SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ The video game industry on Wednesday changed to adults-only the rating of ``Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas,'' a best-selling title in which explicit sexual content can be unlocked with an Internet download.
The decision followed intense pressure from politicians and media watch groups.
The game's producer, Rockstar Games, said it stopped making the current version of the game and is now working on a new version. It said it would provide new labels to any retailer willing to continue selling the version currently on store shelves, which had been rated ``M'' for mature.
Rockstar's parent company, Take Two Interactive, also admitted for the first time that the sex scenes had been built into the retail version of that game _ not just the PC version but also those written for Xbox and PlayStation2 consoles.
Company officials had previously suggested that a modification created by outsiders added the scenes.
``There is sex content in the disc,'' said Take-Two spokesman Jim Ankner. ``The editing and finalization of any game is a complicated task and it's not uncommon for unused and unfinished content to remain on the disc.''
The sex scenes had prompted outrage from parent's groups and politicians, who are demanding federal oversight of video game ratings.
In a statement, the president of the Entertainment Software Rating Board said the sex scenes were programmed by Rockstar ``to be inaccessible to the player.''
But ESRB chief Patricia Vance also acknowledged that the ``credibility and utility'' of the industry-run board's initial ``M'' rating had been ``seriously undermined.''