Rockstar Indicted In Los Angeles Over Hot Coffee
The controversy surrounding the “Hot Coffee” mod and related content in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has taken a new turn today, with the news that the Los Angeles city attorney’s office has sued Rockstar and parent companyTake-Two Interactive over the issue.
Official Rocky Delgadillo has revealed the lawsuit, which accuses the publishers of making misleading statements in marketing the game and engaging in unfair competition. Following the release of the Hot Coffee fan modification, it became possible to unlock unfinished mini-games of a sexual nature within the PC and then console versions, albeit with file editing or 'Action Replay'-style code unlocks. At first Rockstar claimed that all the content was fan-created, but later relented when the console versions of the game were also found to include the same mini-games.
As a result of the controversy surrounding the incident, the game was reclassified in the U.S. as Adults-Only, until versions of the game with the mini-game content removed could be brought to market. The Los Angeles lawsuit seems to focus on the 12 million units sold before the reclassification, 200,000 of which are thought to have been sold in California, generating more than $10 million in retail sales.
"Businesses have an obligation to truthfully disclose the content of their products - whether in the food we eat or the entertainment we consume," Delgadillo said, according to an Associate Press report. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, is apparently part of an ongoing investigation into the marketing of video games by the office. Delgadillo is seeking civil penalties from Rockstar/Take-Two Interactive and is requesting that they take action to ensure full disclosure to consumers about the content of their video games.