Rockstar: GTA 'Hot Coffee' scandal was 'draining and upsetting'

Cofounder Dan Houser recalls controversy surrounding sex minigame was a "tough time" at the company.

142 Comments

Much of the attention surrounding Rockstar Games lately has been in regards to Grand Theft Auto V. However, in a new Guardian interview, company cofounder Dan Houser talked about the studio's past, specifically the controversy surrounding the sex minigame in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

No Caption Provided

"It was draining and upsetting; a tough time in the company," Houser said. He added, "The massive social decay that we were supposed to induce hasn't happened. So in that regard, a lot of those debates that used to go on, they're not such a big deal now."

Houser further claimed that Rockstar may have been unfairly attacked simply due to the fact that GTA: San Andreas was a game, not a movie or book.

"We never felt that we were being attacked for the content; we were being attacked for the medium, which felt a little unfair," he said. "If all of this stuff had been put into a book or a movie, people wouldn't have blinked an eye. And there are far bigger issues to worry about in society than this."

The sex minigame in GTA: San Andreas was discovered during the summer of 2005. It prompted an investigation from the Federal Trade Commission, attracted the attention of Hilary Clinton, and cost Take-Two an estimated $50 million.

GTAV is due out worldwide during spring 2013 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Wii U and PC versions are "up for consideration."

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 142 comments about this story
142 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for taylor420420
taylor420420

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By taylor420420

"GTAV is due out worldwide during spring 2013 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3..."

"Release: Sep 17, 2013"

So you are saying that September is in Spring now? Oh.. so it must be Fall right now..

Upvote • 
Avatar image for deactivated-5e05ad978748a
deactivated-5e05ad978748a

45

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 0

@taylor420420 Must be global warming.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for ogremalfeitor
ogremalfeitor

171

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By ogremalfeitor

@taylor420420 Err... that's correct, if you live south to the Equator line. For example, in some countries in Africa and South America it's Fall right now.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Tintonlong
Tintonlong

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@ogremalfeitor @taylor420420 Yeah except that the release dates listed are all for northern hemisphere countries. It's entirely more believable that we're talking about a typo or a brain fart here, and not an intentional mention of Rockstar's flagship product being released in Tanzania in the Spring!



Upvote • 
Avatar image for YummyMango
YummyMango

265

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By YummyMango

Although I think the way it was escalated was just pure BS but at the same time why did these guys put it in the game at first place. I enjoyed it though but I agree with one of the comments that game would have been same without it. Best GTA yet.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Downloadpilot
Downloadpilot

1012

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 13

User Lists: 0

Edited By Downloadpilot

Why'd they even put it in the game? It would've been the same without it. lol

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Superabound
Superabound

28

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By Superabound

@Downloadpilot They put it in the game, and then decided to take it out. Someone exploring the game code and assests discovered the discarded and disabled minigame and designed a patch to re-enable it.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Downloadpilot
Downloadpilot

1012

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 13

User Lists: 0

@Superabound @Downloadpilot I know, but my point is the minigame shouldn't have ever crossed the minds at Rockstar before they decided to put it in to take it out. I mean really, what is the need to actually control sex in a video game?

Upvote • 
Avatar image for TohouAsura
TohouAsura

40

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

@Downloadpilot @Superabound

"I mean really, what is the need to actually control sex in a video game?"

What is the need to brutally murder and kill people in a video game?

There is none, it's fun. So can be controlled sex. You never tried it, did you? Keep the puritan attitude at bay.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for ahpuck
ahpuck

3475

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 100

User Lists: 0

@Downloadpilot @Superabound Well, according to Kratos, it gives you extra powers.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for vivalatour
vivalatour

1121

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 0

it's all because the Hilary and Dr. Ruth affair is no longer !

Upvote • 
Avatar image for silverwings21
silverwings21

51

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

Edited By silverwings21

Hilary is just mad because Bill isn't giving it to her.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for redskinStu
redskinStu

748

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 31

User Lists: 0

Ha, ha, too funny. "Hilary Clinton was concerned," who gives a f*ck.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for thedeadraptor
thedeadraptor

72

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

Very true! Indeed video games are the scapegoat of everything that is bad now at days.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Spitf1re-us
Spitf1re-us

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

It was a year long investigation? Was the government that bored.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for JukedSolid
JukedSolid

991

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 7

User Lists: 0

Edited By JukedSolid

@Spitf1re-us They never actually do anything. They are however, always looking for things that make it *seem* like they're doing something.

3 • 
Avatar image for BIOJECT
BIOJECT

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 23

User Lists: 0

Funny there was literally a sex minigame in God of War and nobody seemed to care.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Zetsuie
Zetsuie

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 0

Edited By Zetsuie

@BIOJECT exactly

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Downloadpilot
Downloadpilot

1012

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 13

User Lists: 0

Edited By Downloadpilot

@BIOJECT I guess Rockstar just did it better. lol

Upvote • 
Avatar image for scared7
scared7

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By scared7

@BIOJECT Yeah, i know and we could even get a trophy/archievement for this mini sexgame in GOW

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Scorchstar
Scorchstar

363

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By Scorchstar

@BIOJECT Was about to say the same thing.

