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The $20 Million Mistake Made By Grand Theft Auto

While Rockstar Games has a long legacy of fantastic open-world games, the company's development history hasn't escaped unscathed. Case in point, the famous "Hot Coffee" debacle, which ended up being very costly to Rockstar. 


Rockstar originally developed a sex mini-game for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, but it was eventually cut due to the controversy that it could have caused. However, the "Hot Coffee" mini-game was still buried in the code of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, enabling savvy players to view the sex scene as it was intended.

The incident was so offensive and scandalous to some players that Rockstar Games was sued for the scene's existence. Despite Rockstar's denial of the accusations, the class-action lawsuit still led to Take-Two (Rockstar's patent company) paying out $20 million. The issue was finally resolved in 2008, when it was decided that those offended by the scene could claim up to $35.

Other Grand Theft Auto controversies

While "Hot Coffee" was one of the worst things faced by Rockstar regarding the Grand Theft Auto franchise, that was hardly the last of the franchise's controversies. For instance, one of the worst things the Grand Theft Auto series made players do was interrogate a witness in Grand Theft Auto 5. Playing as the morbid Trevor Philips in the scene, the player uses a variety of graphic methods to extract information from a witness. The scene was brutally conveyed, and the act of interrogating the witness remains as uncomfortable as ever.


Overall, the series has also acted as a boogeyman for those who declare video games as a negative influence for younger generations. With controversial inclusions of sex work, over-the-top violence, and instances like "Hot Coffee," the series has been blamed for instances of real-world violence and is certainly one of the edgier AAA video game franchises to grace our televisions in the 21st century.