Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Take Two Shareholders to sue over Hot Coffee 85

Posted by Zonk
from the controversy-is-good-fo-business dept.
casualsax3 writes "Take Two, the publisher of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, is facing more legal action over the game. Separately, two law firms have filed class-action lawsuits on behalf of shareholders who they say lost money due to the controversy about the game. This comes right on the heels of news that the Sex Workers Outreach Program is calling for a boycott of the game."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Take Two Shareholders to sue over Hot Coffee

Comments Filter:
  • Relax! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Zardus (464755) <yans@yancomm.net> on Saturday February 18, 2006 @05:41PM (#14751509) Homepage Journal
    The shareholders should get together with the Sex Workers Outreach Program and get some relaxation time in!
  • The problem is.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thegrassyknowl (762218) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @05:43PM (#14751523)
    The share holders are in dire need of the sex workers union. Anyone who is going to use this as an excuse to sue is fucking crazy. Hot Coffee didn't make them lose money. It publicised the game to a lot more people than ever before. I know people who paid for a copy to just see that extra bit.

    Americans are so fucking mad
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18, 2006 @05:47PM (#14751547)
    It's really clearly starting to look to me like the biggest mistake Take Two made with the hot coffee incident was admitting fault. If they'd just stood up and said "screw you, the content isn't in the game unless you mod it, and even after you mod it it's less extreme than content that already exists in other M games", fought the opportunistic politicians trying to exploit them, and fought the ESRB AO rating, they'd have come out of this much better. They'd have made a lot of enemies but at least they'd have managed to get some damage control out of it and at least that's something, the response they ultimately chose had no positive side effects at all.
    • If they'd just stood up and said "screw you, the content isn't in the game unless you mod it, and even after you mod it it's less extreme than content that already exists in other M games"

      How is that different to admitting fault?

    • They'd have made a lot of enemies

      Take Two had all the enemies it could stand.

      It says something when upstate New York soccer moms, the Haitian poor of Miami, Las Vegas prostitutes and center-right politicians everywhere unite in a common cause.

      Take Two tried damage control.
      Then HC was found embedded in the console ports of the game...

    • by supabeast! (84658) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @06:57PM (#14751911)
      What you're clearly missing here is that Take-Two/Rockstar never had any chance at controlling this and coming out on top. It didn't matter what Take-Two/Rockstar said in their own defense, because this entire story exists because the American news media serves mainly to titilate its audience with twisted facts taken out of context followed by a lot of outright lies. And nobody was ever going to come to Take-Two/Rockstar's aid, because they're just a bunch of rich white nerds making games for a living, they don't fit into popular concepts of victims needing defense.

      Take-Two/Rockstar are just as much a victim of America's depraved acceptance of a media that's little better than the state-controlled media of facist regimes than it is the developer's own stupidity.
      • by Sigma 7 (266129)

        What you're clearly missing here is that Take-Two/Rockstar never had any chance at controlling this and coming out on top. It didn't matter what Take-Two/Rockstar said in their own defense, because this entire story exists because the American news media serves mainly to titilate its audience with twisted facts taken out of context followed by a lot of outright lies

        Actually, they do - all they need to create is a bounty where the first person to produce said sex scene in an unmodified game gets a prize (e

      • Lets see, facts taken out of context? 1. There is a sex minigame in every copy of San Andreas (as of that point) That seems pretty true to me. 2. Six year olds play San Andreas Also true, although not exactly Take Two's fault. 3. Take Two lied about the fact taht the minigame was in fact hidden in the game, and not an add on. Proven true, look it up. I see no facts out of context. Face it, Take Two created a game, left sexual content in that game, which is played by children. Now, I like GTA, and e
        • by kreyg (103130)
          The main point is that it is impossible to access the mini-game through any mechanism provided by the game as distributed - you need to either modify the game or the save file. It's not something you can stumble across accidentally. Unless you are intentionally looking for it, you'll never see it.

          If you are intentionally looking for such things, it's vastly easier to find something racier on the net than what is effectively a Ken and Barbie doll suggestively animated. Regardless of any wrongdoing, the w

          • It's not something you can stumble across accidentally. Unless you are intentionally looking for it, you'll never see it

            ----- until someone on the inside points you in the right direction.

