The first trailer for BBC’s new show, Game Changer, has made its way onto the web despite Rockstar’s attempts to bury the drama before it even got started. The unauthorized TV film is documenting Grand Theft Auto’s development from its conception to its notorious conflicts with lawyer Jack Thompson. Daniel Radcliffe is taking on the role of co-founder Sam Houser and Bill Paxton will be taking on the role of Jack Thompson. But with the lack of Rockstar’s involvement on the project which is claiming to be an apparent biography about the game and its trials while starting out, will it tell the true story?
The thirty-second trailer that has made its way onto the Internet depicts the strenuous tension between Houser and Thompson, showing how Thompson had attempted to terminate the rise of the highly violent video game. It takes place around the time period of which an Alabama teen was arrested in multiple homicides claiming that “life is like a video game,” setting off the controversy that has been following the GTA franchise ever since.
The TV film has caused its own real-life drama, however, with legal troubles surrounding the show, as Rockstar Games and its parent company Take-Two Interactive, have filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the BBC Network. “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,” said Rockstar Games in a statement to IGN. “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.” When reaching out to BBC on a comment regarding the matter they simply replied with, “We do not comment on legal matters.” Meaning they know they are wrong, but can’t legally admit it.
The lawsuits against BBC don’t stop there, they have been raining down on the company long before their current predicament with the Trademark infringement that is currently being issued against them the original lawsuit that was filed against the BBC earlier this year in May. “Rockstar Games has had no involvement with this project. 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,” said Rockstar at the time.
With Rockstar’s lack of involvement in the project the content that could be portrayed in the TV movie should be taken with a grain of salt depending on which wing the show producers and creators want to lean on. Grand Thief Auto has always been a hot topic of controversy in the gaming industry and likely always will be so it would be best to viewers of the TV movie educate themselves on the topic before watching the film to determine just how on point it truly is regarding both sides of the conflict. Gamechangers will premier September 15 on BBC Two.