Take-Two Interactive announced yesterday that it has reached a $20 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit filed over the 2005 Hot Coffee scandal.
Although T2's press release is regrettably light on details, securities are mentioned, indicating that this case is related to loss of equity value caused by Hot Coffee and its fallout.
Venture Beat has dug up a link to the complaint, Feninger vs. Take-Two. Kotaku offers an explanation of the details:
The nut of the allegations contained in the 34-page suit, is that Take-Two was spending more than it was bringing in and couldn't survive until the next Grand Theft Auto. So, the suit alleges, the company pushed Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas out the door knowing that there was pornographic material in the game because delays would have cost the company too much. If the material was known to be in the, the suit continues, major retailers wouldn't have sold it.
The outcome, according to the suit, was inflated stock prices based on bad or uninformed information from the company and a plunge in stock values when the truth came out.
The suit also alleges that Take-Two lied about the included sex scenes, nicknamed Hot Coffee, when they first came to light, with the company the scenes were "the work of a determined group of hackers who have gone to significant trouble to alter scenes.'"
GP: We should point out that, as the record shows, the notion that Take-Two lied about the origin of the Hot Coffee scenes is a fact, not merely an allegation. In one the sleaziest moves ever seen in the game biz, Take-Two tried to pin the rap for the hidden sex scenes on its biggest fans, the GTA mod community. To be fair, there was a different management team in place back then.