Lawsuit targets racy 'Grand Theft Auto'
Los Angeles is jumping on the anti-“Grand Theft Auto” bandwagon.
City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo Thursday filed a civil lawsuit against Take Two Games and its subsid Rockstar, publisher of “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas,” for failing to disclose allegedly pornographic content in the game, a violation of state fair business practices laws.
At issue is the so-called “hot coffee” modification where players can download code off the Internet that lets them unlock a sexually explicit scene.
Vidgame was released in October 2004, but news of the scene led to an investigation and the re-rating of the game as AO (the vidgame equivalent of NC-17) last July. Rockstar subsequently pulled copies of “San Andreas” off the shelves, replacing them with a porn-free version in the fall.
Rockstar is already the subject of a class action lawsuit by angry buyers of the game. In addition, Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), as well as many state politicians, have used the scandal to justify proposed legislation regulating the sale of mature games to minors.
Suit alleges Take Two and Rockstar violated state Business and Professions Code by making untrue or misleading statements in the marketing of the game and engaged in unfair competition, as well as knowingly selling pornographic material to minors.
It seeks fines and a portion of the profits publisher made from sales of more than 12 million units of the games.
Delgadillo said his office attempted to reach a settlement with Rockstar and Take Two before filing suit, but couldn’t come to terms.
The city attorney said the action is part of a wider investigation of his office into the marketing of videogames, but didn’t provide more details on what the investigation entails.
A rep for Rockstar couldn’t be reached for comment.
(Ben Fritz contributed to this report.)