Nov 17th, 2016

Video games are no stranger to controversy. It seems like with each new entry in the Grand Theft Auto, someone, somewhere finds something to say about it. Violence in video games and how it impacts youths is still a hotly-debated topic among media outlets and parents around the globe.

Today, we’re having fun with those controversial issues by bringing you the five biggest controversial events in gaming.

5. Microsoft’s original plans for the Xbox One


From no used games to requiring users to sign into the system once every 24 hours, Microsoft’s original vision for the Xbox One was less than stellar. The unveiling was met with ire from the gaming community due to its focus on apps and less so on video games.

Former Microsoft President Don Mattrick didn’t make things any easier for the company when he insulted members of the armed forces stating that if you didn’t have an internet connection, you could always get an Xbox 360.

After reversing some of the system’s policies, dropping the price from $500 to $300 and introducing the Xbox One S, it’s safe to say that Microsoft is in a much better position than they were in 2013.

4. Kojima vs. Konami


In March 2015, rumors began circulating that Hideo Kojima, father of the Metal Gear Solid series, had left Konami. These rumors began to make a lot more sense throughout the year as Konami first removed any Kojima branding from marketing materials and Metal Gears Solid games, then put them back, followed by removing Silent Hills from the PlayStation Store, and so on. Although Hideo Kojima was awarded the

Although Hideo Kojima was awarded the Industry Icon Award at The Game Awards 2016, Konami barred Kojima from accepting the reward at the event, leading to host Geoff Keighley’s rather blunt statement on the whole affair.

Things came to a close earlier this year when Kojima began touring the world for inspiration for the upcoming project Death Stranding.

3. PSN hack of 2011


In 2011, there were about 77 million accounts registered on the PlaySation Network. Between April 17 and 19th, those accounts were compromised in a network-wide hack that Sony didn’t acknowledge until April 21st. In the meantime, on April 20th, Sony shut down the PSN, resulting in millions of users who couldn’t go online and play with their friends for reasons they weren’t aware of at the time.

It wasn’t until April 26th that Sony announced that users’ sensitive information (birthdays, addresses, emails, passwords, etc) had been obtained by the hackers.

Credit card details were encrypted and safe.

The PlayStation Network was brought back online in waves starting on May 14th with a “Welcome Back” package of PSN games given to users. All in all, the hack cost them about $170 million.

2. GTA “Hot Coffee” mod


Mods can be a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at them. They can either expand the scope of a game, creating things the developers might never thought possible, or reveal things that they never intended you to see. The legendary “hot coffee” mod is the latter.

In 2005, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was released on the PC. As we’ve come to know, PC releases are oftentimes quickly cracked open as the modding community gets to work. A group of modders, in this case, were able to revive a minigame that Rockstar Games had left out of the final release on PC and consoles. That mini-game is activated when C.J.’s chosen girlfriend asks the protagonist if he wants to join her for some “hot coffee.” Of course, now we know this as a euphemism for sex.

With the mod enabled, you got front-row seats to the whole shebang, as CJ and his lady had clothed intercourse. And because it was a minigame, you also got to play along, controlling the sweaty actions of both characters.

The files for the minigame were also re-enabled in the console versions of the game thanks to various hacking tools. Understandably, news outlets pounced on this story like vultures, leading to the game’s re-release as an Adults Only (AO) rated game in the US, banning it in Australia, and a patch disabling the mod for the PC version.

1. Mortal Kombat leading to the ESRB


The year was 1993, the game: Mortal Kombat on Nintendo’s SNES. The game turned heads during its arcade debut in 1992 for being a video game with lots of blood, gore, and “realistic” character models. Since video games were mostly seen as children’s toys, this title in particular stood out like a sore thumb.

After seeing the content in Mortal Kombat, on December 1, 1993, Senator Joe Lieberman called together a group of people to discuss the controversy. Five months later, the Entertainment Software Ratings Board was founded, forever changing the gaming landscape.