The 3 Most Controversial Video Game Recalls

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  • The content of video games has been debated since the 1980s. On September 1, 1994, the ESRB started rating video games based on certain factors. Below are 3 of the most controversial video game recalls, 2 of which involve mature content.
  • The Silicon Knights game publisher was sued by Epic Games for using some of its Unreal Engine code for its own development engine. Silicon lost $9 million at settlement.
  • The sexist “Guy Game,” which contained females that removed their clothes for correct answers, was removed from shelves when it was discovered that one of the girls was underage.
  • Rockstar Game’s GTA: San Andreas contained a hidden sex scene that was disabled right before its release. However, a PC hack gave gamers access to the scene and Rockstar had to act quickly.

Video games have been a source of entertainment for quite some time. From cartoon graphics to realistic character models, video games continue to be a hot commodity for all ages. Every year a game developer pushes the bounds of creativity and creates an unforgettable game.

However, there are some games that consumers and developers want to forget. Games that were recalled due to offensive content, or ones that cost companies millions of dollars.

Too Human and X-Men Destiny

 Game Publisher, Silicon Knights lost a court battle case to Unreal Engine 4 developer Epic Games in 2007. The current Unreal Engine 3 was being used by Silicon Knights to develop their games, Too Human and X-Men Destiny.

Silicon claimed that Epic delivered the Unreal Engine 3 too late and that it lacked the complete instructions so they decided to sue. In an ironic turn of events, Epic discovered that Silicon Knights studio had illegally used some of the game engines code for their own product and therefore Epic issued a countersuit.

The court ruled in favor of Epic Games and Silicon Knights had to remove both Too Human and X-Men Destiny from store shelves and stop development on an unreleased third game. The move cost Silicone $9 million.

The Guy Game

The entire objective of Topheavy Studios’ The Guy Game was to participate in a quiz that would reward gamers with nudity if they answered the questions correctly. Although the premise of the game was controversial, it was advertised as an adult game and retailers held strict guidelines on who could buy the game.

Approximately 4 months after the game had been released, it was discovered that one of the bikini-clad girls in the game was only 17 years old. Topheavy Studios was now responsible for developing and selling a game with underage nudity.

The game was removed from stores and production was halted immediately.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

When Rockstar Games released Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in 2004, it contained an inappropriate sex scene embedded in the game’s source code. Although the scene was disabled right before the game’s release, a PC hack (modification) was discovered that gave players access.

Once this hack gained public traction via the press, Rockstar Games immediately started working on a patch while retailers either removed the game from their shelves or replaced the M rating with an Adult-only one.

Rockstar also sent out a mandatory recall to all customers who had purchased the original game, but very few were actually returned.