<img src="http://thegtaplace.com/images/features/twigta07302005.jpg" width="200" height="150" border="1" align="right">So what has been happening this past week in the world of Grand Theft Auto. Today we introduce a new feature to the site(with many others on the way). "This week in Grand Theft Auto" or "TWIGTA" will be posted every friday to sum up the interesting things that happened in the week. From the latest news, to the modding community and multiplayer mods. We hope you enjoy this new feature and leave your feedback in the comments area. Well enough crapz, here is what happened this past week in Grand Theft Auto:
Federal Trade Comission Inquiry
The Federal Trade Comision is conducting an inquiry into Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas to determine if Rockstargames intentionally deceived the Entertainment Software Ratings Board to avoid an “Adults -Only” rating(commited fraud). The investigation began after the House of Representatives voted for it. The results are 321 for "Yes", while only 21 said "no". Take 2 Interactive then responded with a press release shortly after. Jordan from PlanetGTA managed to record a video of the voting from the House.
An 85 year old grandmother wants to sue Rockstar after she bought the game for her underage 14 year old grandson. Because she didn't know it contained sex and violence. First of the game is only meant for age 17 and up(when she bought it) and the judge will laugh in her face. Read more...
The Ballad of Rockstargames
Liberty City Stories magazine publications
Several magazines around Europe and the United States has been released this past week with some minor new details on the game. Some of it were very disappointing to fans.
• One magazine confirmed an October release date
• No accessible interiors during gameplay
• 80-100 hours of gameplay
• Several sets of clothes
• Shoreside Vale expanded
• Can't swim, just drown like in <i>GTA III</i>
• The targeting system is based on an improved version of the San Andreas scheme. "The best we've had so far," says Todd Zuniga from Rockstar.
• New vehicles and weapons are planned (maybe just new in Liberty City and not entirely new vehicles)
• Motorcycles, dirt bikes and scooters are included
• Stats like muscle, fat etc. won't be in the game (this could mean no
eating feature or even gyms)
One magazine mentioned they will be releasing first "exclusive gameplay video" of the game on August 25th.
The team from MTA SA is reminding us that they are still hard at work at their multiplayer mod for San Andreas. They have managed to work on a Admin System and synchronization is better than ever. They promise to release a video within the next few weeks and a developer blog will soon be implemented to their site to keep fans more updated.
LVS still progressing
San Andreas banned in Australia
Just before the weekend started it was announced that San Andreas is banned in Australia. Take 2 released a press release shortly after.
Yep mate, it's banned. As of today you won't find a single copy of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the PS2, Xbox and PC version in Australian shops. The Office of Film and Literature Classification said in a statement sales of the game are outlawed and they have stripped it of its official classification after learning of the explicit content.
Revocation of a classification means the computer game cannot be legally sold, hired, advertised or exhibited in Australia from the date the decision is made.[29 July 2005]
So if you happen to live in Aus and didn't buy the game yet, then you're out of luck. Just remember that this doesn't mean that Liberty City Stories or any other new Grand Theft Auto will be banned in the country. San Andreas was only banned due to the fact it had sexual content on it.
*UPDATE* Take 2 has just released a press release confirming the ban. They also mention that the European version's rating won't be affected in any way and will keep it's 18+ rating.
Well if there was ever a time you had to laugh over the Hot Coffee fiasco this is it.
Florence Cohen, 85, of New York, said in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan that the game's manufacturer, Rockstar Games, and its parent company, New York-based Take Two Interactive Software Inc., engaged in false, misleading and deceptive practices.
An 85 year old grandmother wants to sue Rockstar after she bought the game for her underage 14 year old grandson. Because she didn't know it contained sex and violence. Now it clearly says on the back of the box "strong sexual content". And her grandson is underage anyway even when it was rated M for mature - people over the age of 17, therefore she hasn't got a hope in hell of winning the case.
It's obvious from the words "grand", "theft" and "auto" that you can commit crimes in the game. So presumably this was all OK with her beforehand. It just doesn't make sense, some people really amaze me with their stupidity. Mrs. Cohen is one of them.
Take Two have just issued the following press release. I won't bother picking out the main quotes as it's easier if you read the entire thing.
New York, NY - July 26, 2005 - Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) announced today that it has been notified that the staff of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Division of Advertising Practices is conducting an inquiry into advertising claims made for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The Company intends to fully cooperate with the FTC inquiry, and believes that it acted in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. The Company cooperated with a recently concluded Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) investigation into this matter and has taken decisive and immediate corrective action.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, as originally marketed and sold, 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. The title's M rating combined with the content descriptors reflected the game's mature themes. After it was widely reported that a third party modification could alter the retail version of the game on all platforms, the ESRB re-rated the title from "Mature 17+" (M) to "Adults Only 18+" (AO).
