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Hot Coffee Put to Rest – For USD 20 Million

By on September 4, 2009
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As the resident journo who speaks ‘controversy’, it’s my somewhat reluctant job to cover news that Take Two has finally settled its class action lawsuit over the Hot Coffee debacle to the tune of $20 million.

“Under the proposed settlement, the class action will be dismissed in exchange for an aggregate payment of $20,115,000 into a settlement fund for the benefit of class members, of which $15,200,000 will be paid by the Company’s insurance carriers, and $4,915,000 will be paid by the Company.”

The company is careful to point out – in case anyone hadn’t guessed – that these costs had been more than covered by retail profits.

The class action by T2 investors marks the close of an affair which began in 2005 with thousands of copies of the game being recalled after a mod allowed access to an incomplete sex minigame. In a previous settlement, T2 had agreed to follow more strict QA processes in the future, and paid out refunds to 2,676 claimants – significantly fewer than was expected.

This (hopefully!) brings an end to a crazy string of red tape that’s been hounding GTA: San Andreas for four years now. Clearly we need better enforcement of age restrictions, in the US and Europe, but this is an issue for retail outlets and for parents.

That Take Two has been hounded over what amounts to someone recording porn over a Bambi video then complaining to Disney is very sad, if somewhat typical.


(Thanks to Andreas Solberg for the photo)

About Tom Jubert

Tom Jubert is a freelance games writer / narrative designer, best known for his work on the Penumbra series, for which he was nominated for a Writers' Guild Award. His upcoming releases include Lost Horizon and Driver: San Francisco. He was previously the Managing Editor at GameShadow.com, and has also spent time in production.
  • I can't let that comment about “Two's investors for wanting to turn a quick buck at the publisher's insurer's expense” – it's just not true.

    Take Two paid for insurance.

    The insurance was claimed against.

    Take Two paid $4.9 million. The insurers paid $15m.

    Take Two's premiums are likely to go up.

    I don't see that as anyone making a quick buck – but ending the downward pressure on the stock of an impending lawsuit is clearly valuable.

    As to whether the class action had merit, my view is that it's the madness of the American so-called Moral Majority. But they exist, and you've got to be careful of them.

  • I can't let that comment about “Two's investors for wanting to turn a quick buck at the publisher's insurer's expense” – it's just not true.

    Take Two paid for insurance.

    The insurance was claimed against.

    Take Two paid $4.9 million. The insurers paid $15m.

    Take Two's premiums are likely to go up.

    I don't see that as anyone making a quick buck – but ending the downward pressure on the stock of an impending lawsuit is clearly valuable.

    As to whether the class action had merit, my view is that it's the madness of the American so-called Moral Majority. But they exist, and you've got to be careful of them.

  • Of course, you can't blame Take Two's investors for wanting to turn a quick buck at the publisher's insurer's expense – it's just good to finally have this thing laid to rest.

    I can see how this originally got hung out to dry – ultimately, the game disc contained unassessed adult content, and try explaining to someone who doesn't understand video games why that's OK if it can't be accessed without a mod and you're falling on deaf ears.

    Can anyone see the other side of the story?