September 3, 2009, 11:53 am

Four Years Later, Grand Theft Auto Lawsuit Is Settled

Grand Theft AutoRockstar Games The cover of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

A video game controversy that began with an uproar in 2005 ended quietly this week as the parent company of the makers of the Grand Theft Auto series said it paid $20.1 million to settle a class-action lawsuit involving claims that a version of the game included hidden sex scenes, Bloomberg News reported. In a statement, Take-Two Interactive, whose Rockstar Games division produces the best-selling Grand Theft Auto games, said that the settlement was paid to plaintiffs who said they were defrauded when they purchased Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas without knowing it contained explicit content. That game was released in 2004, and the sex scenes, which were not readily accessible in it, were later found by players using a homemade computer program called Hot Coffee. The revelation prompted an outcry from lawmakers, and major retailers like Wal-Mart and Target said they would not stock the game until the sex scenes were completely removed. The class action suit was filed in 2005 in Federal District Court in Manhattan. Take-Two said the settlement also resolves claims by investors that the company improperly backdated stock options, according to Bloomberg.

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