Rockstar Games and Take Two Interactive regret that consumers may have been exposed to content that was not intended to be accessible in the playable version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The Company has taken significant steps to remedy this situation, including halting production of the current version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and has begun working on a version of the game that will not contain the elements used to enable the "hot coffee" modification. Going forward, the Company will refine the process by which it edits games and will enhance the protection of its game code to prevent such future modifications.
Take-Two Interactive recognizes and takes seriously its responsibility to ensure that its games are rated and marketed appropriately. The Company will continue to support and promote the ESRB rating system to help keep mature-themed video game content out of the hands of children.
Link to PR: Take Two Press Release
Radio New Zealand recently reported that Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has been called in for re-classification after it was found that it may contain sexual content. The Classification Office slapped a "R18" sticker onto the game back in 2004, because of its extreme crime and violence. Being the fact that an "R18" rating is the highest a game can be rated in New Zealand, if they find that the game indeed has sexual content on the game it may get banned in the country. Investigation will start soon.
Also interesting to mention is the following quotes from recent shows of "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" with the ever so funny Conan himself.
“Parents across the country are furious because the video game ‘Grand Theft Auto San Andreas’ contains hidden sex scenes. … Yeah, the parents say, ‘We bought our kids Grand Theft Auto so they could be exposed to violent carjackings, not sex.’”
"The other day, former President Clinton played golf with Yankee manager Joe Torre. Apparently they spent most of the time trying to figure out who's a bigger pain in the ass, Hillary Clinton or George Steinbrenner."
If you don't know why I mentioned that last quote, then I would like to remind you that Hillary is one of the reasons San Andreas got rated Adults only.
We've got a few tidbits of Liberty City Stories information for you, first of all the 'exclusive' information that GAME claimed to have is now available to pick up in stores across the UK. This storyline prologue was among the info.
"Taking place three years prior to the events of Grand Theft Auto 3, you'll play as scorned wise guy Toni Cipriani who has just returned to Liberty City after being forced into exile for killing a made man as a favour to mob boss Salvatore Leone.
With the dust settled, the Leones welcome Toni back and put him back to work as one of their toughest soldiers"
Thanks to McReynolds in this edgeforums thread.
Also, in the latest issue of PSM in the USA, it states that swimming and interior enviroments won't be availible. We'll have more on that article in a short while. Thanks TomK
Now that's a lot of money! Especially if you are the one losing it. A few minutes ago Senior Editor of Gamespot, Curt Feldman, reported that the game industry could lose up to 50 million dollars!
One analyst's math? Starting with the numbers Take-Two put out yesterday--lowered guidance of about million--and figuring that number to be 80 percent of the retail sales (assuming a markup of 20 percent), the analyst's estimate of lost retail sales could go as high as million.
In another note the video game rental company Gamefly stated due to the game now being "Adults Only" they have suspended rentals and stopped buying the game. The Take 2 Interactive shares dropped earlier today, but gained again just before the closing bell. Interestingly since GTA: San Andreas got the AO sticker, alot of shareholders decided to sell their shares, 1000's being sold already. We'll keep you updated on the progress of this.
<img src="http://thegtaplace.com/images/news/sims2bathtub.jpg" width="150" height="119" border="1" align="right">Shortly after GTA: San Andreas was given a AO rating by the ESRB, Miami attorney Jack Thompson sends a manifesto to press outlets about the nudity in Sims 2. Jack Thompson was one of the politicians who urged an investigation into San Andreas conserning the hidden sex scenes in the game. Now that Grand Theft Auto San Andreas is "out of the way", he is striking hard at Sims 2, developed by Electronic Arts. In the statement he says:
Sims 2, the latest version of the Sims video game franchise... contains, according to video game news sites, full frontal nudity, including nipples, penises, labia, and pubic hair.
If you are a player of the Sims 2, you will most likely know that the players in the game gets "blurred" out whenever they appear to be naked. Thompson says that this can be easily removed using a simple cheat code. Jeff Brown from EA told Gamespot earlier today that all of this is "nonsense".
We've reviewed 100 percent of the content. There is no content inappropriate for a teen audience. Players never see a nude Sim. If someone with an extreme amount of expertise and time were to remove the pixels, they would see that the Sims have no genitals. They appear like Ken and Barbie.
This is completely untrue, This nude patch enables you to see penises and vaginas and butts.
