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Australia bans GTA: San Andreas

The "Hot Coffee" controversy has caught up with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in Australia, with the game now banned from sale.

The "Hot Coffee" controversy has caught up with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in Australia, with the game now banned from sale.

The Office of Film and Literature Classification (OLFC) revoked GTA: San Andreas' MA15+ classification last week, and has asked retailers to immediately stop selling the game. "Businesses that sell or hire computer games should remove existing stocks of this game from their shelves immediately," said Director of the OFLC Des Clark. Since there is no R rating for games in Australia, any title deemed to have content more graphic in nature that the MA15+ rating allows cannot be legally sold.

The OLFC pulled its rating on San Andreas "on the basis that it contains contentious material (activated through a code or otherwise) that was not brought to the Board's attention when it was classified". The "contentious" content in question relates to a sex minigame that can be unlocked which allows players to control the main character CJ during a sex act. The "Hot Coffee" mod opened up the minigame in the PC version of GTA: San Andreas, while a series of cheat codes need to be entered for it to be opened up in the PS2 version. The Board found that the content unlocked by a third party "Hot coffee" modification contained material that could not be accommodated at the MA15+ classification.

In a short statement on their official website, Take2 Interactive, parent company of GTA developer Rockstar Games, said the "OFLC decision had been expected and the financial impact (would) not alter the Company's recently announced guidance".