Hot Coffee, Tepid Lawsuit

1 07 2008

http://flickr.com/photos/yewenyi/228173856/

According to Take 2 Interactive, GTA: San Andreas sold a total of 21.5 million copies on all platforms. After the Hot Coffee fiasco, anyone in the US who bought a copy could claim between $5 and $35 of compensation due to offense caused by the locked out content that was uncovered by a mod-maker. Te number of people who have?

2676

For all the noise made by the media over this at the time, that’s a paltry number of people to make claims. From gamesindustry.biz:

“Am I disappointed? Sure,” said Seth Lesser, lead lawyer for the plaintiffs, reports the New York Times. “We can’t guess as to why now, several years later, people care or don’t care. The merits of the case were clear.”

The biggest winners look to be the 11 law firms who brought the action as they attempt to claim USD 1.3 million in fees – compared to less than USD 300,000 which Take-Two will pay out to claimants.

This lack of interest is seen by some that the case was meritless from the very beginning. Theodore Frank, director of the Legal Center for the Public Interest at the American Enterprise Institute, said the effort to claim USD 1.3 million will prove the case against Take-Two was worthless.

“There are two possibilities. Possibility one is they have a meritorious lawsuit and they’re selling out the class for attorneys’ fees.

“The other possibility is that, and frankly I think this is the more likely possibility, they brought a meritless lawsuit that had no business being brought to court at all,” he told the paper.

Even if every copy of San Andreas had been sold at the rock-bottom budget price of $20, that still would have been around $430M in revenues. While the PR damage can’t really be measured in dollars, and $1.6M is not to be sniffed at, the figure is quite small in comparison to the revenues.

(CC image by Yewenyi)

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