BBC recently aired a TV movie based on the legal battle between infamous disbarred lawyer Jack Thompson and Rockstar games president Sam Houser. It’s called The Gamechangers, and according to Rockstar, it’s generally pretty awful.
First off, here’s a word from the company’s official Twitter pointed directly at the BBC:
Mike Dailly, the creator of the prototype that would become the original Grand Theft Auto, was rather vocal about the film himself. He brought up how the film depicts the game development process, and how Rockstar’s working conditions were basically shown to be a group of people who goof off and have breakdancing contests:
He also voiced displeasure at how the film portrays Sam Houser as having done just about every single bit of work on GTA:
He even discussed the film’s portrayal of Jack Thompson:
Steve Hammond, who was a writer at DMA Design, having worked on the original GTA as well, posted photos of the DMA offices. Pointing out the fact that, no, they didn’t all just wear company branded clothing, and the offices weren’t exactly glamorous:
It’s a shame that the film appears to have misrepresented the true story behind GTA. There’s a genuinely interesting tale to tell regarding the legal battles between Rockstar and Jack Thompson, and while there doesn’t necessarily need to be a film that simply slams the lawyer, something that doesn’t make him out to be a black and white hero would likely make for a more interesting, and morally complex, film.
The film also fails to communicate how large an impact GTA had on Scotland’s game development scene, despite being a BBC Scotland production. Daniel Radcliffe and Bill Paxton (playing Houser and Thompson, respectively) are solid actors, and, given something substantial to work with, the idea of The Gamechangers could have been made into something worthwhile.