Jack Thompson is known for attacking games such as Manhunt and Grand Theft Auto, his website Stopkill.com suggests this anyway. What do you think about all of this? Well why not pop Jack Thompson himself a <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email</a>
In a Gamesindustry.biz article, where they wrote that Take 2 Interactive may have even more investigations around the sex scenes of San Andreas, including the SEC and the Federal Trade Commision, Banc of America Securities analyst, Gary Cooper, had something very interesting to say.
"Will the company soften GTA content?" he asks. "It seems unlikely to us that this will happen. Still, pressures will mount and scrutiny will intensify surrounding the next release of GTA, which is scheduled for October of 2006."
Very interesting indeed!
Thanks to Jordan for pointing me in the right direction.
Since yesterday stores such as Walmart, EBGames, Target and Circuit City have removed all GTA San Andreas copies from their shelves. Even though Take 2 Interactive said they will be releasing a new version in the fourth quarter ,which will not contain any of the sex scenes, retailers including Wal-Mart and Best Buy said yesterday that they were not certain they would carry a cleaned-up version of the game.
EBgames, who have about 1500 stores around the US, is only removing it from their shelves for about a week. The company said it will give them enough time to put "Adults Only" stickers on each game.
Over all, about 55 percent of retailers who sells the game took the game off their shelves. When IGN interviewed Rockstar Games this is what they had to say about the "Hot Coffee" mod:
We are obviously aware of the mod community, but the skill, expertise and knowledge of Grand Theft Auto code required to create this mod surprised all of us. These elements were never meant to be found.
A patch for the current PC version of GTA: San Andreas is also expected to be released soon. Not only will it have some bug fixes, but it will also remove the sex scenes from the game.
As you can imagine with this farce over the Hot Coffee modification and it's now AO rating (meaning you have to be 1 whole year older to buy it!!!!).
A lot of websites have been satirising the whole situation and completely ripping the piss out of Rockstar and take Two.
But now, even Gamespy have jumped on the bandwagon with their article - PlanetFargo: Morality, Mortality, and Mayhem....This week, Fargo presents an alternate opinion on the San Andreas fallout.
And even the legendary Maddox has taken to the ludicrous actions of the ESRB and has written I just wanted a video game, not eternal damnation in hell. In the same articulate, eloquent style from Maddox we know and love. He's written my exact feelings on this. It's a very enjoyable read.
Post anymore articles you've come across...
What a busy day for GTA news it's been today, this is the 4th post I'm writing and the most shocking.
A press release by Take Two Interactive has informed us that GTA San Andreas will now be made with an AO rating.
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) announced today that the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has changed the rating of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on all platforms from "Mature 17+" (M) to "Adults Only 18+" (AO) because of the so-called "hot coffee mod," an unauthorized third party modification that alters the retail version of the game. Take-Two cooperated fully with the ESRB's investigation.
Rockstar have now stopped making the current version of the game and are working on making the game more secure (from game 'hackers').
Rockstar Games has ceased manufacturing of the current version of the title and will begin working on a version of the game with enhanced security to prevent the "hot coffee" modifications. This version will retain the original ESRB M-rating and is expected to be available during the Company's fourth fiscal quarter. Rockstar Games will be providing AO labels for retailers who wish to continue to sell the current version of the title.
Rockstar are going to be releasing a patch shortly to render the Hot Coffee useless.
I myself can't see the patch getting many downloads at all
"Only In America" - The only appropriate phrase I could think of. And just to clear something up this is only in America, every other country doesn't need to worry, it's rated 18 already in the UK anyway.
View the full press release here.
After all the disparaging news about the now imfamous Hot Coffee Modification, it's nice to see a website that's not against it.
The Neistat Brothers from VideoGamesAreEvil have made a video. The video shows you that installing Hot Coffee is as easy as tieing your shoelaces.
After the satirical view on the "Hardcore Pornography" as they sarcastically refer to it as they give a another satirical but serious message out to parents.
The Neistat Brothers demonstrate how to make an improvised homemade explosive using various household items (and no I am not joking).
The video ends with the message: "There are many potentially harmful items in your house. A videogame is NOT one of them."
WARNING: TheGTAPlace.com are not responsible for any deaths or injuries that occur as a result of making your own bomb. And we discourage doing so unless you know what you're doing. Don't forget to wear protective glasses and gloves if you are going to try it.
Link: VideoGamesAreEvil (You'll need Quicktime to view the video)
Thanks to GTAReactor.de for the news.
Another site are also making fun of Rockstar Games in their current situation. Penny-Arcade have a little comic which is an amusing read.
