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The company behind Grand Theft Auto is suing the BBC

Rockstar Games say it’s taking action against the BBC for trademark infringement.

Image: Nick Ut/AP

THE COMPANY BEHIND the successful Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series, is suing the BBC for their proposed film drama based on the series and the controversies that followed it.

Rockstar Games, the US company that makes the GTA series, issued a statement via its parent company Take-Two Interactive saying it was taking action against the BBC for trademark infringement.

The company said that it had no involvement in the project and wanted to ensure its trademarks were not “misused in the BBC’s pursuit of an unofficial depiction of purported events.”

A statement issued to IGN said the following:

“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.”

BBC Two had planned to create a 90-minute special about the creation of Grand Theft Auto and the controversies that surrounded it.

Gamechanger, the working title for the show, was to have Daniel Radcliffe play the role of Sam Houser, the co-founder and president of Rockstar games, and Bill Paxton as Jack Thompson, an anti-videogame activist who campaigned against the series.

The drama was scheduled to broadcast later this year as part of a BBC season centred on coding-based activities and programmes.

When the BBC announced the project back in March, it said that GTA was “arguably the greatest British coding success story since Bletchley Park.”

Unlike many coding success stories, Grant Theft Auto was not created in Silicon Valley – it was the brainchild of a bunch of British gaming geniuses who had known each other since their school days. In autumn 2013 its latest iteration – GTA:V – earned $1bn in its first three days, becoming the fastest selling entertainment product in history.

The latest version of the series, GTA V, was released on PS3 and Xbox 360 back in September 2013. It was later released for the PS4 and Xbox One while the PC version was released last month.

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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