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FTC Investigating Advertising Claims for 'Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas'

29 Jul, 2005 By: Holly J. Wagner

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)'s Division of Advertising Practices is looking into advertising claims made for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Take-Two Interactive released a statement saying it intends to fully cooperate with the inquiry, and believes it acted in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.

As originally marketed and sold, GTA: SA was intended for mature audiences — those 17 and older — and was labeled with five ESRB content descriptors: blood and gore, intense violence, strong language, strong sexual content and use of drugs.

After it was widely reported that a third-party modification could unlock content hidden in the retail version of the game on all platforms, the ESRB re-rated the title from ‘Mature 17+' (M) to ‘Adults Only 18+' (AO). Take-Two halted production of the existing version of the game, and has begun working on a version of the game that will not contain the elements used to enable the so-called “hot coffee” modification.

Going forward, the company will refine the process by which it edits games and enhance the protection of its game code to prevent such future modifications.

According to published reports, a Manhattan, N.Y., grandmother has sued Take-Two, claiming she would not have bought the game for her 14-year-old grandson if she had known about the hidden sexual content.

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