The Simpsons Developers Fire Back at Rockstar

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Developers behind the upcoming videogame The Simpsons have fired a salvo at Rockstar Games for its recent “spazzing out” over Grand Theft Auto-inspired elements in the game.

At the Leipzig Game Convention earlier in October, Rockstar complained about a “Grand Theft Scratchy” poster being used to advertise The Simpsons game that parodied the Grand Theft Auto box art. As a result, said Greg Rizzer, The Simpsons Lead Designer, “We’ve definitely had some reactions – we’ve had to pull stuff from the game,” although he did not offer details about what was removed.

Speaking on the Game Head program, The Simpsons Executive Producer Matt Selman pursued the issue somewhat more aggressively, saying, “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 videogame violence. She uses horrific violence to stop video game violence … in a videogame. That’s called irony. The people who make Grand Theft Auto, they spazzed out like little babies.”

“That’s not a big Rockstar move, to be afraid of The Simpsons making fun of their game,” added Senior Producer Matt Warburton.

Selman went on to say that as a result of the controversy, “EA lawyers are afraid to use the name Grand Theft Scratchy in promoting the game.” He was not entirely critical of Rockstar, however. “Their games are amazing,” he said. “Trust me, I’ll be the first person in line to play Grand Theft Auto 4 … in five years when it comes out.”

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