Public Fallout Over Take-Two Playing IP Troll Begins

from the is-this-worth-it? dept

Take-Two Interactive continues to find itself in the news for all the wrong reasons. The game publisher and parent company of Rockstar Games, the studio behind the Grand Theft Auto franchise, had a reputation built for itself for making great AAA video game titles. More recently, its reputation centers more on its aggressive actions on all things intellectual property. The company has gone after its own modding community, seeing it as a threat to its release of a shitty anthology of past GTA games. The company has also found itself going after companies in totally unrelated industries over the silliest of trademark concerns. And, most recently, there was speculation that there was a threatened opposition to the trademark application filed by Hazelight Studios for its indie hit game It Takes Two, as though anyone were going to take that common phrase and confuse it with the much larger game publisher.

That was left to speculation because Hazelight abandoned the application without explanation, though now we find that it was at least partially done due to the threat from Take-Two.

Hazelight confirmed the news to Eurogamer today, after it was spotted that it had abandoned its efforts to trademark It Takes Two in late March. The team did not dispute that the abandonment came as a result of Take-Two’s actions, but didn’t comment on whether or not this affected sales or a possible sequel.

Which sucks because, again, there’s no real public confusion to be had here and therefore no trademark concerns. And many in the public saw that non-response as to whether the dispute is preventing a sequel or hurt sales as confirmation that it likely did both.

And many in the public are not happy about that.

Take-Two Interactive is back in the news for a trademark dispute and fans are fuming about it. For the past few months, Take-Two Interactive has been the talk of the town for trying to take down the modders community. But now, the parent company of the Rockstar Games is issuing trademark claims even more liberally. They’re targeting anyone who uses words or logos that are similar to any property of Take-Two Interactive. This news has shaken the entire gaming community and fans are absolutely not happy about it.

That Essentially Sports post goes on to list a bunch of Twitter responses to the news, all of which are quite critical of Take-Two. And, sure, it’s Twitter, where you can find people complaining angrily about every last silly thing, but the comments themselves are probably not the type of public reception that Take-Two would want. Some examples include:

  • Take-Two are truly a very miserable company for going after Hazelight Games over them using a name “It Takes Two” for a bloody game. Get a grip for goodness sake. I swear your legal tactics are way over the top. Not even Nintendo pulls this shit off.

  • Take-Two is almost impressively evil. Are they doing their best to become the most morally bankrupt incompetent entity in order to give Rockstar inspiration for a potential villian in GTA 6?

  • ”it takes two” is literally a song by Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston lol, they should sue Take Two for using their name instead

  • Wooow, that’s actually pathetic. A new studio doing new things, and you got a multi billion dollar company being an actual bitch.

There are plenty more. Whatever Take-Two thinks they’re getting out of this type of aggressive action campaign, I sure hope it factored in the downside of a public backlash, however big or small it may be. Because people don’t like to support a company they view as a bully, generally speaking. And, yes, Nintendo still has its fans, but it also takes regular PR hits for its bullying.

Is that really where Take-Two wants to go?

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Companies: hazelight games, take two interactive

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Comments on “Public Fallout Over Take-Two Playing IP Troll Begins”

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14 Comments
PaulT (profile) says:

"Take-Two are truly a very miserable company for going after Hazelight Games over them using a name “It Takes Two” for a bloody game"

It’s not even the fact they’re using it for a mere game, it’s the origin of the names. While similar, they both seem clearly derived from different English language phrases that predate the names by some significant amount of time.

That is, I would interpret "Take Two" to be a reference to the movie convention of having another "take" if you’re not happy with the first attempt, while "It Takes Two" is a common phrase used in song and movies to describe something that’s best done by two people rather than one (usually describing a romantic relationship). These seem to be reflected in the products themselves, with the publisher apparently having been named after its founder was unhappy with their first job and a co-operative gameplay mechanic between a married couple being central to the game.

This is the problem. It’s not because games are somehow more trivial than any other industry sector this might be used in (I mean, the product might be, but the billions of dollars and huge number of jobs are not). It’s because large corporations think it’s OK to hoard parts of the English language after using them.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

In an industry where one of the longest running and most respected series is called "Final Fantasy", the title isn’t necessarily important. Especially when the title refers to a character dynamic and not the place in the series it holds.

I’d much rather they fudge the numbers either way, than go the movie route of Halloween being the direct sequel to Halloween, which shouldn’t be confused with Halloween, the remake that exists on a different timeline.

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