Rockstar Games has won its legal battle, and substantial damages, from the publishers of the Daily Star after the newspaper printed reports that the game makers were planning to release a new game based on the hunt for crazed gunman Raoul Moat.
The controversial claim was made in the Daily Star this summer, where it was claimed that Rockstar Games was planning a new version of their successful game Grand Theft Auto based on the Northumbria manhunt for Raoul Moat, who went on a shooting spree and is believed to have committed suicide in July 2010.
Rockstar Games refuted these claims entirely and sued the publishers of the Daily Star, Express Newspapers for defamation over the false accusations. Rockstar’ solicitor Melanie Hart confirmed that Express Newspapers had admitted that the allegations about what the article referred to as ‘Grand Theft Auto Rothbury’ were false. After describing the implications of the article, Ms Hart said:
“In those circumstances, the defendant is here to apologise to Rockstar Games for the damage and distress caused by their publication of false allegation. The defendant has also agreed to pay substantial damages to Rockstar Games and has also agreed to pay their legal costs.”
As Express Newspapers works within an industry that is particularly vulnerable to defamation lawsuits, it is likely that the publishers will have had some level of professional insurance in place to cover the damage payments and litigation costs incurred by this case.