Yesterday Oleg the creator of Zanoza Modeler 2 released version 2.0.4 of ZModeler along with a DFF filter for San Andreas.
What's so good about this? I hear you ask. Well it means all the modelers can now get to work on making some kick-ass stuff for San Andreas, vehicles, buildings etc.
DFF filters have been out for a few weeks for other 3D modelling programs, but Zmodeler is recognised as the most popular among modders. So you'll being seeing a lot more downloads added soon.
On a sidenote remember to keep checking our downloads database for new files everyday. We even added the first map for San Andreas yesterday!
NOTE: On the downloads page there are also some example meshes from San Andreas which you may want to download and take a look at.
Subscribers to GameInformer magazine in the USA recently received their latest issue. In it is a nice preview of Liberty City Stories. In amongst the article are 4 new screenshots. Some new information is also in the article:
It sounds like the targetting system will be much better for us to use, judging by a quote in the magazine. They spoke to Rockstar's Todd Zuniga:
The targeting system is based on an improved version of the San Andreas scheme, making for what Zuniga feels is "The best [targeting system] we've had so far."
GameInformer also comment on how impressive the game looks at this stage, and while they say popup issues are still be addressed it sounds like everything else is going smoothly!
We don't have any high quality shots for you but this low-quality scan which is not unreadable clearly shows you them.
Thanks to GTAPortable.com for the news.
<img src="http://thegtaplace.com/images/news/mariodoctor.gif" width="125" height="236" border="0" align="right">With all the negative news this past few weeks on games and especially Grand Theft Auto I think it's good to know that video games are actually very good for humans. In the book "Everything Bad is Good For You" by Steven Johnson he writes about how movies, tv shows and especialy video games are actualy making you smarter.
A video game will never replace a book, Johnson admits, but latter-day games ranging from Tetris to SimCity to Grand Theft Auto have been shown to raise IQ scores and develop cognitive abilities.
He says this kind of education you get is not coming from classrooms or museums, but it's happening in living rooms and basements, on PCs and television screens.
Further research also shows that children who play video games have more confidence in themselves and will easily participate in classrooms, ask questions and can stand up more for themselves, as they learned inside the video game world.
If you are interested in this book you can buy it from Amazon for around .
<img src="http://thegtaplace.com/images/news/billclintonwave.gif" width="100" height="137" border="1" align="left">"Oh yes! Look at that!" said former President of the United States Bill Clinton when he played GTA San Andreas with the hot coffee mod installed. Now that’s what I’m talking about!” said Clinton, as he deftly manipulated the joystick. “Woo-hooo! How’d you like a little cream with that?” Clinton ended the game shortly thereafter. “That’s the most bad-ass game I’ve ever played. No wonder Hillary is all up-in-arms. That’s the most fun I’ve had since…well…since a week or two at least. That game is sick! I give it my thumbs up-way up.” To read the full article and more spoof visit the ever so popular TheSpoof!
Also something great that some of you may have seen on the web in the past few hours is that a kid posted a few images of him playing with the Xbox 360 over at the Gamespot Forums. He claims that his dad just started working at Microsoft as a "Regulatory Compliance Manager"..... what he doesn’t know is that he most likely costed his father's job! The kid literaly begged the forum moderators to delete the topic, but the images can still be found over here.
Racer_S, creator of the popular VC Camera Hack. Has put his great skills to use on San Andreas and yesterday released the first version of the San Andreas Camera Hack. Today he has updated it to version 1.1 which fixes a few bugs.
It has the following features:
* 10 Fully Customizable New Views
* Free Look Mode
* Speedometer/Tachometer with 6 Different styles and variable position
* Toggle player visibility On/Off while in car
* 'Near Clipping' disabled for high-detail close-ups
* Adjust FOV and Aspect Ratio
This is the real thing. I haven't finished programming all the views for the cars yet so you may have to make some adjustments when getting in a car I haven't driven yet. Otherwise it is fully functional and features Analog/Digital Speedometer and Tachometer (RPM). Grab it while its hot!
You can grab it while it's hot in our downloads database Here. And don't forget we're always adding files to the database. It might be a good idea to sort the files by Date Added, you can then see the latest ones we've added, as we don't always post about them. Click here to view the files by newest date added.
Related Links: ToCA Edit
Yesterday, Gamespot once again reported on notorious California assemblyman, Leland Yee.
Yee claims that every person ever involved with in the slightest bit modding a Grand Theft Auto game should be sued by Rockstar. So does this mean just changing one bit in the handling file 'modding' the game. Apparently yes, and he wants Rockstar to sue us all for that!
