Unauthorized Video Game Hack May Net Consumers Up to $35
Purchasers and original owners of the 2005 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas are in for an unexpected treat. The game, notorious for a sexually explicit unauthorized hack present only in its original release, is the subject of a recent class-action lawsuit filing and settlement against its maker, Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games.
The History – The original Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas release was rated Mature. While common themes of the game included gang warfare, pimping, and home-invasion, it was only after it was discovered that a special feature could be unlocked, allowing players to participate in a sex simulation game, that parents and lawmakers became fully engaged. The sex game, also called Hot Coffee, was denied by Take-Two, before they officially changed the rating from Mature to Adults-Only. Store owners responded by recalling many of the games, and it was later re-released with a patch to avoid access to the explicit materials.
The Lawsuit – On November 8, 2007, Take-Two announced it was facing a class-action lawsuit involving the original version of the game. It continued to deny wrongdoing, and as a result, settlement occurred.
Here’s what eligible consumers may be entitled to if you own an original copy of the game:
- If you submit your original copy, you will get a replacement game.
- If you submit your original detailed store receipt, you may get cash up to $35.
- If you submit a credit card statement or check and game, you may get cash up to $17.50.
- If you submit purchase details and the game, you may get cash up to $10.00.
- If you just submit purchase details, you may get cash up to $5.00.
What does this mean for you? Assuming you own, and still play GTA: San Andreas, your best bet might be to keep the disc, as it is a collector’s item in many markets. If all of this Hot Coffee stuff is news to you, and you’re genuinely offended, then trade the game in for a slightly less offensive version of the game. For everyone else who bought a game but no longer has it, I’d try for the five bucks.
Complete lawsuit information can be found at gtasettlement.com, including the requirements for sending in your claims before the May 16th deadline.
(Note: Participation in the settlement requires that you agree that you purchased the game prior to July 21, 2005 AND you were offended and upset by the ability of consumers to modify and alter the disc to display the Hot Coffee content; you would not have bought the disc had you known that consumers could modify and alter it to display the Hot Coffee content; and, upon learning the game could be modified and altered, you would have returned it to the place of purchase for a refund if you thought this was possible. And no, I don't own this game... this is written to inform.)
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