PETA Snarls at Upcoming 2K Circus Games

Animal rights group PETA, which long ago mastered the art of using video game criticism to garner publicity for its cause, is at it again.

Kotaku reports today that PETA has targeted an upcoming 2K series based on the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. A new campaign urges PETA supporters to petition publisher Take-Two to cancel planned circus games for the DS and Wii.

We’ve told Take-Two about Ringling Bros.’ real-life, lengthy history of animal abuse and neglect and shown it undercover video footage of a standard industry training session, in which animal handlers used electric prods and bullhooks to gouge elephants in the most sensitive parts of their bodies.

Even though it knows that circuses are no fun for animals, Take-Two is still moving forward with its plan to create a Ringling Bros. Wii game. Please send a message to Take-Two CEO Ben Feder urging him to sever ties with Ringling Bros. Let him know that you’d rather play a game featuring a circus that does not beat animals for "entertainment."

In a follow-up report, Kotaku offers comment from Take-Two exec Alan Lewis:

As a matter of company policy, we don’t comment on the business affairs of our licensors. We fully stand behind all of our products.

A Ringling Bros. spokesman contested PETA’s allegations of animal abuse.

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  1. Ebonheart says:

    PETA finacles supports ELF and ALF both a ecoterrorists. PETA the group that saves animal puts down more animals a year than most shelters do in 5 years.

  2. Saxy says:

    Well, that settles it, then. The circus is alive! Do the ringling bros still have a show anywhere?

  3. DCOW says:

    I’m sorry, but anytime anything involves PETA all I can hear is "I’m sorry, were a not for profit group that go against our own ideals, and we condone terrorism and violence"

  4. zel says:

    I kinda like PETA cause once when Ringling bros was coming to tampa they had this hot naked chick go into downtown and chain herself to a sign and act like an emo animal to protest the circus, she had one hell of a body. Best lunch break ever! It was funny too cause it was like not even 100 yards form the police station but it still took a good half hour before someone came out to get her.

    I would support them more if they sent out more cute naked college girls to protest 😛


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  5. Saxy says:

    While circuses are not known for their kindness towards animals, PETA is just digging under the barrel with this one. I mean, why not think of this as the alternative to real-life circuses? It’s not like this’ll inspire anybody to go to a circus and enjoy the beating of animals, because, honestly, circuses are dead.

  6. Wormdundee says:

     I think a lot of you are missing the point here. PETA is not against the game because the game harms animals or some shit. They call for a boycott because of the business practices of the company. This is how boycotts work guys. You don’t necessarily have to boycott attending the circus to be boycotting the company, they’ve just targeted another portion of their business.

    Now that said, I still think it is somewhat silly to go for the game, but this is one thing I can’t vehemently disagree with. I’m sure that animals at circuses are still mistreated and abused and frankly, there does need to be someone speaking up about this sort of thing.

    So, in the end, I can’t really disagree with this. Not the best method, but hey.

  7. DarkSaber says:

    The irony is that this game is almost definitely going to be yet another collection of pathetic carnival mini-games, possibly with an elephant in the background.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  8. Tammej says:

     Geeze. It’s a game! People have the right to be tasteless. I hate Deer Hunter, I hate Circus games, I loved the Wolf and the Lions simulation games, I am "quite one" with nature so to say.


    But if it’s a game, that’s alright. The same kind of alright as religiously tasteless games in which Buddah beats up Jesus, and Mohammed is actually visible and stupid looking. These are games. Fiction. And not all of them ought to be for everyone.

  9. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    There are two submissions on NewGrounds in which the dog can be shot. In one, it’s a hidden option in an unrelated plot, while the second one shows what would happen in-game if it happened.


    "The sun will always rise tomorrow. We can only live for today, and hope more days will come." -Unknown

  10. SpiralGray says:

    I’m sort of with you on this one. I think most activist groups tend to do more harm than good because they tend to take views on issues at the very far end of a spectrum instead of working towards compromise. Abuse of any animal disgusts me and I think the abuser should be made to endure the same abuse so they know what it feels like, but this is a video game, or M-A-K-E   B-E-L-I-E-V-E. Unless there’s a mini-game where you have to taser and bullhook an elephant in his privates, STFU.

    P.S. I always thought PETA stood for People Eating Tasty Animals.

  11. eston says:

    "The Tyranasarus Rex has violated many animal abuse laws and he got extinct 65 million years ago."

    How do we know PETA didn’t euthanize him?

  12. TBoneTony says:

    Good point,

    but this is also the reason why groups like PETA attack humans, but they will stay away from sharks because I don’t think anyone is stupid enough.


