Take-Two settles Hot Coffee class action

Pours $20 million's worth of cold water.

Take-Two and its insurance carriers have agreed to fork over more than $20 million to settle a class action suit covering historical stock option issues and, of course, the legendary Hot Coffee timebomb originally stamped into GTA: San Andreas discs.

Under the proposed settlement, Take-Two will pay $4,915,000 and its insurance firms $15,200,000 to satisfy class members, and Take-Two has agreed to extend changes already made in its corporate governance policies and practices.

In a brief statement, Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick said the publisher was "pleased to have reached this settlement, which represents another important step forward for the Company".

Hot Coffee was a sex-based mini-game cut out of GTA: San Andreas at some point during its development but left locked away on PC, PS2 and Xbox discs in sufficiently usable form for modders to uncover after the game's release.

It proved rather expensive for Take-Two, which saw its game re-rated by the American ESRB and undertook to replace consumers' AO copies of the game with M-rated ones and pay them $35 in exchange for proof of purchase.

The publisher's Rockstar Games imprint eventually developed a sense of humour about the affair, however, and even included a "Warm Coffee" Achievement/Trophy reward in Grand Theft Auto IV, received when the Niko Bellic successfully dated a girl and found himself invited indoors for a euphemistic beverage.

Although the company has settled the class action, that doesn't mean it agrees with the claims made in the class action itself, which were many. Kotaku's summary of events includes a link to the class action itself if you fancy taking a look. We're pretty over it ourselves.

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