That minigame was fun.

Too much fun...

Upvote • 
Avatar image for holtrocks
holtrocks

1599

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 7

User Lists: 0

I hate society.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for stev69
stev69

161

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 28

User Lists: 0

Wow Hilary Clinton got involved? Well at least it wasn't a cynical ploy to boost her public profile for her re-election to the senate in 2006......oh wait I see what I did wrong there.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for GrummmDidley
GrummmDidley

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By GrummmDidley

@Ice-Cube @itchyflop ...I dont even know where to begin on the fails in this comment. GTA V has been confirmed over and over as being this gen. Release date for PS3 and Xbox 360 is september 17. Wii U and PC versions are "up for consideration," according to Rockstar Games cofounder Dan Houser.

Now, im hopeing that there will b a "Bully" style "Scholarship Edition" with a higher res, better textures and anti-aliasing for the next gen. But dude u fail.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for JohnF111
JohnF111

14190

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 12

User Lists: 0

I don't think should have had any negative feedback, they removed it and it was inaccessible with normal use.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for BloodyAura
BloodyAura

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Parents should take responsability and stop using media,games and the like to raise their kids! This game has an M rating for a reason,and back then I thought this was so dumb,and of couse those groups popped up spouting bs like, ''See!Games are evil!!''-what were kids doing playing this and where's there parental authority!-THAT's the REAL problem!.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for dazer2001
dazer2001

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By dazer2001

Why is sex so taboo anyways? It's GTA people! You go around killing people and dealing drugs! What the hell is wrong with our society. Don't get me wrong I like the games, I just don't get what the big deal is. If you are mature enough to kill people in a game you are mature enough to play an innocent sex game (I tried it, it was more funny than revealing or sexual). Also, I'm pretty sure R rated movies have sex scenes...

Upvote • 
Avatar image for videogamer008
videogamer008

67

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 12

User Lists: 0

Edited By videogamer008

so am i hearing this correctly or not.... fill free to comment..... i respect everybody's opinions and commnts. are people upset about sex minigames... well, i respect people comments and opinions but in my opinion it is Grand Theft Auto so it has to have kinky things in it because it wouldn't be GTA games without them features.

TONS of RESPECT: i hope i said my opinion in a respectfully kind way but if I didn't, everyone is welcome to comment me, give their opinions, and/or message me because i do respect others as they way i want to be treated. peace out

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Icepick_Trotter
Icepick_Trotter

40

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

That'll teach you to try to pretend sex is a thing that exists.

Now be a good boy and stick to consequience-free violence and drugs.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for TTDog
TTDog

3436

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 72

User Lists: 0

May have been less distressing if they hadn't claimed it was a "mod" when the news first broke only for the code to turn up on the PS2 disk as well.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Superabound
Superabound

28

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By Superabound

@TTDog It WAS a "mod". The minigame was on the disk but it was completely disabled and unplayable. It was taken out of the game. Someone discovered the discarded game assests and wrote a mod to re-enable them.

Saying that its still in the game is like saying a PG-13 movie is actually rated R because of the deleted scenes. They were deliberately taken out in order to receive a lower rating. If you put them back in yourself, thats on you, not them.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for TTDog
TTDog

3436

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 72

User Lists: 0

@Superabound They implied, if not stated, that the PC version was user written content... it was only when the code was found on the PS2 disks that they admitted it was a feature they "left out" of the game.

A "Mod" is user developed content which this clearly wasn't.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for TTDog
TTDog

3436

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 72

User Lists: 0

Edited By TTDog

@Superabound Still not a mod... the content is there already, all they've basically created is an "unlock" key the same as Capcom are so fond of using to access the on disk DLC.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Superabound
Superabound

28

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By Superabound

@TTDog @Superabound The only thing that made the "Hot Coffee" content accessible WAS user written content. And if the content wasnt in the final submitted version of the game, it makes sense that the majority of the people involved, especially at the top, would not even be aware of its existence.

"Hot Coffee" was not playable/knowable without a user created mod and thats a fact. It wasnt IN the game as sold. Its kinda like using a mod to remove the pixelation of nudity in The Sims, except much harder. You wouldnt even know the files and textures were on the disc without (illegally) cracking open the game code with 3rd party programs.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for tightwad34
tightwad34

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 0

Not only was it draining and upsetting, but it was also completely pointless to make anything of it. All it did was give some parents(mainly stupid bitches) something to make a fuss over. I suppose religion played some role in it and that just makes me LOL even more at them.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for toddx77
toddx77

3395

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 9

User Lists: 0

@HipHopBeats @s_h_a_d_o @Threesixtyci If a boy can't tell the difference between sex from games and real life then he needs some serious help lol.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for max-hit
max-hit

179

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

What ever it was it was awsome =)) hahaha.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for the_link_keeper
the_link_keeper

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

@max-hit Haha, fair enough. Would you agree that the solution involves finding a way to prevent children from accessing the content rather than banning the content itself?

2 • 
Avatar image for NickPunt636
NickPunt636

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@the_link_keeper @max-hit There I agree fully.

Upvote •