Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Announces Preliminary Settlement of Consumer Class Action
November, 8 2007
New York, NY – Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) today announced the settlement of all consumer class action lawsuits pending in the United States against the Company and its subsidiary Rockstar Games, relating to a third-party program called the “Hot Coffee Modification” that could be used by consumers to alter the content of the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas video game. If the proposed settlement receives preliminary and final approval from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, all claims in these lawsuits will be dismissed without any admission of liability or wrongdoing by Take-Two or Rockstar.
Under the terms of the settlement, class members will be able to claim benefits if they swear that they: (a) bought a copy of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas before July 20, 2005; (b) were offended and upset by the ability of consumers to modify and alter the game's content using the third-party Hot Coffee modification; (c) would not have bought the game had they known that consumers could modify and alter the game's content using the third-party Hot Coffee modification; and (d) would have returned the game, upon learning the game could be modified and altered, if they thought this possible. Settlement class members who attest to these facts may apply for benefits that range from an exchange of the game disk for an edited copy of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas to a cash payment of up to $35 for consumers who submit detailed proofs of purchase.
The actual value of all cash payments under the settlement will depend on the number of class members that apply for benefits. Take-Two has committed to spend at least $1.025 million on settlement benefits, and the settlement generally caps the defendants' out-of-pocket costs at no more than $2.75 million, in addition to the costs of providing notice to class members and paying a fee to plaintiffs' counsel. The Company previously established a reserve sufficient to substantially cover the expected cost of the settlement and related expenses. The full settlement terms will be described in the parties' Settlement Agreement, which the plaintiffs are expected to file with the Court in mid-November when they seek preliminary approval for the settlement.
"If the case had continued, we believe the court would have agreed that Take-Two was not liable for consumers acting independently to modify their games with third-party hardware and software to access normally inaccessible content," said Ben Feder, Chief Executive Officer of Take-Two. "Nonetheless, we believe it is in the best interest of the Company to avoid protracted and costly litigation to prove our case and to finally put this matter behind us."
About Take-Two Interactive Software
Headquartered in New York City, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. is a global developer, marketer, distributor and publisher of interactive entertainment software games for the PC, PlayStation® game console, PlayStation®2 and PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment systems, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, Xbox® and Xbox 360® video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft, Wii™, Nintendo GameCube™, Nintendo DS™ and Game Boy® Advance. The Company publishes and develops products through its wholly owned labels Rockstar Games, 2K Games, 2K Sports and 2K Play; and distributes software, hardware and accessories in North America through its Jack of All Games subsidiary. Take-Two's common stock is publicly traded on NASDAQ under the symbol TTWO. For more corporate and product information please visit our website at www.take2games.com.
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Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This press release contains forward-looking statements made in reliance upon the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The statements contained herein which are not historical facts are considered forward-looking statements under federal securities laws. Such forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs of our management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to them. The Company has no obligation to update such forward-looking statements. Actual results may vary significantly from these forward-looking statements based on a variety of factors. These risks and uncertainties include the matters relating to the Special Committee’s investigation of the Company’s stock option grants and the restatement of our consolidated financial statements. The investigation and conclusions of the Special Committee may result in claims and proceedings relating to such matters, including previously disclosed shareholder and derivative litigation and actions by the Securities and Exchange Commission and/or other governmental agencies and negative tax or other implications for the Company resulting from any accounting adjustments or other factors. Other important factors are described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2006, and in the Company’s Form 10-Q for the third quarter ended July 31, 2007 in the section entitled “Risk Factors.”