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View Full Version : Confirmed: Sex minigame in San Andreas and slapped with rated AO, Take-Two suspends


TheEveningStar
21-07-05, 17:44
Cheat unlocks preexisting code in controversy-rocked Grand Theft Auto game, undermining Rockstar Games' claims of hacker mischief.

This week saw a Grand Theft Auto game once again at the center of a nationwide controversy. The point of contention this time was the so-called "Hot Coffee" mod for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which had everyone from anti-game crusader Jack Thompson to US Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) percolating with outrage and/or calls for federal game regulation.

The Hot Coffee mod first surfaced last month, when the PC version of San Andreas was released. The mod, which is available on numerous Web sites, adds a bonus sex minigame as a reward for the numerous "girlfriend" missions in San Andreas.

Previously, when game hero Carl "CJ" Johnson successfully wined and dined one of several girlfriends a certain number of times, she would ask him into her house for "coffee." After entering, the game shows an external shot of the house with muffled sounds of a couple emitting moans in flagrante delicto. PC versions of San Andreas with the "Hot Coffee" mod installed show what goes on inside the house, treating players to a sexually graphic minigame of CJ fornicating with his girlfriend.

According to its creators, the Hot Coffee mod merely unlocks hidden, preexisting code inside San Andreas. The game's publisher, Rockstar Games, appeared to vehemently--but carefully--deny that charge in a statement earlier this week. "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," the company said. "In violation of the software user agreement, hackers created the 'Hot Coffee' modification by disassembling and then combining, recompiling and altering the game's source code."

Rockstar's statement also claimed that the mod was the product of complex technical tampering. "Since the 'Hot Coffee' scenes cannot be created without intentional and significant technical modifications and reverse-engineering of the game's source code, we are currently investigating ways that we can increase the security protection of the source code and prevent the game from being altered by the 'Hot Coffee' modification," read the statement.

However, Rockstar Games' argument has been undermined by an increasing number of reports that claimed the sex minigame is in the PlayStation 2 version of San Andreas. Since the PS2 version comes on an unmoddable DVD, it cannot have any content added to it, although cheat codes--created either by the publisher or third parties--can unlock preexisting code on the disc. While devices such as GameShark and Action Replay Max can tweak preexisting variables in system memory with cheats, they cannot inject new models, animations, and/or code into a game.

To prove or disprove rumors that the PS2 San Andreas contains a sexually graphic minigame, GameSpot decided to test the cheat codes circulating around the Web on a sealed, first-edition copy of San Andreas. After acquiring the "Uncensored Hot Coffee" codes from the respected tech-blog Kotaku, we entered them into an easily obtainable Action Replay Max cheat device. After entering the "Enable all Girlfriends" cheat, we began the game and then gave CJ maximum sex appeal, via a cheat from GameFAQs that requires no external code.

After saving, our test editor had Carl visit the house of his nearest girlfriend, Denise in Los Santos. Carl then took Denise on a series of dates to the nearest bar. After a few complications--including being busted for two-timing by another of CJ's girlfriends--we completed a fourth date with Denise, after which she invited us into her house for "coffee."

The next screen proved that the PlayStation 2 edition of the game does indeed include a sexually graphic minigame, which plays almost exactly the same as the Hot Coffee mod. It begins inside a bedroom with Denise, wearing only a pink thong and a cutoff T-shirt bearing the Rockstar logo, performing simulated fellatio on CJ, who is fully clothed in jeans and a "wife beater"-style tank top.

After a few seconds, the minigame proceeds to semi-explicit simulated copulation. Although players can change the camera angle with the circle button, as well as cycle though three sexual positions with the square button, no genitalia are ever seen. To win, players must maintain a steady rhythm with the left analog stick to build up an "excitement meter" on the right of the screen. Fill the meter and Denise becomes very excited, telling CJ he is "the man" before the game congratulates you with the words "Nice guys finish last!" Let the meter drop to empty and the game admonishes you with "Failure to satisfy a woman is a CRIME!"

Given that the minigame is about as raunchy as an episode of Sex and the City, cannot be accessed without entering a long string of cheat codes, and takes several hours of effort to access, charges that San Andreas is "pornographic" may seem extreme to some. However, its existence does appear to contradict Rockstar Games' carefully worded statement blaming hacker mischief for the existence of the Hot Coffee mod.

