Rockstar Games have filed a lawsuit against the BBC today citing “trademark infringement” over the BBC’s planned TV drama film chronicling the controversy surrounding the GTA franchise.
The developers of the critically acclaimed, award-winning, record-breaking series say their 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”.
The 90-minute drama, currently titled: “Game Changer”, will follow the rise of the video game series and the controversy that followed.
“While holders of the trademarks referenced in the film title and its promotion, Rockstar Games has had no involvement with this project,” the studio said in a statement to IGN.
“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 declined to comment on the matter.
Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe will play the role of Sam Houser, one of the founders of the controversial Rockstar Games studio who, along with his brother, Dan Houser, propelled the studio and the Grand Theft Auto franchise to incredible heights.
Hollywood actor Bill Paxton also joins Radcliffe and will be playing the role of Jack Thompson, an American lawyer who spent years trying to get the franchise banned from retailers due to it’s depiction of violence.
A BBC production, it is written by James Wood and directed by Owen Harris. It’s produced by Jim Spencer and executive produced by Mark Hedgecoe.
The drama will air on BBC Two as part of the broadcaster’s season of coding-based programmes and activities.
No official premiere date has been announced.
Rockstar latest instalment in the GTA series, GTA V, became the biggest entertainment launch in history upon its launch in September 2013.
The title broke $800 million in sales within 24 hours of going on sale and then 2 days later broke $1 billion in sales, beating Hollywood blockbuster films such as Avatar, The Hobbit, Django Unchained, and Skyfall.
It also outsold its predecessor, GTA IV, beat The Last of Us as the biggest release on PlayStation and broke seven Guinness World Records. It has currently shipped over 33 million copies and has won numerous Game of the Year awards.
But the success has also brought along controversy, something the GTA series is no stranger too, facing criticism for its depiction of women and torture.
It’s also been the recipient of several lawsuits, one from rapper Daz Dillinger, one from a Mobster’s daughter, and another from Lindsay Lohan.
The game recently launched on next-gen consoles and a PC edition also launched last week.