Following an investigation, ESRB slaps dreaded 18-and-over rating on controversy-racked best-seller; Take-Two lowers guidance, still blames "unauthorized third party modification."
After percolating for weeks, the Hot Coffee controversy has finally boiled over. Today, Take-Two Interactive announced that as the result of an investigation by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB), Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas will now bear an AO for Adults Only rating. Previously, the game was rated M for Mature.
The re-rating comes nearly a month after the first reports surfaced of the so-called "Hot Coffee" mod for the PC version of San Andreas. After being installed, the widely available mod lets users play a bonus sex minigame as a reward for completing the numerous "girlfriend" missions in San Andreas.
After video of the mod was widely circulated, such figures as ardent anti-game activist Jack Thompson and US Senator Hilary Clinton blasted the game. Clinton went as far as to publicly equate violent games with cigarettes and alcohol as a hazard to America's youth. In turn, political heat caused the ESRB to launch the aforementioned investigation, which looked into whether the mod was included in the original game or was made by a third party.
"The ESRB's decision to re-rate a game based on an unauthorized third party modification presents a new challenge for parents, the interactive entertainment industry and anyone who distributes or consumes digital content," Eibler continued. "Rockstar Games is pleased that the investigation is now settled and they look forward to returning their focus to making innovative and groundbreaking video games for a mature audience."
1. Hillary and the senate just helped sky-rocket GTA sales
Edited on Wed Jul-20-05 06:35 PM by NNguyenMD
every older brother and uncle in America is going to be prodedd to buy this game by the little brothers and nephews of America
They'll get access to this game for the same reason why 99.9% of teenage boys have viewed pornographic material before the age of 18. And its going to be as popular as ever because now its the "forbidden game" syndrome that'll be fueling GTA sales.
If I were Rock Star Games, I would milk this for what its worth, and push on how its for mature audiences only.
16. You are right I should not, I should call the cops then
Look there are ways to enforce the rules and it starts at the top...
There is this thing called leadership by example... and they fought it for years, when they had no choice they formed it... but there is this wing and a nod about not enforcing rules at all times... maybe this will finally get the member stores to ahem ENFORCE the rules.
19. Maybe you should find better things to worry about.
The ESRB can't ensure that every store verifies the age of people who want to buy an age-restricted game. TO think otherwise is ridiculous. And how many teenagers have you seen getting into R-rated films wothout giving proof of age? Same rules apply.
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