What about all the other millions of games produced? It's ok to mod them is it? We can't get sued for them? Oh but GTA oh no we aren't allowed to mod that we will get sued, it's completely nonsensical. And Mr. Yee is obviously oblivious to the simplicity and ease of modding a game with such capabilities.
There's a lot more we can do than make CJ dry hump pixelated women (or what if we changed the models with men? That would be illegal right?). If we wanted to we could do much more violent and unethical things with the game. I would suggest to Mr. Yee that he takes some time to research just how many modders there are and the types of mods they make. I also suggest he stops contradicting himself because that surely won't get him anywhere.
"If, in fact, as Rockstar claims, these sexually explicit minigames were never in their games whatsoever, then I would assume that these hackers have violated the copyright of Rockstar games, of Grand Theft Auto, and that Rockstar should, in fact, take every action that they can to sue every single penny of those individuals who would violate their copyright," Yee said. "I haven't seen any of that at all, and that's why I'm suspicious of Rockstar's position of innocence."
You know it's amazing. Politics these days. It's just a farce. There are much more important things to be worrying about, poverty, war, surely this is more important than a videogame, where the emphasis is on game, i.e it's simulated behaviour, not real life.
Mr. Yee also believes that GTA is a game that 'trains people to murder women'
"When you're talking about training kids how to kill and how to maim and demean women, you cannot cross that line"
How exactly a videogame trains us to do this is beyond me, plus there are many other factors involved. For instance you need to acquire a gun, which is very hard unless you live in the USA, secondly, it takes a lot of balls to murder someone, it's not just a matter of "oh I'll think I'll go out and kill a cop". If somone is like that then they need help and it should be picked up early on to be honest.
<img src="http://thegtaplace.com/images/news/lvs.jpg" width="200" height="150" border="1" align="left">For a few weeks now a great team over at LVS was busy implementing Liberty City and Vice City into the map of San Andreas. Currently they are finished with GTA 3's Liberty City around about 50% and have released 2 screenshots so far. They promise to be releasing alot more info and screenshots in the coming days so we'll keep you posted on that. For now visit the official site by click here.
After reporting last week about GAME having exclusive information on GTA LCS being sent out with a free PSP pack for all people who preordered a Sony PSP console, I emailed GAME the other day to see if they could provide me with any specifics on what this info is.
I received a reply today, and it seems they haven't even received the info themselves.
Thank you for your e-mail.
I can confirm that we did not receive the GTA Liberty Stories information and are still awaiting confirmation of when we will receive these. As soon as I have more information I will contact you back with a resolution.
So it looks like we wont be getting sent our PSP packs until they have it altogether, and by that time we may already know the information from other sources. In addition to the LCS info, the pack, which comes in a sleek black gift case includes everything you want to know about the launch titles, a PSP life-size replica containing special info cards, a DVD packed with footage, and details of an exclusive trade-in offer!
If GAME contact me again I'll keep you posted on what I can find out.
Related Links: Free PSP Pack on Preorders
I recently spoke to my good friend Lil Jay from YoungMaylay.net and when I asked him what does Young himself say about these sex animations, he claimed that Young Maylay never even did those scenes. That the game was hacked. So this could mean the folks at Rockstargames could have used someone elses body to do the motion capturing for the animations seen when unlocked using the Hot Coffee mod or using the Armax codes.
Even Hillary Clinton has jumped on the bandwagon to attack Rockstar Games in regard to the Hot Coffee modification.
Articles have gone up on various websites around the web. Gamespot have posted an article which you can read if you haven't already.
Earlier today Clinton's letter to the chairwoman of the FTC was put up on the senator's website for all to read. She wants to introduce a new legislation...
Senator Clinton announced that the legislation she will introduce will put some teeth into video game ratings by instituting a financial penalty for retailers who fail to enforce the rules. It will prohibit the sale of violent and sexually explicit video games to minors and put in place a 00 penalty for those who violate the law.
Feel free to contact her about the whole GTA-porn issue, you can do so via the contact page on the senator's official site, although we don't suggest spamming her and calling her objectionable names.
The amount of news/media coverage this thing is getting is overwhelming, and it's all spawned from PatrickW playing around with the code... Well, in the meantime let's hope everything turns out good for Rockstar.
FNG from CodeJunkies.com has got some great codes for the ARMAX that unlock some nice features. Including uncensoring the 'Hot Coffee' mod. These codes only work on the NTSC version of the game though, hopefully we'll have some PAL conversions soon.
**UPDATE** Skiller at GTAForums has posted the PAL versions of these codes.
Since the post would be too long to put on the main page I've put them in seperate posts. Links below.
