MSNBC NEWS: Game's rating change a sign of things

stack99

Established Member
MSNBC NEWS: Game's rating change a sign of things

SAN FRANCISCO - The video game industry's decision to give an adults-only rating to the best-selling "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" because of explicit sexual content could signal the start of a crackdown on raunchy games.

The rating change followed intense pressure from politicians and media watch groups. Retailers reacted swiftly — Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp. and Best Buy Co. said Wednesday they would pull all copies from their store shelves nationwide. Circuit City Stores Inc., the nation’s No. 2 consumer electronics chain, joined the list Thursday.

Rockstar Games, the producer of "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," said it has stopped making the current version of the game, which includes graphic sex scenes that can be unlocked with an Internet download. The game was released in October with an "M" rating, for players 17 and older.

Sen. Hilary Rodham Clinton, D-New York, applauded the change but said she was disturbed the sexual content appeared on store shelves in the first place. She asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate and called on the Entertainment Software Rating Board to do more to police game content.

"Apparently the sexual material was embedded in the game. The company admitted that," Clinton said. "The fact remains that the company gamed the ratings system."

Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., said this week the video game industry needs a good dose of government oversight and renewed a call for a law requiring the FTC to determine if the video game industry's labeling practices are unfair or deceptive.

"Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" was last year's top console game, selling more than 5.1 million copies in the U.S., according to market analyst NPD Group. Xbox and PC versions were released last month.

Rockstar's parent company, New York-based Take Two Interactive Software Inc., acknowledged for the first time that the sex scenes were built into the retail version of the game. Company officials previously suggested that a modification created by outsiders added the scenes.

"The editing and finalization of any game is a complicated task and it's not uncommon for unused and unfinished content to remain on the disc," Take-Two spokesman Jim Ankner told The Associated Press.

In a statement, ESRB chief Patricia Vance said the sex scenes were programmed by Rockstar "to be inaccessible to the player." But she also acknowledged that the "credibility and utility" of the industry-run board's initial "M" rating had been "seriously undermined."

Rockstar said it would provide new labels to any retailer willing to keep selling the games and offer a downloadable patch to fix the sexual content in PC versions. The company also is working on a new, more secure version, to be rated "M," for mature.

A computer program known as Hot Coffee allows users to unlock the sex scenes. Such modifications — or "mods" — are wildly popular among the hardcore gaming community, and have been shown to extend the retail longevity of games.

Take-Two president Paul Eibeler said "the decision to re-rate a game based on an unauthorized third party modification presents a new challenge for parents, the interactive entertainment industry and anyone who distributes or consumes digital content."

The Parents Television Council, one of several media watchdogs that have criticized Rockstar and the ESRB, called on the game publisher to recall the game and offer refunds.

"I tip my cap to that first step of showing responsibility," said Tim Winter, the council's executive director. "Phase two needs to be absolutely getting to the bottom of this coding issue. How did it get into that game? How did it get past the ratings board?"

Take-Two said net sales could drop by more than $50 million this quarter, and lowered its financial expectations for the year to set aside funds for returns of the games.
 
MSNBC NEWS: Game's rating change a sign of things

I always find it somewhat odd that Democrats are usually the ones who claim they're trying to protect our civil rights but at the same time they're the first one to jump on the bandwagon of cencorship and federal regulation in video gaming.

Not to say Republican's are innocent by any means, but the Dem's (Lieberman, Clinton) are certainly pushing these types of things more than anyone else.
 
MSNBC NEWS: Game's rating change a sign of things

I fail to see why Walmart, Best Buy, and Target are taking the games off the shelves... why not just slap on an AO sticker on top of existing copies and sell it to 18+? Stupid corporate policies... good news for smaller companies and people looking to sell their current copies though. Looking at current ebay prices I'm tempted to go down and buy a dozen used copies for $35 Canadian (<$29US)and sell them for $50+USD
 
MSNBC NEWS: Game's rating change a sign of things

Hell, if I had the money I'd stock up on em now and wait about 3-4months.. you could easily double-triple your money on ebay...

and slapping an AO sticker on a game is like having an NC-17 rating on a movie, none of the big retail chains carry NC-17(though they carry R rathed) movies so makes sense that they would not carry AO games... the whole point of their business is to sell as much as possible to as many people as possible without pissing them off, AO and NC-17 rates stuff tend to rub the religious right and the federal regulating left the wrong way... but if you ever need to buy some bullets to shoot people Wal-Mart has "Always Low Prices, Always".
 
MSNBC NEWS: Game's rating change a sign of things

While it was probably a good idea that the ESRB changed the rating (just think the ammo the politicians would have otherwise) the whole thing is kind of silly. The content that's actually built into the game (not the naked skins added by the mod) are no worse than what you can find in R rated movies. Of course it was foolish for the people at Rockstar to include it anyway (presumably the only reason you leave something like that in there is because you're hoping someone finds it).
 

