Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Hitting The Fan...

Remember when I said I'd keep you guys posted on the whole GTA "Hot Coffee" scandal?

Well, the ESRB [Entertainment Software Rating Board] decided to change the game's rating from M [Mature] to AO [Adults Only]. Gamespot also has a summary of the events. The immediate impact is that most retail stores like Wal-Mart will refuse to carry it.

For its part, Rockstar Games says it will cease production of the game and release a new version with the questionable content removed.

Actually, this is a relative slap on the wrist when you consider that Rockstar could have been heavily fined, or even forced to recall all copies of the game.

While I'd love to heap scorn and criticism on opportunistic people who fail to understand that the game was rated MA in the first place, the fact that Rockstar misrepresented themselves takes a lot of steam out of that argument.

Also, if you subscribe to the 'no such thing as bad publicity' theory, publishing a game that 'THEY don't want you to have' has a certain appeal.

Here's a quick experiment: have a contest with your friends to see if it's easier to buy a high-powered rifle or GTA: San Andreas.

Mike G.

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