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Sam Houser Speaks About Hot Coffee

online TreeFitty & Marney1activity 1209 Days Agoaffiliates 4305 Viewsforums 5 Comments
Sam Houser Speaks About Hot CoffeeAn interesting interview with Rockstar's own Sam Houser shows the turmoil and distress he and his staff were under following the Hot Coffee scandal from San Andreas. The interview comes from the book All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How Fifty Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture which has many interviews from various game developers about their work and the hardships behind them.

"Through the stories of gaming's greatest innovations and most beloved creations, journalist Harold Goldberg captures the creativity, controversy--and passion--behind the videogame's meteoric rise to the top of the pop-culture pantheon.

Over the last fifty years, video games have grown from curiosities to fads to trends to one of the world's most popular forms of mass entertainment. But as the gaming industry grows in numerous directions and everyone talks about the advance of the moment, few explore and seek to understand the forces behind this profound evolution. How did we get from Space Invaders to Grand Theft Auto? How exactly did gaming become a $50 billion industry and a dominant pop culture form? What are the stories, the people, the innovations, and the fascinations behind this incredible growth?

Through extensive interviews with gaming's greatest innovators, both its icons and those unfairly forgotten by history, All Your Base Are Belong To Us sets out to answer these questions, exposing the creativity, odd theories--and passion--behind the twenty-first century's fastest-growing medium."

Of course the part that interests us is from Sam Houser. Wired posted an excerpt from the book that gives us some insight into the hardships suffered from the ordeal:

Sam had been thinking what a good life he was living. His son had just been born. He had just bought a country house with his brother. Maybe now he could relax a bit. Then he read about Hot Coffee on a messageboard. Immediately he had a sinking feeling.

A Dutch techie named Patrick Wildenborg had used some self-created code to open up the PC version of San Andreas. Inside, he discovered a locked portion of the game that featured the gangster character CJ having what amounted to R-rated sex in various positions with a girlfriend. (Without Wildenborg’s software key, all you heard were the sounds of passion.) Soon, the modder’s program went viral and thousands upon thousands were playing the sexual mini-game called Hot Coffee.

...

Sam told Dan, “These guys are out to get us. They’ll garrotte us whatever we do. They don’t give a shit. This is crazy.” Sam had always been a little neurotic; he would probably agree with former Intel CEO Andy Grove’s famous motto, “Only the paranoid survive.” Worry was an essential part of his personality; it helped him to get things done, allowed him to drive the various divisions within the company forward to complete deadlines. But when the FTC hauled nine Rockstar employees down to Washington, D.C., for their investigation, it changed Sam forever.

...

Back in New York City, his doctor said the Hot Coffee incident had left Sam badly injured, like a victim in an emotional car crash. In the end, it was the making of GTA IV that fueled Sam’s recovery. Rockstar would come back because they had a point to make. They would pull no punches with GTA IV, which would be hailed as the most grittily brave game they had ever created. It would sell 3.6 million copies on its first day and earn $500 million in its first week.

You can read more at Wired here and buy the actual book from Random House here. It seems like quite the story, of which I'm sure many gamers (especially GTA fans) would like to hear more.

What do you think? Tell us in the comments below!


If you haven't seen them...

A quick add-on to this article. Take a look at fatlittlenick's Munny versions of the GTA IV and Episodes from Liberty City characters:

Image

Cute. Be sure to submit your own artwork to the Grand Theft Auto image gallery and join us at our new GTA V site and forums for the latest Grand Theft Auto 5 news and info!
Comments
online TreeFittyactivity 1209 Days Ago
Dear Sam Houser,

Please write a book. Hell, make a documentary including the rest of the team regarding this issue. It would probably yield tears and give us (the Grand Theft Auto/Rockstar Games fans) more respect for you guys than we think possible. I do not think the discussions in this interview truly convey the amount of emotions involved as they leave me wanting to read more. Please consider.

Sincerely,

TreeFitty
Fellow Brooklynite and urban explorer
online demonactivity 1209 Days Ago
What R* did wrong was to locate themselves inside the US. Had they been based anywhere else in the world, the Hot Coffee would not have become that much of a problem. The American society is weird making a fuss about such a trivial thing.
online alooper21activity 1208 Days Ago

(demon)
What R* did wrong was to locate themselves inside the US. Had they been based anywhere else in the world, the Hot Coffee would not have become that much of a problem. The American society is weird making a fuss about such a trivial thing.


i think is rather the media pulling the leash, and not the society turning by itself against such trivial thing.
online TreeFittyactivity 1208 Days Ago
and politicians making names for themselves...
online alooper21activity 1206 Days Ago
true that.

and i also want to see the houser bros writing themselves some kind of rockstar games biography. i was really interested in that book about the insides of how they develop games, though i think it was just to test people reactions and see if such ideea would sell.
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