San Andreas ARMAX PS2 Codes:
Thanks to our friends at GTA-SanAndreas for the heads up.
<img src="http://www.thegtaplace.com/images/news/youngtape.gif" width="200" height="200" border="0" align="left"> Just a reminder that the Young Maylay mix tape went on sale today for only .99. Visit YoungMaylay.NET for more
About 30 mins ago from posting this, Tim Surette from Gamespot wrote another article about this "Hot Coffee" madness. In that article he says that they were contacted by a representative from Rockstar on Friday. Him claiming that the explicit code was not inserted by Rockstar or its agents in the retail discs. Very, very strange. Either the representative or Tim Surette doesnt know what their talking about. We'll have more on this as this interesting case progresses.
Well lets see what the author of this mod, Patrick Wildenborg, has to say about all of this.
All the contents of this mod was already available on the original disks. Therefor the scriptcode, the models, the animations and the dialogs by the original voice-actors were all created by RockStar. The only thing I had to do to enable the mini-games was toggling a single bit in the main.scm file. (Of course it was not easy to find the correct bit). The Nude models that are used as a bonus in the Quick action version of the mod, were also already present on the original disk.
But all this material is completely inaccesible in an unmodded version of the game. It can therefor not be considered a cheat, easter-egg or hidden feature. But is most probably just leftover material from a gameplay idea that didn't make the final release. I would really like to stress that this material is only accessible after willfully applying the hot coffee mod (or something similar) to the game.
- Patrick Wildenborg
Now its time for Rockstar Games themselves to comment on the issue:
"So far we have learned that the 'hot coffee' modification is the work of a determined group of hackers who have gone to significant trouble to alter scenes in the official version of the game. In violation of the software user agreement, hackers created the 'hot coffee' modification by combining, reconstituting, and altering the game's source code......
....since the 'hot coffee' scenes cannot be created without intentional and significant technical modifications to the game's source code, we are currently investigating ways that we can increase the security protection of the source code and prevent the game from being altered by the 'hot coffee' modification.
In over 2 and half years of writing news for The GTA Place I've come across a fair amount of articles with controversial views. But never in those 2 and a half years have I come across controversy quite like this.
It has all happened after Politician's in the USA finding out about the "Hot Coffee" mod and consequently wanting the game to be sold with an Adult Only rating. The "Hot Coffee" mod unlocks secret sex scenes that Rockstar had censored in the game code. You are NOT able to view the crude sex scenes without this mod. And therefore the game cannot be sold with an AO rating in my opinion. Only through downloading this mod are you able to.
A fact that reputable companies have already got wrong:
Patrick Wildenborg wrote the code for the sex scenes - WRONG. The code was left in the script and Patrick W. simply found a way to "uncensor" it.
Patrick Wildenborg is fast becoming a household name after huge corporations such as the BBC have quoted his response to the dispute.
What is Take 2's view of things? Well, they aren't commenting, since this is a modification and "Take 2 never comments on the activities of the modder community".
The investigation is being led by the ESRB, a spokeswoman had this to say:
"The aim is to determine if there has been a violation of ESRB Rules and Regulations requiring full disclosure of pertinent content,"
And Rockstar's response? They have issued the following quote:
"We also feel confident that the investigation will uphold the original rating of the game, as the work of the mod community is beyond the scope of either publishers or the ESRB,"
I feel that this contorversy surrounding Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is simply another reason for politician's to attack GTA. The GTA series has always been criticised for violence and the apparent implication's this has on children being violent. And this leads me on to another point about children saying "GTA made me do it" after various acts of violence are carried out, some leading to murder.
Irresponsible children should not be allowed to play GTA, it's rated M for a reason it's not just a guideline.
What I find particularly ironic is that the sex scenes are not at all realistic, sometimes CJ is fully clothed. The characters are pixelated and the sex scenes are rather crude. In fact they are merely suggestive.
What about games like The Sims 2?
Nothing wrong with this game is there? Well you decide. The game is aimed at kids, nude skins are widely available for download and use in the game, add to this the fact you can already have a sex (it is called "WooHoo" in-game but it is an obvious representation and is suggestive just like in GTA San Andreas).
But no, nothing at all controversial about that...Even the original Sims game had nude skins available.
One example of such "adult" content for the sims is at the fansite VeryStrangeSims.com. Which has nudity, gore, and sexually suggestive content.
Please post your comments in this topic, something worthwhile too, like your thoughts and feelings on all of this.
There are a hell of a lot of news sources concerning this, if you read the follow up post I have listed tens of news sources I could find with an article related to this.