            The problem from the beginning was Rockstar's reputation for pushing the limits of public tolerance for adult content in an M-rated game.

            Hot Coffee didn't look like an aberration, it looked exactly like what it was, an explicit rendering of an existing in-game scenario.

        • The facts taken out of context are that they didn't leave the content in the game. They left it on the disc, but it was completely inaccessible without hacking the game. Are you going to blame Maxis for people putting out an "unblur" hack for The Sims, too?

          Anyone old enough to deal with the violence in GTA is also old enough to deal with sex. Being that it has an "M" rating, children shouldn't be playing it period, SO THERE SHOULD BE NO ISSUE HERE.

          Don't even get me started on how American culture has an
      • Take Two / Rockstar are not victims by a long shot. Are you saying that Take Two didn't know that someone would figure out a way of modding the game to show the hotcoffee parts? I mean, come on! if there is a hidden easter egg type of thing in a game, someone is going to find it.. I am sure Take Two knew that..

        Take Two released these parts hidden to escape the rating system, but nonethess with full knowledge that that it would be modded by someone to show these parts and that this would drammatically increa
      • It didn't matter what Take-Two/Rockstar said in their own defense, because this entire story exists because the American news media serves mainly to titilate its audience with twisted facts taken out of context followed by a lot of outright lies.
        I've heard this type of thing described as "soccer mom porn."
    • No. The biggest mistake they made was allowing the Hot Coffee content in the game in the first place. There are many software tools which let you keep track of what code made it into the game, when it got there, who put it there, what's the test case, etc. I do this all the fucking time-- it's not simple, but it ain't rocket science.

      If they did proper auditing they would have seen this mysterious chunk of data or code and could have removed it before shipping a hundred thousand units.
      • What makes you think it was an unauthorized action that landed the code in there? Isn't it more likely that the feature was planned and approved but as the game drew closer to finishing the manager responsible got cold feet and ordered it to be removed again?
        • At some point I read a statement from Take Two saying "We didn't know the code was in there, therefore we didn't violate any of decency laws".

          I'm totally open to the idea that they put the code in there on purpose, but in that case maybe they really do deserve to get sued by the shareholders. They didn't remove the code.

    • It's really clearly starting to look to me like the biggest mistake Take Two made with the hot coffee incident was admitting fault.

      Not quite... the biggest mistake they made was first blaming it on nebulous "hackers" who "modified" the programming, as if the Hot Coffee content was some sort of homebrew add-on. This was incredibly stupid (I suspect spokespeople and the bigwigs didn't understand the situation with their own product) and turned out shown to be factually wrong because the code was then show

      • because the code was then shown to be unlockable in the consoles as well

        How do you unlock it on a console without further manual modification of the original product requiring other after market modifications? Please elaborate.

        • How do you unlock it on a console without further manual modification of the original product requiring other after market modifications? Please elaborate.

          With a GameShark, adjusting a few addresses so the Hot Coffee missions become active.

          Take Two originally said: "So far we have learned that the "hot coffee" modification is the work of a determined group of hackers who have gone to significant trouble to alter scenes in the official version of the game"
          which becomes a provable false statement once e

          • If you let me change the game (yes, that's what a Gameshark does), I can put sexual content into every game and application you've ever owned.

            Try again. Show me how to access "Hot Coffee" without any after market modifications.

            • Try again. Show me how to access "Hot Coffee" without any after market modifications.

              I don't need to Try again. Take Two is getting pummeled by lawsuits and by Wall Street because of their attempted misdirection. What you're trying to say is "If you don't want trouble, don't go looking for it" (which I would normally agree with) but that is not the whole story.

              Take Two (or specifically their Rockstar division) left working Hot Coffee code within the game, which can be reached with a few address pointer

              • No, they're quite correct (and yes, I'm a software developer). If the content cannot be reached in ANY WAY without after market modifications - and it cannot - then it's not "in the game".

                If you let me modify your word.exe I promise you I can make it quite naughty.

