Rockstar is taking legal action to shut down the GTA docu-drama

Take-Two is trying to shut down the BBC’s GTA docu-drama (opens in new tab) claiming it’s protecting its and Rockstars intellectual property. According to a statement issued to GamesRadar, the publisher says that its studio has had no involvement with the project and after multiple attempts to “resolve this matter” has decided that “litigation was necessary”.

Here’s the full statement:

“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/was to star Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar’s Sam Houser (opens in new tab) and Bill Paxton as attorney Jack Thompson (opens in new tab) and was supposedly based on Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto. That’s a very stylistic and dramatised take on the history, rather than a recounting of facts. Tellingly, we spoke to several former DMA staff (opens in new tab)involved with the original game, all of who voiced concern that no one connected with game had been contacted by the BBC. Former writer and PR for the first GTA, Brian Baglow, referred to the Jacked book as a “novelisation” and admitted that the idea of a drama based on that, and “a grab bag of archive materials, old interviews and the screenwriters’ ideas of what it’s like to work in the white heat of cutting edge game development” had everyone involved “fairly nervous”.

Obviously, Rockstar and Take-Two feel the same way and are making an attempt to stop the whole thing.

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