By Tor Thorsen, GameSpot

[ 21. July 2005, 18:48: Message edited by: TheEveningStar ]

TheEveningStar
21-07-05, 17:46
Take-Two suspends production

[UPDATE 4] ESRB slaps dreaded rating on controverial best-seller; Take-Two lowers guidance; Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Target pull game from shelves.

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), all versions of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas will now bear an AO for Adults Only rating for "Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, [and] Use of Drugs." 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 Hillary Clinton (D-NY) 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 short order, the ESRB launched the aforementioned investigation, which looked into whether the mod was included in the original game or was made by a third party.

In response to the PC mod surfacing and gaining wide notice, Rockstar Games, the Take-Two subsidiary that develops and publishes San Andreas, issued a carefully worded statement in reference to the mod. "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," it read.

However, Rockstar's statement did little to extinguish the fires of controversy. Soon, reports began to surface that console versions of San Andreas contained code for the sex minigame. Late last week, GameSpot editors unlocked the code from a PlayStation 2 copy of San Andreas bought in October 2004, using an Action Replay Max device and a series of cheat codes. Since console games are written on unalterable DVDs and cheat codes cannot introduce new content, the fact the minigame was playable at all means it was included in the original PS2 San Andreas, albeit hidden.

The AO for Adults Only rating means that, according to the ESRB's official definition, the current version of the game now "should only be played by persons 18 years and older" and "may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity." This doesn't sound too far off from the ESRB definition for the M for Mature rating, which says games bearing it "have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content, and/or strong language."

But while they sound similar on paper, the AO and M ratings have one very big difference in real life. Namely, most major chain stores, including the all-important retail behemoth Wal-Mart, will not carry AO-rated games. By contrast, M-rated games aren't even separated from games bearing the T for Teen, E10+ for Everyone 10 and older, and E for Everyone ratings. (Games rated EC for Early Childhood are usually educational in scope and are found in different sections.)

[UPDATE 2 and 3] It didn't take long for the effects of the rating to be felt. Late Wednesday, Target, and Best Buy issued press releases they were pulling all versions of San Andreas from shelves. Unconfirmed reports had GameStop following suit, and Wal-Mart told CNN/Money that it had issued orders to all stores to stop selling the game. "We do not sell games that are rated AO," Wal-Mart spokesperson Karen Burk told the site.

In its statement, Take-Two outlined its response to the commerce-limiting AO rating. "[Take-Two subsidiary] Rockstar Games has ceased manufacturing of the current version of the title and will begin working on a version of the game with enhanced security to prevent the 'hot coffee' modifications," it read. "This version will retain the original ESRB M-rating and is expected to be available during the Company's fourth fiscal quarter." The quarter in question runs from August to October, 2005. The company will also release a patch for the currently available PC version of the game which will lock out the sex minigames.

[UPDATE 4] Wednesday evening, the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA), the main game-retailer lobby, issued a statement in the middle of their annual convention. "Our members intend to immediately cease all sales of the game until existing inventory can either be re-stickered with an AO (Adults Only) rating, or exchanged for new versions of the game that has the hidden content removed and the original M (Mature 17+) rating intact," read the statement. "Though not a policy, IEMA members generally do not carry AO-rated games any differently than we do not carry X-rated videos or DVDs, thus it is likely that our members will be removing all copies of the current version and re-stocking with the updated version."

Take-Two braced Wall Street for the financial fallout of the ESRB and IEMA decisions. Its statement, which was released after markets closed, said the company was lowering guidance for its third fiscal quarter (which ends July 31, 2005) to $160-$170 million in net sales and a net loss per share of $0.40-$0.45. Take-Two also lowered its guidance for the fiscal year (which ends October 31) to $1.26-$1.31 billion in net sales and $1.05-$1.12 in diluted earnings per share. The news hammered Take-Two's stock, which was down $1.82 (6.72 percent) in after-hours trading as of press time.

While not good, today's news was not as bad as it could have been. Most industry watchers had expected a hefty fine from either the ESRB or possibly even the government. Some even speculated that the company would be forced to recall all copies of the game, at a catastrophic expense.