I have found that currently there are over 50 related news articles.
Due to the publicity of this mod there are hundreds of news sources, Google News would be a much better place to go to see all the articles, rather than me trying to list them all.
10 days ago we posted about a possible image of the next-gen Grand Theft Auto. The image started to appear on french website "Jeux-France" and has since made a few trips around the web getting people excited, dissapointed and even made them hoping for more. Rockstar Games themselves says that the image was not of any GTA game currently in development.
So a few days ago I was contacted by Pelayo and Sergio from Oviedo, Spain. They say when they saw the image they was stunnned to see it, cause they walk past those buildings each day. I started to ask them some questions and further on I tried to find out if there is any building developement in the area or if the buildings seen in the image was maybe build recently. They said yes, it was just finished recently. So this "next-gen gta" screenshot that we are seeing could be very likely just a computer render used to show how the finished building is going to look used for plannings etc.
What makes it a bit interesting is that it is infact Europe and there is a good change Rockstar will go there for the next Grand Theft Auto. For now its pure speculation and alot more fakes and rumours will be heading your way every now and then. The day we recieve actual screenshots from Rockstar, magazines or other media sources, we will be sure to have them right over here.
click here for more images
GAME, Europe's leading specialist retailer of computer software and video games have announced in their latest email to newsletter subscribers that they are giving away exclusive information on GTA Liberty City Stories.
The email (below) clearly states that by preordering a PSP console you will receive a free preorder pack...
If you preorder a Sony PSP Console from the site, we will send you an Exclusive FREE PSP Preorder Pack, containing everything you want to know about the launch titles, a PSP life-size replica containing special info cards, a DVD packed with footage, Exclusive GTA Liberty City Stories information and details of an Exclusive trade-in offer!
We don't know exactly what this information is but we are trying to find out. This has got me hyped up for LCS now and I've just pre-ordered a PSP! So I should get the pack in a few days, I'll be posting about it as soon as I receive the info.
Links: PSP Page @ GAME.net
Leland Yee, Californian assemblyman and game-restriction advocate has contacted the ESRB asking them to change the "M" rating for GTA San Andreas to "adults only". This happened shortly after Yee reliased that there is a mod availible for download that reveals sexual content within the game. This most certainly is none other than the "Hot Coffee Mod" by PatrickW. Gamespot editor, Curt Feldman, writes that Yee took note of the apparent discovery of sex minigames hidden in the game's code that can be unlocked by a third-party mod. The ESRB saying earlier today it will issue a response to Yee's statement before the close of business today.
Now if I am not mistaken, the original Grand Theft Auto San Andreas that is availible in your store right now does not include sex animations or sex scenes without installing the third-party mod. Yes, r* did develop this feature, but didnt put it in the final game. So even if r* didnt code sex animations afterall, any coder could have come and did this himself and installed it onto the original game.
So the game itself, without being modded, does not reveal this content at all, and the ESRB can not give it "Adult Only" status as this is revealed, just like mister Yee said so himself, by a 3rd party mod.
For the full report visit Gamespot
It seems that the ESRB are now going ahead investigating the claims of mister Yee. The ESRB's investigation will examine whether the mod unlocks preexisting code, as appears to be the case, or is actually a purely third-party creation.
If after a thorough and objective investigation of all the relevant facts surrounding this modification, we determine a violation of our rules has occurred, we will take appropriate action
- Patricia Vance, ESRB President
<img src="http://www.thegtaplace.com/images/news/youngtape.gif" width="200" height="200" border="0" align="left">Most of you will know who this great guy is. Young Maylay,who voiced CJ from Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, has been hard at work the past few months recording the "San Andreas" mixtape. It was suppose to go on sale yesterday, but the webmaster of YoungMaylay.net recently informed me that it has been pushed back to July 12th. You can already pre-order today and have it shipped to you on July 12th. Not only does it come around at a great price of only .99, but you also have the change to get yourself an autographed YoungMaylay.net sticker!
Furthermore there is a competition going on where one of you can win yourselves your favourite CJ quote from GTA: San Andreas addressed to you.
<img src="http://thegtaplace.com/images/news/sa-mp040705.gif" width="200" height="150" border="0" align="left">Recently the SA-MP website got updated with 9 new screenshots showing of their amazing progress. They already managed to implement Drive-bys, Interiors and passengers. Click here to go to the media page of SA-MP.
EDIT: It seems that the SA-MP website got hacked recently. So unfortuneatly you will have to wait a while to see those screens.. let's just hope they had backups.
