The furore over the Hot Coffee mod just gets more and more ridiculous. They’re being baited over it by the Australian government, the ESRB, numerous parents/Christian/moral crusader groups, and now Hillary Clinton, amongst others. I’m surprised that it’s the BBFC (the same ones who can’t handle a headbutt in Star Wars) are the ones acting as the voice of reason in this situation by not being particularly bothered. I remain in my original position (no pun intended) that it’s an adult game which is rated as such and so it shouldn’t matter, and why is consensual sex in a game where you can commit mass murder a problem in the first place?
Anyway, the hurdle at the moment seems to be for Rockstar to prove whether or not the content was in the game originally and was simply unlocked by the mod (I’m slightly skeptical that a 2MB patch is necessary to edit one preference file, personally) or if it was a complete fabrication by the online community. Either way I don’t see that it matters that much – if it was the mod maker then there’s no problem, and if it wasn’t it doesn’t matter because they’d disabled the minigame in the code itself. It’s not like it was a prominent gameplay feature that they hid from the ratings boards; they’d actually made it inaccessible and it was as good as gone.
If I was the creator of Hot Coffee I’d actually come out and say that I made it from scratch, whether he actually did or not. Whatever happens this is going to make developers very nervous about letting the community modify their games as they could be held responsible for other people’s work. Rockstar are no strangers to controversy and are probably loving this boost to sales for San Andreas on the PC, but the likes of EA are never going to risk this kind of backlash.