For its part, Take-Two stuck by its contention that the re-rating was "due to unauthorized third party 'Hot Coffee' modification." The publisher reminded the public that "the scenes depicted in the 'Hot Coffee' modification are not playable in the retail version of the game unless the user downloads and/or installs unauthorized software that alters the content of the original retail version of the title, representing a violation of Take-Two and Rockstar's end user license agreement (EULA) and intellectual property rights."

Paul Eibeler, Take-Two's president and chief executive officer, also gave his personal thoughts on the matter in the statement. "We are deeply concerned that the publicity surrounding these unauthorized modifications has caused the game to be misrepresented to the public and has detracted from the creative merits of this award winning product," he said.

"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."

[UPDATE 1] A Los Angeles Times story on the rating quoted Take-Two spokesman Jim Ankner as admitting that "there is sex content in the [San Andreas] disc. ... The editing and finalization of any game is a complicated task and it's not uncommon for unused and unfinished content to remain on the disc." However, a Rockstar Games spokesperson flatly told GameSpot that Ankner "was misquoted."

There was no misquoting Patricia Vance, president of the ESRB. In a sternly worded statement on the ESRB site, she said "we have concluded that sexually explicit material exists in a fully rendered, unmodified form on the final discs of all three platform versions of the game (i.e., PC CD-ROM, Xbox, and PS2)." She also had harsh words for Take-Two. "Considering the existence of the undisclosed and highly pertinent content on the final discs, compounded by the broad distribution of the third party modification, the credibility and utility of the initial ESRB rating has been seriously undermined," she said. "Going forward, the ESRB will now require all game publishers to submit any pertinent content shipped in final product even if is not intended to ever be accessed during game play, or remove it from the final disc."

Vance did concur with Rockstar's assertion that the sex minigames were "programmed by Rockstar to be inaccessible to the player and they have stated that it was never intended to be made accessible. The material can only be accessed by downloading a software patch, created by an independent third party without Rockstar's permission, which is now freely available on the Internet and through console accessories." A Rockstar spokesperson said the company was considering legal action against Action Replay, GameShark, and other makers of console cheat devices that allow access to the sex minigames.
By Tor Thorsen, GameSpot

[ 21. July 2005, 18:47: Message edited by: TheEveningStar ]

interstellardave
21-07-05, 17:49
Keeping in mind that this game is NOT marketed for children, I find it kind of humerous. I must admit I wouldn't mind seeing it for myself just out of curiousity.

Apofiss
21-07-05, 18:15
[QUOTE]Originally posted by interstellardave:
Keeping in mind that this game is NOT marketed for children[QUOTE]

Exactly. Still everyone play this game, very young people too. I already tested this "minigame" crack. :D http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/whistle.gif

God Horus
21-07-05, 18:36
When I had bought the game they had askd me how old I was (20) showed them my License and I got it. They said children CAN have the game if their partents say yes.

interstellardave
21-07-05, 19:28
This little blub is in the latest issue of Game Informer:

"A European study found that a majority of parents are aware of video game ratings, but "divorce themselves" from deciding what their children play, even though the parents don't like what games they buy. Great to know hypocrisy rules the angry mob. "

I'm sure it's the same situation here in the USA. NOW tell me who is responsible here?

Apofiss
21-07-05, 20:00
I think responsible is Rockstar and Take-Two, they could cut out that part, but no > it makes an excellent advertisement for GTA SA for sure! Personally I think it makes this kind of game just more colourful, BUT ONLY from 18.

[ 21. July 2005, 22:03: Message edited by: Apofiss ]

Draco
21-07-05, 20:59
So now I cant buy it. Great.

Apofiss
21-07-05, 21:02
Originally posted by Draco:
So now I cant buy it. Great. Why? Cause of that "minigame"?

Draco
21-07-05, 21:07
Originally posted by Apofiss:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Draco:
So now I cant buy it. Great. Why? Cause of that "minigame"? </font>[/QUOTE]Nah, I buy my games at Best Buy.

Thorir
21-07-05, 21:21
Don´t really get the big point.
It is a game for mature people, and sex is a quite natural thing to do for adults.

