Hot Coffee is the name of a mod to the Microsoft Windows version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on PC. The mod makes code that was hidden and inaccessible in the game available to the player. This "code" is for a sex mini-game that was cut, but not deleted from the disc. For the PlayStation 2 versions, a cheat code device like Action Replay is used instead of the patch. When the mod was released and spread through the internet, it became the source of criticism and outrage directed at Rockstar Games, the ESRB, the ESA and the game itself. Because of this mod, the original game was raised to an Adults Only rating. When the game was re-released without this
The contents of the mod are the main character, Carl "CJ" Johnson, and his girlfriend in an interactive sex mini-game. The players use the left analog stick to keep an excitement meter up.
There are various issues regarding the controversy surrounding "Hot Coffee". These issues are at the core of the debate between both sides, and within the game community.
Is it user created?
Originally, Rockstar denied that the mini-game even existed, but that it was the creation of people who hacked the PC game. Eventually, Rockstar backed out of this statement and issued another statement, not exactly confirming or denying that it was on the disc. This issue was settled when sources such as GameSpot used Action Replay codes to unlock the mini-game on the PS2, proving that it does exist on the disk, without the patch.
Is there nudity?
Some users who ran the patch on their PC game may have found that the mini-game featured extensive nudity. However, as evidenced by the existence of the sex mini-game on the PlayStation 2 version of the game, the nudity in some patches is purely the creation of the makers of the Hot Coffee mod, not Rockstar. The un-modded mini game features two clothed characters. Therefore, claims by critics that the game is pornographic in nature (and thus making the original game deserving of an Adults Only rating) are demonstrably false.
Should it be Adults Only?
There are many who think the violence in the game alone condones an Adults Only rating. Either way, games like God of War, which features an off-camera sex mini-game but bare nudity, and The Guy Game, which is just a bunch of mini-games that unlock pornographic content, both earned a Mature rating.
Additionally, the ESRB's Mature rating is meant to be a parallel with the MPAA's Restricted rating, and many R-rated movies feature much worse than violence and clothed people simulating sex. There are those that refute this argument by saying that because video games are an interactive medium, that they should have stricter criteria for ratings, or have censorship imposed more than in movies, TV or music.
Effects of the Mod
The "Hot Coffee" mod has been used by many critics to crack down on the games industry and the ESRB. Also, most major game retailers such as Wal-Mart, GameStop, and EBGames have removed the title from their shelves, due to their policy of not stocking AO games. Because of this Take-Two Interactive, was expected to lose about $50 million in sales that year.