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Consumers Sue Take-Two Over Grand Theft Auto

Video game maker Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) said in a regulatory filing Friday it has been sued by consumers seeking class action status on charges it falsely advertised "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (search)," a video game with hidden sex scenes.

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., whose Rockstar Games (search) unit develops the title, said it was served with two virtually identical lawsuits in New York accusing it of consumer deception, false advertising and common law fraud.

Both lawsuits also charge the company profited by not disclosing that "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" contained "hidden" content, according to the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, the lawsuits seek unspecified damages.

"The company believes the complaints are without merit and intends to vigorously defend and seek dismissals of these actions," Take-Two said in the filing.

"Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" is one of the best-selling titles in the history of the fast-growing video game industry, which rivals annual Hollywood box office revenue.

The game recently was assigned an "Adults Only 18+" rating by the industry's rating group after hackers discovered a way to unlock hidden sex scenes in the criminal adventure game.

Prior to that, the game had carried a "Mature 17+" rating due to "blood and gore, intense violence, strong language, strong sexual content and use of drugs," according to the package.

Many retailers, including Best Buy Co. Inc. (BBY), pulled the game from store shelves after the rating was changed.

Earlier this week, the Federal Trade Commission (search) said it was investigating advertising claims made about the blockbuster game.

"Grant Theft Auto: San Andreas", designed for the PlayStation 2 game console, was the No. 1 selling game of 2004.