CrazyGoon

Established Member
MSNBC NEWS: Game's rating change a sign of things

Originally posted by Mask of Destiny@Fri, 2005-07-22 @ 11:05 PM

Of course it was foolish for the people at Rockstar to include it anyway (presumably the only reason you leave something like that in there is because you're hoping someone finds it).

[post=137120]Quoted post[/post]​


Foolish? Actually, I'm guessing it was the plan all a long. What Rockstar has achieved is 8-9 months (has it really been that long? :blink:) of capitalising from the sales of their newest GTA game, publicity (resulting in further sales) from the 'hot coffee' mod (which Ironically didn't fund the authors of the mod in any way :p), and finally, a new 're-release' of the game to replace any shelves which refused to keep the now "AO" version, which warrents even more sales (since the retailers would probably have to re-buy the "re-release", if, of course, they still want to make some money from this popular title), and collectors add to the pool of money as they shell out for the second version. All the while, the so called "crackdown" is made on other game titles that may include similar content, which hurts the "opposition" to Capcom - other developers ;)

So yeah, doesn't sound too foolish to me :smash
 
MSNBC NEWS: Game's rating change a sign of things

I just checked ebay, and the prices for xbox version are already up into the 70 dollars range and the ps2 version is over 50, so in a few months, im sure this will get even higher.
 

Pearl Jammzz

Established Member
MSNBC NEWS: Game's rating change a sign of things

and people pay this...why? dumb people...

Anyways, it's funny how these bigwigs get up on a posium and just start blabbing about something they know NOTHING about. I have a nude patch for my leisure suit larry on xbox.....nothin has happened to good ol' larry. It's a hack, a mod, it's not in the 'retail' version of the game. The game has not changed in any way, shape, or form.

People just need to pull their heads out of their asses. What's the big dif between M and AO games anyways? have to wait another 12 months to buy it?
 

schi0249

Mid Boss
MSNBC NEWS: Game's rating change a sign of things

But it is still available over on Rockstars web site. All are $49.99 + s/h. Man how stupid are people. Retailers returned probably a few thousand copies to Rockstar. It's not like they are gonna destroy them.
 
MSNBC NEWS: Game's rating change a sign of things

Originally posted by CrazyGoon@Sat, 2005-07-23 @ 02:26 PM

Foolish? Actually, I'm guessing it was the plan all a long. What Rockstar has achieved is 8-9 months (has it really been that long? :blink:) of capitalising from the sales of their newest GTA game, publicity (resulting in further sales) from the 'hot coffee' mod (which Ironically didn't fund the authors of the mod in any way :p), and finally, a new 're-release' of the game to replace any shelves which refused to keep the now "AO" version, which warrents even more sales (since the retailers would probably have to re-buy the "re-release", if, of course, they still want to make some money from this popular title), and collectors add to the pool of money as they shell out for the second version. All the while, the so called "crackdown" is made on other game titles that may include similar content, which hurts the "opposition" to Capcom - other developers ;)

So yeah, doesn't sound too foolish to me :smash

[post=137136]Quoted post[/post]​


I'm pretty sure Rockstar had to eat the cost of copies returned to them (assuming they can't sell the AO versions somewhere else), they didn't just get to resell it to the retailers.

Sure they got publicity, but is all publicity truly good publicity?
 

CrazyGoon

Established Member
MSNBC NEWS: Game's rating change a sign of things

Originally posted by Mask of Destiny+Sun, 2005-07-24 @ 01:06 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Mask of Destiny @ Sun, 2005-07-24 @ 01:06 AM)</div><div class='quotemain'>I'm pretty sure Rockstar had to eat the cost of copies returned to them (assuming they can't sell the AO versions somewhere else), they didn't just get to resell it to the retailers.

[post=137172]Quoted post[/post]​

[/b]


Oh - Rockstar were the publishers aswell. Well, yeah, if retailers had a right to demand a reimbursement from them, then they would have had to eat the cost. But do you think retailers have that sort of right? This is a business to business relationship, not business to customer - unless a contract was signed, no "warrenties/ refunds" will be issued. Or am I confused? Is this all common stuff in the world of business?

<!--QuoteBegin-Mask of Destiny
@Sun, 2005-07-24 @ 01:06 AM

Sure they got publicity, but is all publicity truly good publicity?

[post=137172]Quoted post[/post]​

[/quote]

In the case of Rockstar, I'm inclined to believe that the impact of the publicity wouldn't affect their customers (people who play games) negatively.
 
MSNBC NEWS: Game's rating change a sign of things

Originally posted by CrazyGoon@Mon, 2005-07-25 @ 05:58 AM

Oh - Rockstar were the publishers aswell. Well, yeah, if retailers had a right to demand a reimbursement from them, then they would have had to eat the cost. But do you think retailers have that sort of right? This is a business to business relationship, not business to customer - unless a contract was signed, no "warrenties/ refunds" will be issued. Or am I confused? Is this all common stuff in the world of business?

I was under the impression that Rockstar issued a recall of some sort.

In the case of Rockstar, I'm inclined to believe that the impact of the publicity wouldn't affect their customers (people who play games) negatively.

But many of their customers still have their parents in authority over them.
 
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