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Beating the Boys at Their Own Game

Gaiser boasts that Nancy Drew just outsold Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on Amazon, a small coup considering GTA has remained one of the hottest selling games. But GTA's recent debacle may have given Nancy an unfair advantage.

Hidden (but unlockable) sex scenes in GTA forces the upgrading of its rating from M (Mature) to AO (Adult Only), and retail chains, such as Wal-Mart and Target, who won't carry AO rated games, pulled the game from shelves. [CNNMoney http://money.cnn.com, Wal-Mart, Target pull 'Grand Theft Auto', July 20, 2005]

Lost revenue, returned boxes, manufacturing shut down, and producing a new, cleaned up version were expensive lessons for the game maker, Rockstar Games. Analysts expect parent company Take Two Interactive Software to take a $50 million dollar hit were it counts: earnings. Sometimes, sex doesn't sell.

"We don't shoot people up in our games," explains Leslie Brazeau, Vice President of Marketing of Her Interactive. She goes on to describe the company's goal to create Everyone (E) games and earn dollars from family-friendly material, especially considering that their target audience is girls age 10-15. "We felt like we didn't really need heavy-duty violence for the games to work. You can do a lot through suspense and intrigue."

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