I was informed of some tragic news today, one of GTA's best map makers, Odie, passed away last month on Tuesday, June 7th, 2005, the same day San Andreas was released on PC/Xbox.
For those of you who haven't heard of him he was one of the greatest map makers for GTA3 and Vice City. He released the 1st ever map mod for GTA3 - Ultimate Stuntpark. And the 1st ever map mod for Vice City - Beachpark.
He also had a dream to create his hometown of Berlin, Germany and put it in a GTA game, Odie also contributed to popular mod Myriad Islands.
A lot of us think a memorial should be made for him and put in San Andreas and I believe this will happen as a talented bunch of modders over at GTAForums are in discussion about.
Odie, real name Heiko Feege was just 37. Details of his death have not been publicly released. He leaves behind a widow and a son (8).
May he rest in peace.
Some of his maps:
<img src="http://thegtaplace.com/images/news/russialovemods.gif" width="200" height="150" border="0" align="left"> Today we bring you to two great tools all the way from Russia! This russian grand theft auto site has a few great tools and mods for San Andreas. The first one we bring you is a San Andreas admin console. It has many(and I mean many!) features. For instance while you play San Andreas and your car flips over right in the middle of the mission where say Sweet is in the car, you can ALT+TAB to the console and flip your car back over before it starts fire. It also has a build in "cheat machine" and you can spawn cars in any of your garages around San Andreas(without having cars already stored inside). There is many more features and is worth a download. The only bug I found inside is that they spelled Las Venturas as "Los Venturas".
Secondly, we bring you a San Andreas music extractor for the PC version. It allows you to extract all in-game music to a folder that you specify. It takes around 20-30 seconds to extract, depending on your PC. Here are some of the features:
• Automatic search for stream files (in local folders and CD/DVD drives, including virtual discs).
• The ability to select the destination folder for extracted tracks.
• Automatic moving of radio files to corresponding stations folders.
• Automatic renaming of tracks with proper names of songs and artists.
• Automatic merging of music chunks special options for DJ-style mixing are available).
• Automatic generation of WinAmp-compatible playlists (.m3u).
• Possibility to create one music file for each station.
Each radio station is extracted into it's own folder with a playlist file inside. You can open it with Winamp, but Windows Media player will also work. If you can't seem to play the ".m3u" files you will need to download a codec for it over here, but I already zipped that codec inside the zip file for the Music Extractor.
Those of you who aren't on the mailing list won't know about this great competition Rockstar are holding for San Andreas, the following excerpt explains everything:
Whether you've made it all the way through Las Venturas,
are spending hours on end perfecting your stunt jumps over the hills of San Fierro, or even if you're still taking your time idly wilding out in the streets of Los Santos
– anyone who's passed time in the state of San Andreas knows there's a hell of a lot of trouble you can get into.
We want to see exactly what you're capable of.
Send us your most jaw-dropping bit of 30 second gameplay using the Replay feature of the PC edition of
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
With three categories of competition each based on the major greater-metropolitan-areas of the state: Los Santos (including Red County), San Fierro (including Whetstone and Flint County), and Las Venturas (including Tierra Robada and
Bone County) – the entrant who submits the replay we deem to be the most spectacular, creative and entertaining in each category will win:
- a powerful Nvidia GeForce 6800 GT video card
- a bountiful prize pack of limited-edition San Andreas goods
- a custom-made, gold-dipped, West Coast style car plate winner's trophy, etched with your name.
A true San Andreas collectors' item.
Entry deadline is August 15th, 2005.
Visit www.rockstargames.com/sanandreas/pc/contest for all details, entry form, and official rules.
So you've got 45 days to get doing some kick ass stuff on San Andreas. Don't forget there's copious amounts of merchandise up for grabs so I know I'll be entering it!
Visit the official contest page.
Oh and one tool you will no doubt find very useful whilst exercising your impressive skills will be SaRaH, a.k.a the SA Replay Handler
Since yesterday, an image supposedly to be from the next-gen GTA has spread across the internet. It all started when French website “Jeux-France” posted the image.
They claim that the environment will be six times larger than San Andreas, with 350 different cars to drive, and would see players having to administrate fuel levels in their vehicles. Where they get their information is unknown.
Well what is Rockstar’s word on it? This morning they phoned gamesradar to inform them that the picture is not of any GTA game currently in development. While Rockstar has no idea where Jeux-France got the shot from, the company has gone on record to deny that the picture came from any of its internal development studios.
You'll no doubt be seeing lots of fake screenshots of the coming months, years actually. But rest assured when Rockstar release the first real screenshots we'll have them.
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