Judge Decides That Grand Theft Auto's Hot Coffee Mod Didn't Deceive Shareholders

from the easter-eggs-remain-legal dept

Hidden "easter eggs" are quite common. These are little things hidden within software, often for the amusement of the programmers. In video games, it's often fun to try to find these hidden parts. It's really kind of a tradition for some. However, folks who didn't quite understand this freaked out a few years back, when the "Hot Coffee" mod/hidden content was revealed within the game Grand Theft Auto. This was a special modification to the game that would unlock a hidden part of the game allowing players to (gasp!) participate in consensual intercourse. It was such a big deal that various Senators proposed laws to prevent such a thing from ever happening again. And, there was even a class action for all those people "damaged" by this mod. And, because no moral outrage directed at companies is complete without a shareholder class action lawsuit, there was one of those as well -- accusing the company of somehow "misleading shareholders" with Hot Coffee. Luckily a judge has realized how ridiculous this is and has dismissed that particular claim in the shareholder lawsuit. Phew. Now software developers will be able to keep adding easter eggs and hidden content without a special explanation for all shareholders.

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  1. icon
    WarOtter (profile), 18 Apr 2008 @ 10:53am

    Re: A brief glimpse of sanity...

    You are wrong in accusing the developers and trying to do an end run around the ESRB.

    It was originally supposed to be part of the game, but was removed in order to get a 'M' rating. Calling it an Easter Egg implies that there was a method in the game to access the content. There was not. In order to access it, one needed to use special hacks to access it, which were in no way funded or supported by R*. The hacking tools were not overly sophisticated, but enough so that it took a good bit of knowledge to use them, and it had to be done willingly (couldn't be done on accident). The only irresponsible move by the developers was not removing the code and assets for the sex mini game, but they never encouraged people to hack the game to get the blocked content.

    So in reality, the outrage was NOT well deserved.

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