Only the Daily Star could make the New York Post look like the New York Times.
We’re a little late to this one, but last week that bastion of accurate reporting, the UK’s Daily Star, ran an article insinuating that Rockstar was making a Grand Theft Auto game based on the criminal actions committed earlier this month by ex-con Raoul Moat, who killed one and injured three across a six-day spree throughout the NorthEast UK.
GTA Rothbury, as the game was called by Star writer Jerry Lawton, contained a series of animated quotes from relatives of the victims, outraged by the thought of a game, book or movie based on the criminal’s exploits, as reported up by CVG.
The story was eventually taken off the Star’s website entirely (since it was made up) and the newspaper issued an apology (thanks again CVG) stating:
We made no attempt to check the accuracy of the story before publication and did not contact Rockstar Games prior to publishing the story. We also did not question why a best-selling and critically acclaimed fictional games series would choose to base one of their most popular games on this horrifying real crime event.
It is now accepted that there were never any plans by Rockstar Games to publish such a game and that the story was false. We apologise for publishing the story using a mock-up of the game cover, our own comments on the matter and soliciting critical comments from a grieving family member.
Lawton, the author of the piece, wasn’t so apologetic. He took to his Facebook page (thanks Destructoid) in order to talk smack about gamers upset with his fiction, writing:
Baffled by the fury of adult gamers. These are grown (?!?) men who sit around all day playing computer games with one another who've today chosen to enter the real world just long enough to complain about my story slamming a Raoul Moat version of Grand Theft Auto! You would think I'd denied the Holocaust!!! Think I'll challenge them to a virtual reality duel....stab....I win!!!
One of Lawton’s favorite quotes listed on his Facebook page is “better to regret something you've done than something you haven't.” Think he regrets making up this story yet?
Yet another reason to not believe everything you read!
Thanks Rodrigo Ybáñez García!