Think the video game industry is all fun and games? Think again. Video games have been the subject of some very monumental lawsuits over the years, and issues involving developers, characters, controversies, and merchandise have tied up courts around the world and resulted in multi-million dollar judgments and settlements. And nobody in the video game world seems to be safe. Everyone from Pac-Man to Donkey Kong has been dragged into ugly legal battles over the years. Here is a list of 11 video games that resulted in major lawsuits.
11. Grand Theft Auto — Hot Coffee
One of the most publicized video game lawsuits was a result of the “Hot Coffee” mod in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Rockstar Games originally programmed in an explicit sex minigame, where the player had to perform certain button movements in order to make the in-game character please his girlfriend. The entire scene was eventually scrapped from the game, but the code remained. When GTA: SA was released for the PC in 2005, tech geeks quickly uncovered the minigame. Soon, it was also possible to hack the Xbox and PlayStation versions to unlock the Hot Coffee scene.
The game’s publisher, Take-Two Interactive, were sued by the City of Los Angeles for failing to disclose sexual content. The FTC also launched a suit, along with several massive class-action lawsuits from consumers. All told, accidently leaving in some crude code cost the company well over $20 million! It wasn’t the last time Rockstar would be in legal trouble — Manhunt resulted in another lawsuit and Lindsay Lohan tried to sue, claiming Rockstar used her likeness in an advertisement for Grand Theft Auto 5.