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The online mockup of the GTA: Rothbury game was run in the Daily Star, who didn't check if it was real.
Raoul Moat

UK newspaper forced to apologise after 'Grand Theft Auto' boo-boo

The Daily Star pay “substantial damages” after publicising a ‘Grant Theft Auto: Rothbury’ game.

THE BRITISH version of the Daily Star newspaper was forced into an embarrassing apology to the makers of the Grand Theft Auto video games after criticising them for making a game based on Raoul Moat.

The paper featured the cover of the ‘Grand Theft Auto: Rothbury‘ game featured the face of Moat, circulated in the days after he shot and killed his ex-girlfriend’s partner, and seriously injured her and a police officer.

The Daily Star solicited a response from a family member of one of Moat’s victims, and condemned the game’s developers, Rockstar Games, for making the game.

There was just one problem – the front cover of the game they printed was an online mock-up, the game didn’t exist, and they didn’t seek to contact Rockstar about their plans.

In an apology published today, the paper admits: we didn’t check if it was real.

We made no attempt to check the accuracy of the story before publication and did not contact Rockstar Games prior to publishing the story.

We also did not question why a best selling and critically acclaimed fictional games series would choose to base one of their most popular games on this horrifying real crime event.

It is now accepted that there were never any plans by Rockstar Games to publish such a game and that the story was false.

We apologise for publishing the story using a mock-up of the game cover, our own comments on the matter and soliciting critical comments from a grieving family member.

It goes on:

We unreservedly apologise to Rockstar Games and we have undertaken not to repeat the claims again.

We have also agreed to pay them a substantial amount in damages which they are donating to charity.

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