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Rockstar throws cold water on 'Hot Coffee'

In effort to fend off criticism from "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" scandal, company releases patch disabling access to adult scenes.

Moving to calm the scandal surrounding "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," Rockstar Games has released a patch that disables the infamous sexually oriented "Hot Coffee" scenes from its game.

"The 'Hot Coffee' scenes were not intended to be part of the 'Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' experience," Rockstar wrote in an introduction to the patch on its site. "If your copy of (GTA) for PCs has been altered by the unauthorized 'Hot Coffee' download circulating on the Internet, or if you wish to prevent your version from being so and open the 'No More Hot Coffee' game patch." Alongside the instructions for installing the patch, Rockstar included a FAQ explaining the situation.

To be sure, Rockstar has been slammed in the media since the Hot Coffee scandal broke last month. And it has tried to handle the criticism gracefully by accepting the blame.

"We take (the situation) seriously, and we're trying to address it aggressively and proactively," Rodney Walker, a Rockstar spokesman, told CNET prior to the release of the patch. "We're re-dedicating ourselves to improving the understanding about the kinds of games we're making, and the audience the games are intended for."

In the wake of the scandal surrounding the best-selling video game of 2005, the Entertainment Software Rating Board from Mature to Adult. At the same time, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., railed against the game for its inappropriate content, despite the fact that the Hot Coffee scenes were not directly accessible without downloading the modification from the Internet.

"Once the ESRB rated the game," Walker said, "we had to act quickly and take immediate corrective action, and we have."

"We take our game seriously, and the ratings system seriously," said Walker, "and we're looking forward to getting back to making the games we make."