    Also Love how you had the food chain, there has been allot of animal abuse around long before humans.

    The Tyranasarus Rex has violated many animal abuse laws and he got extinct 65 million years ago.


  13. TBoneTony says:

    Nothing unusual,

    all of this attention is going to sell the game more.

    Until people just realize that if you don’t want a game to be sold, just don’t talk about it, then  people will always be stupid.


  14. Gaming Observer says:

    There’s a food chain.  We’re at the top of it.  We kill animals, we eat animals, we keep them for pets, we wear them as clothes, and we use them for entertainment.

    I often think that Ted Nugent has a more healthy philosophy on animal rights than PETA does.

    PETA are some of the most twisted people around.  I’d like to see them explain to a shark that brutally and viciously murdering a baby seal isn’t humane and shouldn’t be done – and promptly watch the shark eat the fuck out of the moron trying to make the point.

  15. Dante says:

    "Even though it knows that circuses are no fun for animals"

    you have any proof?


    "Science asks how, and faith asks why"

  16. shaoron says:

    I wonder where they were when Circus Charlie came out…

    i mean, you burn lions and abuse MONKIES!!!

  17. shaoron says:

    i thought that was Duck Hunt? (i sure wish i can shoot that stupid dog!)

    also, there are those "hunting games" in the arcade

  18. GoodRobotUs says:

    Well, I don’t agree with them, but I am aware that many Circus’ had (note the past tense) a history of mis-treating animals. I’m not sure what the situation is now.

    I will say this for PETA however, regardless of how silly their campaign is, at least they don’t make claims like ‘These games teach people to be cruel to animals!’.

    Still, PETA ought to be aware that this game in no way alludes to the mis-treatment of animals, at least, appearances suggest such, any more than Zoo Tycoon does or any number of ‘Zoo’ games, indeed, you lose points/stature for not treating your animals well in those games, I suspect the same would be the case here.

    I have my own opinion about Circuses, but PETA would really and honestly be putting their time and energy to far better use if they focussed on actual animal abuse that is going on, that way, when a game comes out that is related to that group, they won’t have cause to complain.

  19. Aurontsubaki says:

    I…I…I don’t get this, is the PETA that hellbent on making fake animals in a game or movie illegal that bad. I detest Animal Cruelty but this is too much. PETA grow up! You’re acting like children now. It ain’t like it is going to put harm into real life animals. There is a thing at the end of the movie credits or game credits that says American Humane Association: No animals were harmed in the making of this (insert here).

    What we got here is failure to communicate!

  20. J.Alpha.Gamma says:


    Now that 3DRealms is shut down (proof:, Take Two holds the publishing rights to Duke Nukem Forever. Reassign to an in-house dev team to finish up what’s left of the project, throw one last coat of polish on it, possible 2010 release date.

    And guess what Duke’s most memorable foe is?

    Mutant pigs in police uniforms. Some with SWAT gear.

    Priorities, PETA. Blasting pigs to giblets with rockets > zapping elephants in the butt.

  21. hellfire7885 says:

    So, what, all the REAL circus companies have restraining orders out on PETA so they have to pick on fake circuses?

  22. Neeneko says:

    *nods* I don’t normally agree with PETA either, but said circuis does have a long history of abuse that is not even universal to other groups…

  23. ZippyDSMlee says:

    So peta abuses humanity so we’z even.


    I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay’s outside our bedrooms..

  24. Hitodama says:

    Man, I enjoyed that cow I ate just a little while ago. But now, it’s tasting even better. I wonder what elephant tastes like?

  25. MartyB says:

     How about a game about PETA, and how it they do all the shady things that they do…

  26. Stoli says:

    The Cabela series of games?

    I know, you’re being sarcastic, but there’s lots of Cabela games out, but I never hear PETA bitch about those ones…

  27. AbsumZero says:

    As much as I hate ever agreeing with PETA (their behavior really does more harm than good for any cause simply by association) large wild mammals used in circuses really do live needlessly miserable lives for the sake of entertainment and as a licensed product this game is an endorsement of that both financially and in terms of publicity. By comparison no part of a World of Warcraft subscription actually goes towards funding an actual war on Azeroth and it isn’t intended to bring such a war back into the public consciousness so they’ll want to go see it IRL.

    That being said this game would have probably just been ignored anyhow if they hadn’t made an issue of it.

  28. MaskedPixelante says:

    That’s it, someone needs to make a game where the only thing you do is shoot animals for fun.

    —You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

  29. eston says:

    "Even though it knows that circuses are no fun for animals"

    Silly PETA, animals don’t play video games!

