according to The New York Times. Those claims totaled less than $30,000, meaning Take-Two will make up the rest of the $1 million minimum it pledged to spend as part of the settlement by other means, including an $860,000 charitable contribution.

By contrast, the lawyers whose suit brought about the settlement are seeking $1.3 million in legal fees. With the settlement still awaiting judicial approval, another lawyer unrelated to the case is seeking to have it denied. According to the paper, Theodore H. Frank, director of the Legal Center for the Public Interest at the American Enterprise Institute, believes the lawyers who brought the case are either "selling out" their clients to get their own payday, or brought a suit that had no merit to begin with.

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