L.A. City Attorney Sues Take-Two and Rockstar Over

Rockstar Games and Take Two Interactive were slapped with a lawsuit in Los Angeles by Attorney Rock Delgadillo last Thursday, according to reports from Associate Press. The suit alleges that Rockstar Games hid sexually explicit content in their PC video game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The charges against them relates to laws in California which prohibits businesses from making misleading statements and using unfair tactics to gain market share. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas™ claim to game history infamy involved a secret level which could onlt be accessed by using an unauthorized code. The unlocked mini-game contained material that was extremely sexual in nature. When the news of the Hot Coffee mini-game was spread, it not only drew enormous attention from gamers, it also started a firestorm that circled the globe. Protests from parents, children™s rights activists and politicians protested the game™s hidden agenda. Many of the laws that have cropped up around the world are in direct reaction to the Hot Coffee incident. L.A. City Attorney Delgadillo says Rockstar and Take Two Interactive failed to disclose the existence of Hot Coffee in the game, thus avoiding an Adult rating instead of the M (mature) rating it received from the ESRB. By having the lower rating of M, they allegedly were able to sell more copies, then they would have, under the more restrictive Adult rating. Rockstar stated in previous statements that the controversial level was never meant to be seen by the public, and that access to the level was through an unauthorized hack– not through their company. In spite of vehement arguments by the company absolving its role in the mini-game fiasco, critics were not appeased. And one of those critics appears to be City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo. Delgadillo said, "Greed and deception are part of the ‘Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas’ story ” and in that respect its publishers are not much different from the characters in their story. Businesses have an obligation to truthfully disclose the content of their products ” whether in the food we eat or the entertainment we consume. If this weren™t enough bad news for Take Two Interactive, (parent company of Rockstar), Wall Street has added an additional nail to the coffin in downgrading the stock from neutral to sell status. In the world of Wall Street, news of upgrades or downgrades has tremendous influence on the value of a stock. In the case of Take Two, reports indicate that it has lost at least 14% of its value in heavy trading when news of the lawsuit surfaced. Take Two has been undergoing a tremendous amount of hard times of late; public outcry regarding controversial content in video games, legislature that is being passed daily to prevent unsuitable content from reaching minors (read: Take Two Games), and even harsh criticism from the game industry itself. Take Two is on the ropes and is struggling to survive


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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