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Electronic Arts, Rockstar Clash Over Simpsons Parody Of GTA

An unlikely feud between Electronic Arts and Rockstar Games over a Grand Theft Auto spoof has led to the executive producer of EA’s The Simpsons Game openly criticizing Rockstar on Spike TV's 'Game Head' show for contributing to the spoof be

David Jenkins, Blogger

October 29, 2007

2 Min Read

An unlikely feud between Electronic Arts and Rockstar Games appears to have intensified with the executive producer of EA’s The Simpsons Game describing Rockstar as having “spazzed out like little babies” over a parody of Grand Theft Auto. In an earlier C&VG interview with The Simpsons Game lead designer Greg Rizzer, he revealed: "We've definitely had some reactions - we've had to pull stuff from the game", and it's believed that the GTA-related section of the game is one of those that has been changed. Speaking on Spike TV’s Game Head show, The Simpsons Game executive producer Matt Selman described the original form of the Grand Theft Auto parody within the game, which also features similar parodies of other popular games such as EverQuest and Guitar Hero. As transcribed by Game Politics.com, Selman said: ”The game begins with Bart wanting to play a game called Grand Theft Scratchy. Of course this is a parody of Grand Theft Auto. And Marge immediately takes it away from him. She tries to clean up the town and stop the game from being distributed in Springfield because Marge is against video game violence. She uses horrific violence to stop video game violence… in a video game.” “That’s called irony…,” said Selman. “The people who make Grand Theft Auto, they spazzed out like little babies.” “They’re supposed to be rockstars… That’s not a big Rockstar move, to be afraid of The Simpsons making fun of their game”, added senior producer Matt Warburton. “EA lawyers are afraid to use the name Grand Theft Scratchy in promoting the game…”, claimed Selman. Rockstar Games first indicated their displeasure with Electronic Arts’ game at the Leipzig Game Convention earlier in the year, complaining about a poster for Grand Theft Scratchy: Blood Island which parodies the traditional Grand Theft Auto box art style. According to consumer website C&VG the offending level is now named Mob Rules, although it is unclear what other changes may have been made from the originally intended content. As The Simpsons Game producers point out, the Grand Theft Auto series has long made liberal use of parodies of various real-world figures, buildings and media. Previous games have also specifically poked fun at rival products such as Atari’s (now Ubisoft’s) Driver and Activision’s True Crime series.

About the Author(s)

David Jenkins


David Jenkins ([email protected]) is a freelance writer and journalist working in the UK. As well as being a regular news contributor to Gamasutra.com, he also writes for newsstand magazines Cube, Games TM and Edge, in addition to working for companies including BBC Worldwide, Disney, Amazon and Telewest.

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