ESRB Busts A Cap In Rockstar

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The game ratings board has found that Take-Two’s Rockstar videogame studio had adult content hidden in the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas game.

A third-party modification created to reveal hidden sex scenes in the GTA: San Andreas code has led to a death sentence from the Entertainment Software Ratings Board.

According to the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA), which represents videogame retailers, the game’s rating will be voluntarily removed from store shelves, and its rating changed from M-Mature to AO-Adults Only.

The rating change effectively ends sales of the wildly popular game at major retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, and Circuit City. Last Wednesday, Wal-Mart and other chains pulled the game from the shelves amid the outcry from public figures like Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) for an investigation.

Initially, Rockstar claimed the hackers who created the “Hot Coffee” mod code were placing the salacious scenes in the code, not revealing them. The coders disputed that account, and the ESRB investigation seems to have found Rockstar was not being entirely truthful.

It is likely Rockstar will modify the code to remove the offending ones and zeros and resubmit the game for approval with the M-Mature rating. AO-rated titles have no presence whatsoever in the big retailers, where game companies see the majority of their sales.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

ESRB Busts A Cap In Rockstar
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