Los Angeles Sues San Andreas Maker

Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo announced today that his office will sue Rockstar Games and its parent company, Take-Two. Take-Two has been under fire (no pun intended) for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PlayStation 2, PC and Xbox) for its violence and sexually explicit content. When it was found that a sex mini-game called Hot Coffee was hidden in the game’s code, the ESRB changed the game’s rating from “Mature� to “Adult-Only�.

L.A.’s City Attorney is alleging that by hiding “pornographic material� in a game which received a Mature rating, it engaged in unfair business practices. The lawsuit seems logical enough at the surface, afterall, San Andreas wouldn’t have sold 12 million units worldwide and generated $600 million in sales for Take-Two had it been rated Adult-Only.

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Delgadillo had some tough words for Take-Two in his press release: “Greed and deception are part of the ‘Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas’ story – and in that respect its publishers are not much different from the characters in their story. Businesses have an obligation to truthfully disclose the content of their products – whether in the food we eat or the entertainment we consume.”

The suit alleges Take-Two and Rockstar Games violated sections 17200 and 17500 of the state’s Business and Professions Code by making untrue or misleading statements in the marketing of the game and that they engaged in unfair competition through those actions. With a maximum civil penalty of only $2,500 for each offense, it appears that the City Attorney is only trying to make a statement.

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