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Last Updated: Friday, 4 November 2005, 15:01 GMT
GTA: San Andreas toasts success
Screenshot from GTA: San Andreas
San Andreas was one of the best-selling games of 2004
The best-selling Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has swept the board at a major games awards ceremony in London.

The crime spree title scooped five of the 19 prizes on offer at the Golden Joystick Awards, taking the Ultimate Game of the Year honour.

Nintendo was named as the games publisher of the year, while Sony celebrated after winning an innovation prize for its PlayStation Portable.

The awards are voted for by the readers of computer and games magazines.

Sex scandal

GTA: San Andreas hit the shops a year ago and quickly became the best-selling game of 2004.

It hit the headlines in July of this year after secret sex scenes were found in the game.

PlayStation 2 Game of the Year - Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
GameCube Game of the Year - Resident Evil 4
Xbox Game of the Year - Halo 2
PC Game of the Year - Half Life 2
Carphone Warehouse Handheld Game of the Year - Super Mario 64 DS
Best Film-Based Game of 2005 - Resident Evil 4
BBC Radio One - Colin and Edith's Best Game Soundtrack of 2005 - Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
The Sun Online - Online Game of the Year - World of Warcraft
Publisher of the Year - Nintendo
Retailer of the Year - Play.com
The Game One Gaming Innovation of the Year - PSP
The One to Watch for Xmas - The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
The Sun's One to Watch for 2006 - Resident Evil 5
Hero of 2005 - CJ from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Villain of 2005 - Officer Tenpenny from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
The Girl's Choice for 2005 - The Sims 2
Editor's Game of the Year - Resident Evil 4
Unsung Hero of the Year - Fahrenheit
Nuts Magazine's Ultimate Game of 2005 - Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
The scenes were unlocked by a fan who created software called Hot Coffee. Installing the program allowed people to play an explicit "mini game".

As a result, the US Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) changed the rating to Adults Only.

The change meant, however, that many shops were forced to stop stocking it as they have a policy of not selling adult-rated content.

In the UK, the game was already rated as an 18 title.

The controversy seems to have done little to dampen the popularity of the title, which picked up five Golden Joystick awards.

As well as being named Ultimate Game of Year, it won for best PlayStation 2 game, best soundtrack and best hero and villain for its main characters

"Having achieved such popularity with gamers and spawning a whole slew of imitators, it's no surprise to see GTA: San Andreas pick up such an impressive haul of awards," said, James Ashton-Tyler of the magazine publishing group, Future.

A version of the game for Sony's PSP, called Liberty City Stories, is expected to be a big hit over Christmas.

'Popular success'

There was some consolation for other big names in the games business.

Nintendo was named best publisher and also went home with the One to Watch for Christmas award for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, even though the game is not out until next year.

Other big winners were Half-Life 2 on the PC, Halo 2 on the Xbox and Resident Evil 4 on the GameCube.

"These awards celebrate innovation and achievement as well as popular success," said Mr Ashton-Tyler.

More than 200,000 people cast their votes for the awards.

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