12 years ago today Rockstar Games launched the classic open-world title Grand theft Auto: San Andreas. The game launched first on the PlayStation 2 console.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is known for its vast open-world landscape that hooked gamers when it released in 2004 for the PlayStation 2. The game eventually made its way to the PC and the original Xbox console in June of 2005.
Staying true to the same formula set out in Grand Theft Auto 3 and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City the game built on existing gameplay mechanics by adding a whole host of extra ingame activities, including sporting and minigames.
In mid-June 2005 the game received controversy for a hidden sexually oriented minigame that could be unlocked in the PC version by installing a game modification. A month later North America's game rating organisation ESRB changed the game's rating from Mature to Adult Only.
As a result of the rating change many retailers pulled the game off their shelves in compliance with their own store regulations that kept them from selling Adult Only rated games.
That same month in Australia, the Office of Film and Literature Classification revoked its original rating of MA15+, meaning that the game could no longer be sold in the country.
In August 2005, Rockstar Games released an official "Cold Coffee" patch for the PC version of the game and re-released San Andreas with the "Hot Coffee" scenes removed, allowing the game to return to its Mature rating.
The PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions were also re-released with the "Hot Coffee" scenes removed in the Greatest Hits Edition, the Platinum Edition, the "Grand Theft Auto Trilogy Pack" for Xbox and PlayStation 2, as well as a Special Edition for PlayStation 2 that includes the documentary film Sunday Driver. The updated game disc features the "SECOND EDITION" text under the "M for Mature" rating logo.
On November 8th 2007, Take-Two announced a proposed settlement to the class action litigation that had been brought against them following the Hot Coffee controversy.
Ultimately neither Take-Two nor Rockstar would admit liability or wrongdoing. A total of 2,676 claims for the compensation package had been filed.
The game is still considered one of the best Grand Theft Auto games in history.
Every contribution we receive goes directly into funding our journalism to ensure we can continue doing what we do best.