Hope you all enjoyed the fairly relaxed featurette I posted earlier today, because it seems that the proverbial shit is continuing to hit the proverbial fan. I still can’t believe that this Hot Coffee fiasco has gotten so out of hand, drawing the attention of worldwide press, spelling trouble for the gaming community, becoming a platform for politicians, and losing investors tons of money.
All this because some anal politicians from the south think that goofy poontang scenes, unlocked via a user-made modification and code-hacking hardware (in Grand Theft Auto, of all games) is corrupting some ten year old whose parents are too damn lazy to do their job. The game isn’t made for Little Jimmy! How many times do I need to repeat myself?! …gargh… But I digress. Here’s the update.
Games Industry.biz reported today that Take Two may find themselves under further investigation from both the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
First off, the FTC is looking into the accusation that Rockstar Games was underhanded when dealing with marketing San Andreas, and falsely advertised the game as being rated Mature, when it secretly contained Adult Only content hidden underneath layers of code. Yeah. I’m not sure how this works either, considering the game was rated Mature by the ESRB and, in turn, that’s how the game was advertised. Heh. Go figure.
Secondly, the SEC is looking at a chance of possible inside trading within Take Two, as a number of Take Two insiders were rapidly selling off shares in company stock last week as the ESRB promised to launch an investigation into Hot Coffee. According to a security analysist with the Bank of America, there is still much at risk for Take Two, and a class action lawsuit is inevitable.
“Several TTWO insiders, including Chief Operating Officer Gary Lewis sold common shares recently,” he noted. “Lewis sold 20,000 shares on July 13th and filed to sell 40,000 shares on July 19th. The SEC could choose to investigate these sales. It remains unclear as to when the ESRB investigation began.”
The article continues with commentary on the future of the GTA franchise, questions Rockstar as to why they would even bother making a sex minigame in the first place, and reminds us all that the ESRB has been “tarnished” as a result of this incident.
In light of this, the ESRB plans to introduce tougher standards for its ratings, which will demand more detail from publishers so that all content shipped on the disc, regardless of how accessible it is, can be considered in creating the rating for a game.
I think I speak for everyone when I say this:
Games Industry Article