However, what it could possibly add to gameplay value is another thing... http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/privateeye.gif

[ 22. July 2005, 19:06: Message edited by: Thorir ]

Henhead
21-07-05, 23:27
There are some sad people about who need to look at their own lives before trying to manipulate other people’s free wishes.

I have had my say (be it extensively in another post on this topic :D )

By the way Apofiss was that on PS2? I have had it working by using the save game alteration.

At last now in puts an end to the US rating row. It is an 18 rated game in the UK anyway

TRelic
21-07-05, 23:51
Well, I guess now I can rest easy knowing that one of the world's biggest problem has been solved. :rolleyes:

nikos
22-07-05, 17:19
Everything for more sales! :mad:
Whats next? :mad:
More blood,more sex thats the competition,who buys now cleaver games,ah ...not many i think!
I am not playing the puritan,but i am quite sure theire target are young men!
Because only in a few countries they would ask for licences,and dont forget that "illegal" copies,ususual,young people buy because they dont have enough money for the original,dont ask how old are you!
Am i rong? http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/privateeye.gif

Apofiss
22-07-05, 17:33
Originally posted by Henhead:
By the way Apofiss was that on PS2? Both (PC and PS2), but I tried this on PC.

Arsony47
23-07-05, 02:35
Originally posted by interstellardave:
Keeping in mind that this game is NOT marketed for children, I find it kind of humerous. I must admit I wouldn't mind seeing it for myself just out of curiousity. even though its sold at toys r us and a parent of a 10 year old is more likely to allow their child to play an M rated game as aposed to a AO game. :rolleyes:

Thorn
23-07-05, 03:08
I love my San Andreas. :D http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/tongue.gif

tlr online
23-07-05, 16:14
The next screen proved that the PlayStation 2 edition of the game does indeed include a sexually graphic minigame, which plays almost exactly the same as the Hot Coffee mod. It begins inside a bedroom with Denise, wearing only a pink thong and a cutoff T-shirt bearing the Rockstar logo, performing simulated fellatio on CJ, who is fully clothed in jeans and a "wife beater"-style tank top.

After a few seconds, the minigame proceeds to semi-explicit simulated copulation. Although players can change the camera angle with the circle button, as well as cycle though three sexual positions with the square button, no genitalia are ever seen. To win, players must maintain a steady rhythm with the left analog stick to build up an "excitement meter" on the right of the screen. Fill the meter and Denise becomes very excited, telling CJ he is "the man" before the game congratulates you with the words "Nice guys finish last!" Let the meter drop to empty and the game admonishes you with "Failure to satisfy a woman is a CRIME!"

BUSTED! Damn. That's quite funny, when you think about it. I wonder who's getting fired for this?!

Draco
23-07-05, 18:22
Meh.

tlr online
23-07-05, 19:42
Anyone got any screen shots? :D

Henhead
23-07-05, 21:45
Got a video if you want tlr? http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/privateeye.gif

[ 23. July 2005, 22:46: Message edited by: Henhead ]

Joseph
23-07-05, 23:03
Yeah tlr, i saw a screenshot, this afternoon in a Dutch game-magazine. No nudity, only a 'position', fully clothed.

And @ nikos: you're totally wrong. This is BAD for the game's sellings since it got the A rating. There are almost no shops in America who want to sell games with that rating.

Btw, i don't have the game and don't plan to buy it. Only later in the sales, maybe for 4,99 i will. When i bought GTA3 full priced i felt split: didn'tlike the story and atmosphere (can't sympathise with gangster violance)but liked the game's smoothness, humour, music, graphics.

Joseph
23-07-05, 23:10
Originally posted by tlr online:
Anyone got any screen shots? :D Yeah. Close your eyes! http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/yikes.gif
:D

tlr online
23-07-05, 23:12
Originally posted by Henhead:
Got a video if you want tlr? http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/privateeye.gif Good quality?

Henhead
23-07-05, 23:30
Yeah not too bad, 56 seconds long resolution of 640 x 480, bitrate of 489kbps, 3.6mb.

It’s the PC version which is slightly different to PS2 version as she has no clothes on. http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/whistle.gif

I am going to record to DVD the PS2 version, in the next few days, as I have also got it working on that now. http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/privateeye.gif

chloe
24-07-05, 09:21
it's also in the xbox version