Good news for all you people who were psychologically traumatized by the infamous Grand Theft Auto Hot Coffee mod: Your check is in the mail!
You might remember the Hot Coffee controversy: Back in 2005 – yes, that’s five years ago – it was discovered that the original release version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas contained incomplete code for a sex mini-game. While the sex game was never used, an enterprising gamer released a mod enabling access to it, launching a major uproar in the process: The ESRB re-rated the game AO (Adults Only), Take-Two recalled the game and eventually re-released it with the code removed and, inevitably, the lawsuits flew fast and furious.
After years of legal wrangling, Take-Two finally settled the suits, promising aggrieved gamers either a replacement copy of the game or cash payouts ranging from $5 to $35 depending on the evidence submitted to the company – which, by the way, had to be filed by May 16, 2008. And now, after a half-decade that has seen the release of Liberty City Stories, Vice City Stories, Grand Theft Auto 4, The Lost and Damned, Chinatown Wars, The Ballad of Gay Tony and Episodes from Liberty City, those San Andreas checks are finally in the mail.
According to the GTA Class Action Settlement website, everyone who filed claims prior to the deadline will receive their payouts by April 15, 2010. The checks are accompanied by a letter releasing the claimant of “any and all claims… arising out of your purchase or use off the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas videogame.”
Have any of you received a Hot Coffee payment? If so, consider this while you’re cashing your windfall: Less than three thousand people from across the U.S. filed claims in the class action lawsuit, adding up to an actual payout of well under $30,000, yet the lawyers who filed the case claimed legal fees in excess of $1 million. Ain’t the legal system great?