Rockstar parent company Take-Two Interactive has agreed to a $20 million settlement in a class action suit brought against the company over allegations that they knowingly put hidden sexual content in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the publisher announced today.
The class action will be dismissed in exchange for an aggregate payment of $20,115,000 into a settlement fund for the benefit of class members, of which $15,200,000 will be paid by Take-Two's insurance carriers, and $4,915,000 will be paid by Take-Two.
Today's settlement is related to a 2006 consolidated securities class action which included both historical stock option granting practices and the inclusion of a hidden sex scene in the game. It's not tied to an earlier 2005 consumer class action.
"We are pleased to have reached this settlement, which represents another important step forward for the Company," said Strauss Zelnick, Chairman of Take-Two.
Hot Coffee, a bit of hidden sex found behind the apartment doors of the game, was discovered July 2005 after a modder released a hack for the game that unlocked the previously hidden content.
In June, 2006 the Federal Trade Commission found that Take-Two Interactive was deceptive in the way it marketed Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas but did not fine the company or order that they return any of their profits from the game.
While the company was not fined, they were placed on notice that if they again violate the ratings, they will be subject to a civil fine of up to $11,000 per a violation.