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View Full Version : Take-Two Interactive and the Grand Theft Sex Scene


Rain Man
06-27-2006, 11:01 AM
As some of you may know, Take Two Interactive is the company that hid a sex scene in a popular video game a couple of years back. They got caught, and a bit of a scandal blew up in their faces over it.

I've had a little bit of stock in the company for quite a while, which has done well for me. After this scandal hit, the stock slid pretty badly. Today the feds issued subpoenas to get records about what executives knew, and when they knew it. The stock tanked today, down 18 percent.

A few questions for those of you in the know.


1. What happened to the popularity of the Grand Theft Auto series after this happened? Have sales dropped? Do parents not allow their kids to buy it any more? Will the next version (if there is one) do well?

2. Has anyone else read about the investigation? What's the potential downside for the company if they determine that the company knowingly put this scene into the software?

I'm pondering this as a buying opportunity. To me, it's kind of a stupid reason for a stock to tank, because I don't see it affecting the company in the long run, unless for some reason the Feds and/or some sort of class-action lawsuit drives the company into the ground.

I initially bought my stock in this company when they were being investigated by the SEC, so the stock had completely tanked. The SEC found no wrongdoing, and I think I made about 400% on the stock over the course of a couple of years. I've given back a good chunk of it with this stupid stuff, but I'm wondering if I can make it all back and more.

hawkchief
06-27-2006, 11:20 AM
Anything involving sex is usually good, so I would concur that a buying opportunity exists.

ferrarispider95
06-27-2006, 11:26 AM
I was thinking of buying some of the call options on this company. Allow me to get a little play, but not lose too much if they don't get to profitability this year.

JBucc
06-27-2006, 11:26 AM
I don't know about the sales of SA after this happened but I assume it dropped some because of the AO rating. I don't think this will affect the next one much at all though.

DaFace
06-27-2006, 11:29 AM
I'm by no means an expert in the area, but the game seems to target upper teens and college students . I doubt either of those groups would care one way or another if the company got sued. My guess is that slipping in a sex scene here and there would increase their sales if anything. :shrug:

Rain Man
06-27-2006, 11:35 AM
My theory is that, unless something literally wipes the company off the face of the earth, they're more or less just getting a lot of publicity. I think there's a buying opportunity here, but at the same time I'd sure hate to invest money in a sinking ship.

BIG_DADDY
06-27-2006, 11:36 AM
Today the feds issued subpoenas to get records about what executives knew, and when they knew it.



ROFL That is beyond ridiculous.


Sorry bout your stock.

ferrarispider95
06-27-2006, 11:39 AM
The only worry for this matter is the financial implications stemming from fine our the cost of a legal battle and how it affects there ability to gain probability in the 4q this year and they initially stated they would.

The end user could care less if they are getting dragged to a grand jury testimony.

Rain Man
06-27-2006, 11:40 AM
ROFL That is beyond ridiculous.


Sorry bout your stock.

I'm actually still running a profit on it, because the runup was so big. It's merely declined from being a shiny star for me to being a so-so stock.

I'm ... reaching ... for ... the ... buy ... button ...

ChiefFripp
06-27-2006, 11:46 AM
Go with Dice (swe) or ID Software.

jidar
06-27-2006, 11:51 AM
The scandal affected the game and it's sales greatly. Take Two had to pull most existing copies in retail (as most stores refuse to carry the game with it's re-rating of AO) and then reissue the game to get their M rating.

Reportedly it cost the company about $25million.

However, Take Two can afford it and the series is still strong. The next installment of the franchise will be simultaneously released on Xbox 360, PS3 and possibly PS2 and it will sell as well as it ever has, if not better. Actually I expect it to do better because it's the first major upgrade in the tech in awhile. Afterwords they will probably release a few more titles with basically that same engine.

As for this investigation, I'd definately put money on them coming out of that fine. The sex scene in the game wasn't somthing you could get to without hacking the game so I believe they had no intention of it being in the market. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Hold on to the stock, you'll make your money back and then some soon enough.

alanm
06-27-2006, 11:54 AM
My theory is that, unless something literally wipes the company off the face of the earth, they're more or less just getting a lot of publicity. I think there's a buying opportunity here, but at the same time I'd sure hate to invest money in a sinking ship.
Their funneling money to Al Qaeda. Sell, sell, sell. :)

htismaqe
06-27-2006, 11:55 AM
The thing to remember is that these game development shops run VERY lean.

If they have to pay a multi-million dollar government fine, they're in a world of hurt.

Like you said -- "unless something literally wipes the company off the face of the earth". Well, with the current regime, I'd say that's a very real possibility.

Saulbadguy
06-27-2006, 11:56 AM
What a joke.

BIG_DADDY
06-27-2006, 11:59 AM
I'm actually still running a profit on it, because the runup was so big. It's merely declined from being a shiny star for me to being a so-so stock.

I'm ... reaching ... for ... the ... buy ... button ...

What's the ticker symbol?

ferrarispider95
06-27-2006, 11:59 AM
ttwo

Cave Johnson
06-27-2006, 12:01 PM
1. What happened to the popularity of the Grand Theft Auto series after this happened? Have sales dropped? Do parents not allow their kids to buy it any more? Will the next version (if there is one) do well?

