Take-Two Settles With FTC

By Maarten Goldstein, Jun 08, 2006 8:26am PDT

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission today announced that Take-Two has agreed to settle charges brought upon them after last year's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Hot Coffee fiasco. The FTC charged that the company failed to disclose the hidden sex mini-game content, thereby intentionally deceiving customers. Take-Two was not fined for its actions (it did lose $24.5 million because of the re-rating affair), but if anything similar to this happens again the company will be fined $11,000 per violation.

The proposed consent agreement with the FTC requires Take-Two and Rockstar Games to clearly and prominently disclose on product packaging and in any promotion or advertisement for electronic games, content relevant to the rating, unless that content had been disclosed sufficiently in prior submissions to the rating authority. In addition, the companies cannot misrepresent the rating or content descriptors for an electronic game. Finally, the companies must establish, implement, and maintain a comprehensive system reasonably designed to ensure that all content in an electronic game is considered and reviewed in preparing submissions to a rating authority. Once the order becomes final, the companies will be subject to civil penalties of up to $11,000 per violation if they violate the order. The companies will be subject to compliance reporting requirements to ensure that they meet the terms of the order.

Click here to comment...


9 Threads | 24 Comments

  • People on the shack just don't seem to get why what they did was bad. Lets makeup a pretend situation real quick.

    Battlefield 2 is a T rated game. It recieved this rating by removing all blood from the game. This makes many gamers sad, as we are sadistic and enjoy lots of blood because it looks neat. Now let's say that the game initially had blood, lots and lots of blood. But only when EA decided to go for that T rating the blood was "removed". So the code and art assets were locked up and hidden in a corner. It was kept of course because EA could always change their mind and go back to M. If it were left on the CD then, through the use of a 3rd party tool, it could be unlocked and then you'd get blood, hurray!

    The reason Take-Two got off light (24.5 million light) is because it was an accident. The code was obviously unfinished and not meant to be seen. The problem is what if it wasn't an accident? What if EA 'locked' the blood code out, but with the direct intention of it being unlocked eventually. Well now EA has cheated the system. They released their M rated game but with that T rating to get extra sales.

    And thats the problem, that companies could deliberately leave code on a CD with the intent of having it unlocks to cheat the ratings system. How would you know whats intentional and what was left on by mistake or perhaps just lazyness? A precident had to be set to prevent abuse in the future from other companies.