Rockstar Wins “GTA Rothbury” Libel Case

Earlier this summer the UK’s Daily Star fabricated a story claiming that the next entry in Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series would be based on the July 2010 crime spree committed by ex-con Raoul Moat (pictured)across the NorthEast section of the UK and that the game would be named GTA Rothbury.

While the paper later apologized for the incident, and the piece’s author insulted gamers, calling them “grown (?!?) men who sit around all day playing computer games with one another,” the paper has been ordered to pay undisclosed damages to Rockstar and Take Two Interactive. According to the Guardian, Rockstar has accepted “substantial” libel damages as awarded by a High Court.

Rockstar’s Solicitor, Melanie Hart, stated, “The defendant now accepts that Rockstar Games never had any intention to create such a video game at any time. The story was entirely false.”

The Daily Mail’s parent company, Express Newspapers, was also ordered to pay Rockstar’s legal fees.

An Express Newspapers spokesperson said that the company “accepted that the allegations were untrue and apologised for the upset and damage caused.”

MCVUK still has a screenshot of the original Daily Star article available on its website.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    State says:

    It is good that the Daily Star has been effectively fined over this false story. They should check there facts. I personally would not like to see the original journalist handed the fine, as I do believe that the paper has to except responsibility as it decided to run with the story, but I do hope that his name is somewhat blackened.

    He made up the story, but what was worse was that he was completely unrepentant over it, in journalism that is the worst thing you can do. The fact that he was so childish over the matter just showed what a hack he was. I hope all publications think twice before employing him or paying for his "stories".

  2. 0
    Thad says:

    I think you overestimate the journalistic standards of the British press.  If he’s fired (and even that’s not a given), he’ll find some other rag which will scold him and tell him to be more vague the next time he wants to make up a story.

  3. 0
    Sabrel says:

    I don’t know about the Daily Star, but I if did something stupid that cost my company libel losses plus legal fees, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t even bother with cardboard boxes. They’d just roll my desk with all my stuff out the nearest window. And I’m on the second floor.

    This guy being fired after this (if he hasn’t already been) is almost a given. Companies just don’t usually announce HR decisions like that, for CYA. As far as never getting another job in the industry… Nobody who actually looks at his background as an applicant is ever going to hire him as a writer. After the screaming liability of "I caused my company to lose a ton of money in a lawsuit," he’ll probably have problems finding jobs in other, completely unrelated industries.

    But, then again, that’s what happens when you’re an idiot.

  4. 0
    GoliathWon says:

    First off, yes, congratulations to Rockstar for finally defending itself.

    Though, "The defendant now accepts that Rockstar Games never had any intention to create such a video game at any time. The story was entirely false.” Just now? I think they should give them some credit, the Daily Star did write a redaction and apology within a week:

    Overall I’m surprised at how well they’ve been dealing with this thing, other than publishing the thing in the first place. But that makes it all the more upsetting that the dumbass who actually wrote the story is seemingly getting off scot free. He should be fired and never be able to get a job in the industry again. This is disgraceful.

  5. 0
    Zerodash says:

    Personally, I would rather see the jerk who wrote the article lose his job. 

    Now, if only the entire industry had half the stones R*/TT has, then perhaps they would be better suited to fight that California law.

  6. 0
    Mr. Stodern says:

    About damn time there were some consequences for all the cheap shots taken at us.

    Here’s to the rag known as the Daily Mail going down the tubes.

    EDIT: Sorry, that’s Daily Star, not "Mail". Though they are the same thing, really.

  7. 0
    Thad says:

    I don’t know how the law goes in Britain, but in the US, that would qualify as a work of corporate authorship; Lawton may have technically written it, but for all legal purposes the publisher wrote it.

    There could hypothetically be a clause in the contract saying the author has responsibility, but it would be simpler just to fire him.

  8. 0
    Soldat_Louis says:

    Finally, FINALLY, some game makers who have enough balls to defend their creation against libels all by THEMSELVES.

    But what happened to the paper author ? Has he been sued too ? Because he would be the first one to deserve it.

Leave a Reply