A caveat... I haven't looked at the GTA:SA sales results, so this is mere informed speculation on my part. San Andreas came out in October 2004 and the sex scene brouhaha (technically called "Hot Coffee") came to light in June 2005. By that time the game was already out for the PC and Xbox. Any impact on sales was probably minimal.

They have a new game (Liberty City Stories) which was previously on the PSP and was just releasing for the PS2. The next GTA, which will be on the 360 and PS3, is set for release in October 2007. Whether it sells well will probably depend more on adoption of the next platforms than any morality-based controversy. Just my $.02

BIG_DADDY
06-27-2006, 12:04 PM
ttwo


Thanks

Cochise
06-27-2006, 12:18 PM
The thing to remember is that these game development shops run VERY lean.

If they have to pay a multi-million dollar government fine, they're in a world of hurt.

I have heard in the past of a big budget game flopping and the development house that produced it being so disrupted that they had to sell to a bigger company. So that possibility exists too.

However, I wouldn't expect this to harm the GTA series.

- IIRC the scene was only accessible in the PC version of the game, and not through normal gameplay - you needed a third party hack to see it. I thought I read that it was built into the game, then supposedly just rendered inaccessible rather than totally ripped out of the code before it went to pressing. This, in my experience in development, is a fairly common practice.

- Given the kind of stuff that you do as part of the gameplay in GTA (hacking people up with chainsaws, moving drugs and the like), the sex scene is one of the least objectionable game elements.

- The demographic playing these games would approve of such a scene anyways.

HC_Chief
06-27-2006, 12:22 PM
lol

What a joke. Our tax dollars hard at work, no?

Parents need to pay attention to EVERYTHING their kids do. That includes monitoring online habits, video games, television, friends, activities... everything. It's not the government's job to babysit your goddamn kids for you. They'll do an even worse job than your dumb ass will!

Predarat
06-27-2006, 12:24 PM
From the way it sounded at first I thought it was 'hidden' in the normal game but you actually need a special code to view it.

58-4ever
06-27-2006, 12:27 PM
I actually do have some inside information on this issue, but, if they can take Martha Stewart down for divulging info...well, a brother can't take that chance. STFU

Rain Man
06-27-2006, 12:33 PM
As for this investigation, I'd definately put money on them coming out of that fine. The sex scene in the game wasn't somthing you could get to without hacking the game so I believe they had no intention of it being in the market. I wouldn't worry too much about it.


That, in my opinion, should be a key element. Can they show that this was not accessible without a guilty third party? Or will they be held liable for having it in the code, even if it couldn't be accessed without additional resources?

Common sense says that the producer of the hack should be liable. But I can also see that being seen as a loophole where a company puts stuff in and then relies on viral marketing and third-party hacks to produce the aftermarket tools.

The ironic part to me is what was mentioned earlier. The guv'mint gets upset about a hack that shows sex when the basic game shows people being shot, stabbed, and mutilated in a variety of ways. Great values we've got here in America today.

Rain Man
06-27-2006, 12:34 PM
I actually do have some inside information on this issue, but, if they can take Martha Stewart down for divulging info...well, a brother can't take that chance. STFU

I'll give you rep.

Mr. Flopnuts
06-27-2006, 02:12 PM
ROFL If you haven't seen the scene check this out.

NSFW!!!!!!!



http://gorillamask.net/gtasex.shtml

Rain Man
06-27-2006, 02:30 PM
ROFL If you haven't seen the scene check this out.

NSFW!!!!!!!



http://gorillamask.net/gtasex.shtml


I paid $5,000 for THAT?

jspchief
06-27-2006, 02:36 PM
Unrelated to the scandal, I think the GTA brand is on it's way down anyway.

The game is running out of ideas. I was a huge fan, but after so long you realize it's the same crap, just with a different colored character. SA was the first in the series I didn't finish, and the new one just doesn't interest me.

JBucc
06-27-2006, 02:41 PM
Unrelated to the scandal, I think the GTA brand is on it's way down anyway.

The game is running out of ideas. I was a huge fan, but after so long you realize it's the same crap, just with a different colored character. SA was the first in the series I didn't finish, and the new one just doesn't interest me.The next one will sell big just because it's the first on the new systems.

Prince22
06-27-2006, 03:57 PM
chapelleGTA (http://www.youtube.com/watch?search=grand+theft+auto+sex+scene&mode=related&v=u2nISpcgfLA)

Reaper16
06-27-2006, 04:36 PM
They didn't necessarilly "hide" the Hot Coffee scene. They were close to going gold (i.e., burning the disks for shipment and release) when they decided to not have that mini game playable after all. (Good decision).

Rockstar coded the scene away. It was, for all intents and purposes, inaccessible. Now, when GTA: San Andreas released for the PC, a format much easier to exploit and modify, this scene was discovered. For those playing the PC game, it was a relatively easy mod to unlock.

To access it in the home console versions, you had to really want to do it. The media portrayed the scene as something kids to unlock with a mere combination of button entries, like standard game passwords. That couldn't be further from the truth. For a child playing GTA on a console to see the scene, the kid would have to first have to buy a third party device such as a SharkDrive to house the mod in after download, and then know enoug about computers to run the mod. Note that the child would have to go on the internet in the first place, where he/she could find real porn much, much, much more easily. Also, whya re parents letting kids play this in the first place?!?

There shouldn't have been any scandal at all. People are so ****ing stupid these days to blow this out of porportion.