  • by technoextreme (885694) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @06:04PM (#14751628)
    Didn't he buy stock in Take Two? Im sure his name is right on the top of both suits.
  • GET OVER IT.
    With or without the help of a sex worker.
  • I'm not fond of gratitous sex and killing in video games. If you have to have it, fine, but the game should have some sort of warning on the front. Maybe "M" for mature? This code would prevent minors from buying the game, similar to "R" rated movies that contain sex/killing/raping/cussing.

    Wait, they already have this "M" label?

    Where is the problem? Either "M" games are getting rated "T", which is not the case here, or Wal-Mart, EB Games, etc are not enforcing the rating when they sell. Hardly a TakeTwo pro
    • Wait, they already have this "M" label? Where is the problem?

      There's a big difference between a very mild M (e.g. Forsaken 64, which had no sex, no dialogue to speak of, and no more violence than T-rated Goldeneye 007) and an extreme M (the cleaned up version of GTA: San Andreas). Trouble is that the explanation of this difference is hid on the back of the box, which is behind glass.

      • How about a 16 (mild) and 18 (strong) mature rating then? Since AO means porn to most people that can't be used to differentiate M games. Works for European rating systems, should work for North America, too.
      • It's too bad the box isn't taken out of the glass case before purchasing OH WAI-
        • It's too bad the box isn't taken out of the glass case before purchasing OH WAI-

          Suggested use case: Pick up one game, look at the back, put the game back on the shelf, and repeat until you have found a suitable game. The problem with this use case is that in Wal-Mart, the parent can't take several games out of the glass case one at a time to check the back of each one without hogging a CSM's time and potentially creating a perception of being impolite and/or a "demon customer".

          • Then take a few out at once, review, and return accordingly. Why should it matter if they think you are a "demon customer"; this is their fucking job. If you aren't acting like a dick about the whole situation, then they shouldn't have anything to complain about.

            If this seriously becomes a problem, there are other places that put the games in more accesible containers. If you are still having problems, maybe you should ask for help; while Walmart may not be renowned for their knowledgable staff in the elec

            • Then take a few out at once

              "You're only allowed to have one out at once unless you're taking it up to the checkout counter. Sorry, insurance rules."

              If this seriously becomes a problem, there are other places that put the games in more accesible containers.

              With gas prices that are this high?

              Not being able to make a good choice for your child because of a piece of easily-bypassed glass is just lazy

              So is being a below-median American.

      • Right, milder games have been getting M-Ratings for years, mainly because when the rating system came out, M-Rated games basically didn't exist on consoles (they did on PCs). If someone tried to create one, the console gatekeepers would send it back to them and make them censor it. This same kind of hypersensitivity caused games which didn't deserve an M-Rating to get it (no one will ever convince me that the original Mortal Kombat deserved an M-Rating).

        So, we have a two tiered M-Rating (overprotective

        • I agree with most of your comment, except there was one thing I wanted to point out:

          If enough people do that maybe they'll come out with a T-12 rating (something like PG-13).

          The E, E10+, and T ratings correspond roughly to G, PG, and PG-13.

  • So.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @06:24PM (#14751755) Journal
    So you sue a company, bring up more press about it and cost them money on lawyers... because they lost you money?

    This is going to cost them even more money. The other share holders should sue them for this.
    • Re:So.. (Score:3, Insightful)

      Yeah, that about sums it up. I would only add, that suing a company's who's stock you own is exactly like shooting yourself in the foot. The company may fire the programmers, then their next game may not be such a big seller, the stock tanks and the shareholders lose *more* money.

      In the interests of poetic justice, any settlement the company makes with the shareholders ought to be in the form of more shares... Imagine taking *that* for a spin through the courts if/when the stock takes a hit: "Boo hoo, t

  • Reality Check (Score:2, Insightful)

    Grand Theft Auto has made millions for these people. You don't get points for beating up prostitutes any more than you get points for beating up anybody else, in the form of cash dropped. The missions (which never seem to involve killing hookers) reward much more richly. The game encourages the forming of relationships, and protecting girls, for which, again, you will get many more rewards. So please explain why this game, above others, in it's unmodded retail form, upsets prostitutes and shareholders?
    • So please explain why this game, above others, in it's unmodded retail form, upsets prostitutes and shareholders?

      Because prostitutes and shareholders will do anything for a quick buck.

      • Which is why I think they every lawyer is a blood sucking leech, just like the ones portrayed in the GTA series...oh wait...

