Rockstar files lawsuit against BBC over GTA drama

Publisher Take-Two's legal team using trademark dispute as means to block BBC from airing show.

GameSpot staff
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GameSpot staff
2 min read

Rockstar Games, along with its parent company Take-Two, has launched a lawsuit against the BBC in a bid to prevent the broadcaster from airing an upcoming drama based on the real-life story on the development of Grand Theft Auto games.

The corporation said the action was "necessary" after failed talks with the broadcaster. In a statement sent to GameSpot, Take-Two said it 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."

GameSpot understands that the "Game Changer" production team had not been assisted by Rockstar Games employees during the research stage of its programme.

Take-Two suggested that it had been in talks with the BBC on several occasions, though didn't explain its intention in those discussions, and claimed that no resolution with the public broadcaster had been reached.

"While holders of the trademarks are referenced in the film title and its promotion, Rockstar Games has had no involvement with this project," the publisher said.

"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."

In a statement, the BBC said it "does not comment on legal matters."

"Game Changer," a 90-minute TV drama, stars "Harry Potter" actor Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar co-founder Sam Houser, alongside Bill Paxton as anti-game lawyer Jack Thompson.