For those who missed it last night, the BBC aired their made-for-TV movie documenting the real-life conflict between Rockstar Games President Sam Houser and U.S. lawyer Jack Thompson, well known for his outspoken objections to the former's controversial Grand Theft Auto video game series. Check the trailer out below:
The film is billed as a 'factual drama,' but after the recent outcry from both Rockstar and employees who worked on the games, the emphasis is very much on "drama." In fact, Rockstar used some rather colorful language to express their dissatisfaction:
Basil Brush, by the way, is a children's character who appeared on British TV, and "bollocks" is British slang for testicles. Needless to say, The Gamechangers didn't exactly go down well. But why?
Brian Baglow, who was in charge of PR and the marketing department for DMA Design (later rebranded as Rockstar) took particular issue with Daniel Radcliffe's L.A. street threads:
The resemblance is rather uncanny:
Mike Dailly, who worked as a Senior Programmer at DMA Design, also voiced concerns about the accuracy of the film:
For me, historical accuracy wasn't The Gamechangers's biggest problem - it suffered from a cringe-inducing trope-filled script and underdeveloped characters, which just left me feeling disappointed. But Rockstar Games believe the film was far more damaging, inspiring them to take legal action against the broadcaster.
The developer issued a statement saying:
“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.”
Considering their rich history with pop culture parody, I wonder if Rockstar will be tempted to take satirical revenge on the BBC within GTA, or perhaps they'll simply hit back by making the greatest game ever conceived with their next installment, thereby giving people no reason to ever watch TV again. Problem solved.
Did you catch The Gamechangers? What was your take on it?