        Just a thought, couldn't lawyers sue for the depiction of lawyers in GTA? I mean, GTA makes it look like they are all criminal...Oh wait...

        Karem

  • Aw, diddums (Score:4, Insightful)

    by payndz (589033) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @07:30PM (#14752060)
    Did the poor widdle shareholders lose money when they thought all they could do was win, win, win?

    What happened to 'the value of shares may go down as well as up', or didn't they read the small print? Boo hoo. The stock market is basically upmarket gambling. They gambled, and they lost. Cry me a river.

  • Who ever heard of this anyway? Suing a company because their coffee is too hot? Coffee is supposed to be hot.

    Yeah, but Jackie says the top was faulty

    ref: seinfeld.
  • Dear Shareholders:

    You purchased stock in Company A. Company A made decision X and decision Y. Decision Y caused them to loose money. The law does not entitle you to sue company A for not making you rich. It's the inherent risk of owning stock.

    In other news, I'm filing suit against the Texas State Lottery for picking the wrong numbers in last weeks drawing. I paid good money for my lottery ticket, and I have a right not to loose that money because of other people's failure to do exactly what I wa
  • two law firms have filed class-action lawsuits

    Lawyers screw people for money.
    Prostitutes screw people for money.

    If this keeps up, Take-Two is going to be sued by politicians next.

  • This is just like the McDonald's lawsuit. Sued over hot coffee. So what's the story this time, the Take Two shareholders are whining because the coffee served at the shareholder's meeting is too hot?
  • Some investors invest in a company that sells a product that is popular (and thus profitable) because of gratuitious sex and violence, and then they want to sue the company because their games have gratuitious sex and violence ?

    Dean G.

  • Precident? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Loconut1389 (455297)
    McDonald's got sued over Hot Coffee too, and we all know how that went!
  • Rockstar's games are all about pushing the boundaries of sex and violence. Hot coffee was an example where they tried something, and pulled back. It was an experiment that didn't work. An experiment that had unintended, unexpected side-effects.

    Investors basically rake in money hand over fist when it works out for Rockstar, and lose money when it doesn't. This was one of the latter times.

    I really don't care where it came from, the fact that you had to modify the software yourself to get it to do this mea
  • Moral panic (Score:2, Insightful)

    by FidelCatsro (861135) *
    Simple as that , at least this is not as bad as the Satanic Ritual Abuse cases , or the Day-care child abuse scare( Several innocent people spent a long time in jail) .
    Going by Idiotic mass hysteria , this one is rather weak .

    I don't think I would be wrong in thinking that a few stories about A witch , in the Sun newspaper and Fox news .
    would have a rash of people being burnt at the stake across the world, for consorting with the devil.

    Some people think the blood of babies is used in Passover bread
    • Re:Moral panic (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by FidelCatsro (861135) *
      I should point out that baby blood is not and never has been used in Passach for the bread. Just badly worded that .

      We use Virgins on Passach and Babies on Yom Kippur ... I wouldn't be surprised if someone took that seriously either.
    • Some people think the blood of babies is used in Passover bread , still to this day,

      Read: Arabs are still spreading those stupid stories out of complete and utter ignorance and hatred.

      (I've heard that story (about the blood and Passover bread), but all the sources I've heard it from were Arab...)
  • It's like gamblers sueing a casino.
  • They should get sued, but not by their own shareholders. They should get sued by the ESRB and retail game developers in general. A short while back, the American game industry was going to get government regulation. A self-regulating system was created quickly and it worked. It got the Joseph Liebermans of the world off our backs for a while.

    And then Rockstar comes along. They want to have their cake and eat it too. For attention-whoring reasons, they want to include the controversial "Hot coffee" s

    • Um how does that hot coffee mod make the game any worse than it already is? it got a Mature rating for a reason, did that one little scene somehow put it over the top when it was already NOT SUITED for children I mean honestly, whats another 10 seconds of mature content when the ENTIRE FUCKING game is already that.
  • When Take Two is in the news game sales go up so if they sue game sales go up and they make more money!

"I prefer rogues to imbeciles, because they sometimes take a rest." -- Alexandre Dumas (fils)

Working...