  30. Cecil475 says:

    I don’t not give a flying [censored] what PETA, says about animals in fictional games. The ‘People’ who tell others that they will find homes for their cats and dogs and kill them before they even leave the driveway.

     – Warren

    R.i.P GamePolitics 2005-2016

  31. SeanB says:

    war is pretty shitty too, but people still make games about it. It doens’t mean they support war.

  32. Erik says:

    Quite probably it is the latter.  I see nothing that would point out that it is making fun of PETA.  It is just a random picture of one of their protests.  But with so little dignity as they have it is sometimes difficult to tell if they are being made fun of, or if they are just making themselves look foolish by their own will alone.

    But regardless, an image of one of their actual circus protests would be more topical.  Perhaps even arguably a zoo.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  33. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Mah boi, methinks it’s just a pic either made to deride PETA or made by PETA itself.

    If the latter, then methinks PETA is accusing England of the usual shit.


    "The sun will always rise tomorrow. We can only live for today, and hope more days will come." -Unknown

  34. Erik says:

    I don’t think that Barnum and Bailey’s is controlled by the British Royalty, nor 2K.  Therefore I fail to see the context.  What is your intended goal for us to come away from with this image?

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  35. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Wait, is that a PETA-made pic? 


    "The sun will always rise tomorrow. We can only live for today, and hope more days will come." -Unknown

  36. Saxy says:

    I thought the same thing.

    Only peta could take Cooking Mama and turn it into something that, quite honestly, makes GTA look tame.

    Now, what about Mario? That guy kills animals for a living.

  37. Kajex says:

    I fully expect PETA to create a game that demonstrates the supposed cruelty animals endure in circuses. And I fully expect that they miss the point and not realize that only THEY would be demented enough to make a game that sick, or that it’s an output of their own sick fantasies.

  38. SimonBob says:

    What about werewolves?  Where does PETA stand on the half-man, half-animal issue?  For that matter, how much damage is Wolverine allowed to take before it becomes offensive?  And should Taurens in WoW be afforded special protections?  (I mean, further than being allowed to class as Shamans.)

    Quite frankly I’m sick of PETA only focusing on the absolutes at the expense of part-animal hybrids.  It’s hybrid hypocricy!

    The Mammon Philosophy

  39. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    *looks up from newspaper*

    PETA again?

    *goes back to newspaper*

    Carry on.


    "The sun will always rise tomorrow. We can only live for today, and hope more days will come." -Unknown

  40. Bennett Beeny says:

    I think their point probably is to bring attention onto the real world cruelty that happens.  Criticizing a game gets that point across nicely, even if the criticism seems kinda wacked.  Personally, I reckon that if it works, what can be the harm?  After all, it’s not as if PETA is ever going to stop the publication of a game.

  41. Kajex says:

    I have to slaughter 20 bears or wolves just to get enough leather to tan, just to tailor a better piece of Medium armor on Lord of the Rings Online. I’m surprised they haven’t turned their attention to Turbine.

  42. Nitherean says:

    Yes, those poor animals in games that never once, had a heart beat in the real world.  Yes, those poor animals that will wimper, whine and such, as programmed by their coders.

    Why isnt PETA, going after the World of Warcraft?  How many animals did I have to kill to complete the cooking daily?  Nine.  For just two peices of chilled meat! 


    This is just another example of the organization trying to remain relevant to the political spectrum of US politics.  Kinda of like Republicans these days…

  43. gamadaya says:

    PETA! You are forced to put down thousands of strays a year because you spend your entire budget on your advertising department, which produces commercials whose entire purpose seems to be to piss people off or promote vegetarianism (so yeah, piss people off). You are the very last people who should be commenting on animal cruelty. Nobody likes you, you are harmful to your own cause, and you need to shut the hell up.


    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  44. Mendror says:

    I actually think thats how Take 2 is going to market games for now and out.

    Have the people bitch and whine about it, then people here about and go “Well there must be a reason for all this bitching and whining, so I’ll go try this game out”

  45. CyberSkull says:

    Take 2 survives and thrives in the firestorm of GTA. Now, thanks to PETA’s whining I have heard of this game. PETA is doing a better job at promoting this game than Take 2’s marketing department.

  46. gamegod25 says:

    PETA: *shrugs* oh that’s ok, we don’t give a **** about humans. Just don’t shoot the attack dogs.

  47. Erik says:

    Take-Two to PETA: "You know that we make games in which people are shot, stabbed, and brutalized with plastic shopping bags right?  Do you think we give half a shit if Dumbo takes a few thousand volts in the ass?"

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  48. Mendror says:

    More and more i think about it, there just giving this game publicity. I actually did’nt know about this game till now because of Peta.

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