Lawyers Surprised by Low Opposition to Game's Hidden Sex Scenes

NEW YORK - Lawyers involved in a civil class-action lawsuit against the creators of the violent video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas reportedly are surprised that most players weren't offended by sex scenes hidden in the game.

Accessing the content in question required third-party software.

Under a settlement the lawyers hatched with the game's creators, Rockstar Games and its parent company Take-Two Interactive, buyers who took issue with the hidden sex scenes could file claims. Of the millions who bought the game since its 2004 release, 2,676 filed claims.

"Am I disappointed? Sure," Seth R. Lesser, lead lawyer for the plaintiffs, told 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."

Lesser and colleagues from 10 other law firms are asking for more than $1.3 million. Take-Two Interactive's lawyers say the company will dole out $300,000 to resolve the claims.

"It doesn't typically go that way," said Mary J. Davis, a University of Kentucky law professor who has studied this type of litigation. She said it is "sort of backwards" for legal fees to dwarf a settlement payout.

Under the settlement, Take-Two also arranged to contribute $860,000 to the video-game industry's rating board.

In 2005, the Entertainment Software Rating Board reclassified Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as for "adults only," recommending the game for players 18 and older. The game initially was rated for "mature" players, those at least 17 years old.

Take-Two Interactive also settled a complaint from the Federal Trade Commission by releasing a version without the hidden scenes.