Boy howdy! It's a make it or break it time for the GTA community as we anxiously wait to see what's going to happen next. Will the patching of the game's code cripple the thriving modification community? As a result of the Hot Coffee controversy, what's going to happen to future installments of the Grand Theft Auto franchise? Nobody knows for sure just yet, but you can be fairly certain that we're all a bit twitchy at the moment. (Maybe it's all the coffee. Har har. Bad joke. Har har.)
Taking a break from my long-winded rants and disgruntled reports, here's a relatively quick rundown of a few Hot Coffee-related postings from around the web. (Also, I'm bored, and tired, and fed up with this stuffy suit-and-tie deal that's been going on lately - so I wanted to post something a little bit nonchalant.)
1. Hot Coffee modification no longer available.
"As a sign of support towards RockStar, The Hot Coffee Mod is no longer available. I've removed this download out of free will. - PatrickW." The mod is no longer available for download, and Patrick is no longer supporting it, mmmkay?
2. San Andreas - Gone for Good?
"But retailers, including Wal-Mart and Best Buy, said yesterday that they were not certain they would carry a cleaned-up version of the game." A New York Times article reports on the position taken by some North American retail heavyweights, and the trouble it could cause for the GTA franchise.
3. Step Three, we believe, consists of bullshit.
""It was TEH HAXORZ!" ... "Wait, isn't this content also available on the PS2 and XBox?"" You've probably seen it, but what the hell, here it is again. The duo responsible for the most influential gaming-related webcomic on the interweb finally step forward with their response to Hot Coffee, Rockstar's foxtrot around the issue, and the ESRB rating system. (edit: link fixed. Thanks steve.)
4. Take Two admits the content wasn't made by modders.
"Rockstar's parent, Take Two Interactive, also admitted for the first time Wednesday that the sex scenes had been built into the retail game -- not just the PC version but also those written for Xbox and PlayStation2 consoles." CNN reports on Take-Two's final statement regarding the Hot Coffee controversy, as well as reactions from watchdog groups who have been keeping tabs on the ordeal.
5. IGN interviews Rockstar over the Hot Coffee fiasco.
"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." IGN finally gets to go 1-on-1 with Rockstar Games regarding the Hot Coffee controversy. "Never meant to be found" pops up repeatedly in this interview. When questioned about the change in their official statements (from "extensive modification from hackers" to "unlocked content originally in the game"), Rockstar claims that their original statement still holds true - that significant alterations to the code is required in order to unlock the Hot Coffee sequences.
6. I just wanted a video game, not eternal damnation in hell.
"Instead, I was shocked to learn that Denise wasn't talking about a delicious beverage made from roasted beans, but what she was really talking about was SEXUAL INTERCOURSE." Maddox weighs in, in his usual fashion, on the whole Hot Coffee thing. "I want to shoot people in the face, bang prostitutes, traffic drugs, steal cars, and terrorize police officers without this filthy smut in my game."
7. Videogames are Evil.
"It's only a game." The Neistat Brothers provide an informative video on how to install the Hot Coffee mod, as well as a fun alternative for those of you who are unable to get your hands on the modification.
8. Hot Coffee: Developers Sound Off
"While the ESRB's AO-rating may seem harsh (prior to Take-Two reviewing and releasing an M-rated, Decaf version of the game), it is far better than, through inaction, abdicating responsibility and inviting greater governmental scrutiny and control. In other words, either the ESRB does something about it, or Hillary does." The Developers Sound Off article is a collection of opinions and responses from game developers, regarding both their position on Rockstar and the ESRB. If you're a member of the 1Up community, you can (as always) respond to the article.
9. ESRB is the suck!
""Now that it has been confirmed that Rockstar Games and its parent company, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., failed to disclose to the ESRB the pornographic content of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the National Institute on Media and the Family recommends the creation of a video game rating system fully independent of the video game industry," added Dr. Walsh." The National Institute on Media and the Family has used the Hot Coffee controversy as justification for the demand that an independent group be formed to replace the ESRB. My guess is that they want to replace it with a group that begins with "National Institute" and ends with "Media and the Family".
10. Fargo and the adventures of MoralValuesMan.
""Look here," he explained, vaulting into a stolen Jaguar convertible with his blue cape billowing behind him. "Murder, theft, violence -- we're still all within the M-rating guidelines. Hop in!" He started up the car. "In fact, some of that would only qualify as 'Comic Mischief.' Did you see the look on that one guy's face?"" Fargo, of Gamespy, guides us through his satirical narrative commentary on the Hot Coffee modification.
11. Hilary Clinton's Commentary
"So many parents already feel like they are fighting a battle against violence and sexually explicit material with their hands tied behind their backs. We need companies to be responsible and we need rating systems that work." I think I'll just leave it at this - the game isn't made for kids. Get it through your heads, people.
Well, there you have it. An assortment of goodies relating to the Hot Coffee fiasco - everything from the perfectly sensible and mundane to outlandish and funny. If you manage to find any more interesting articles or content on the 'net related to the Hot Coffee mod, give us (or me) a shout on the forums.