BBC Grand Theft Auto show ‘b*****ks’ says Rockstar

Daniel Radcliffe in The Gamechangers. Picture: BBC
Daniel Radcliffe in The Gamechangers. Picture: BBC
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A CITY-based gaming company, which created the iconic Grand Theft Auto series, has dubbed a BBC dramatisation of its rise to fame “random, made up b*******”.

The Gamechangers, a one-off drama that was aired on BBC2 on Tuesday night, told the story of the battle between Sam Houser – the British co-founder of Rockstar Games – and Jack Thompson, a lawyer who believed that video games were to blame for violent behaviour among children.

The 90-minute film made it clear that it was not authorised by Rockstar and some scenes and events were adapted for dramatic effect.

The games giant, whose Rockstar North office is situated in Holyrood Road, showed it was unimpressed with the adaptation via social media.

It tweeted at the BBC, asking: “Was Basil Brush busy? What exactly is this random, made up b*******?”

And Brian Baglow, who lives in the Capital and wrote the script for the original GTA game, voiced his opinion.

He tweeted: “Current mentions of development team: zero. Current mentions there IS a development team: zero. Going very well.”

Mr Baglow criticised the BBC’s decision to base the drama in the New York, mentioning Edinburgh only in the passing.

He added: “Sorry guys. Couldn’t SHOW Edinburgh. Budgets. You know.”

He further mocked the production’s portrayal of the glamorous offices and dress of Rockstar employees.

He said: “The attention to detail! The Zoo York hat! The ping pong! If only they had the wardrobe and set people do the story.”

Steve Hammond, another official who was involved in the meteoric rise of the GTA franchise, which began in a Dundee studio, also hit out at the adaptation. He tweeted pictures of the original unglamorous headquarters in Dundee.

One caption under a picture showing a one-floor brown office block read: “This is the DMA Design office building where GTA was originally created in Dundee, Scotland.”

Another showed the insides of the office, saying: “No glass walls in evidence.”

And another mocked the fact that Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe – who played Sam Houser in the drama – wore Rockstar-branded apparel throughout the film.

The caption read: “GTA being created in 1996. Everyone wore their own clothes and not company-branded apparel!”

The first edition of GTA was released in 1997 – with the most recent version hitting shelves in 2013.

The open-world action-adventure crime game made 
$1 billion in its first three days, making it the fastest-selling entertainment product in history.

The BBC declined to comment.

courtney.cameron@edinburghnews.com