Rockstar are taking legal action against the BBC in relation to Game Changer, the broadcasting company’s upcoming drama about the Grand Theft Auto series. Rockstar are suing for trademark infringement and have released a statement (via IGN):
“Take-Two Interactive has filed suit against the BBC for trademark infringement based on their movie currently titled ‘Game Changer’ as it relates to Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto video game series”
“While holders of the trademarks referenced in the film title and its promotion, Rockstar Games has had no involvement with this project. Our goal is to ensure that our trademarks are not misused in the BBC’s pursuit of an unofficial depiction of purported events related to Rockstar Games.”
“We have attempted multiple times to resolve this matter with the BBC without any meaningful resolution. It is our obligation to protect our intellectual property and unfortunately in this case litigation was necessary.”
The drama is set to look at the GTA success story, with a particular focus on the conflict between Rockstar and the lawyer with a notorious vendetta against GTA, Jack Thompson. Sam Houser, a Rockstar co-founder will be played by Daniel Radcliffe (of Harry Potter fame), while Thompson will be played by Bill Paxton (Aliens, Apollo 13).
We’re not surprised Rockstar have finally kicked off to be honest. A while ago we learned that they hadn’t been consulted about the events portrayed in the upcoming drama, so this was always going to be a fictionalised take on the history, which seems besides the point if you think about it. The BBC are using the drama as a part of their season looking at game coding which is part of a larger incentive to get children into the business. Yes, the BBC are using the story of an 18-rated game to get kids into gaming. I mean… what?
Rockstar are understandably keen to ensure they are not portrayed in a detrimental fashion with regards to their business practices or the past litigation Thompson has tried to launch against them. Note: Thompson has since been disbarred. We’d certainly watch the show, but as things stand, we won’t be viewing it with any sense of plausibility.