If you were one of the many souls stocking up on popcorn ahead of watching Gamechanger – the BBC's forthcoming docu-drama about the rise of Rockstar Games and the controversies surrounding its Grand Theft Auto series – we have some bad news. You might have a long wait for it. And it might not see the light of day at all.
This is because Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of Rockstar Games has filed a lawsuit against the BBC for "trademark infringement" in relation to Gamechanger. In a statement sent to gaming website Polygon, Take-Two had this to say:
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.
This poses a bit of a problem for the Beeb, because Gamechanger started filming last month with
Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe cast as Sam Houser and Bill Paxton cast in the role of disbarred lawyer and outspoken critic of GTA, Jack Thompson, whose eyes will probably pop out of his head if he reads this story.