Take Two Looks To Squash Nuisance Suits

    March 19, 2007

Noted video game opponent Jack Thompson is at it again, looking to block the distribution of Manhunt 2 and Grand Theft Auto IV, both scheduled to be released later this year by Take Two. The popular game distributor, however, is now looking to launch a preemptive strike against Thompson to ensure timely release of these titles.

Crusaders against the video game industry have based their platform on the assertion that titles such as those from the Grand Theft Auto franchise directly contribute to violent behavior in children that play them. Jack Thompson is one of the most vocal proponents of the anti-GTA camp and has filed numerous lawsuits against Take Two, the distributor of the franchise, in order to prevent the games from being released.

Ars Technica’s Nate Anderson chronicles the history of litigation between Thompson and Take Two:

Thompson has, in the past, "brought suit on behalf of the State of Florida, dismissed it, filed again, sought a temporary restraining order, and then failed to pursue that motion," says the complaint. Such lawsuits come at "unpredictable times and under unpredictable circumstances" and can disrupt Take Two’s relationships with retailers, who can also get dragged into these battles (Thompson at one point sued Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target, GameStop, and others in the battle over Bully).

As a result, Take Two is as mad as hell, and they aren’t going to take it anymore.

In an attempt to cut of Thompson at the pass, Take Two has taken the initiative and filed a lawsuit of their own this time, citing that the game crusader has blatantly misused Florida’s “nuisance” laws to further his own anti-game agenda; efforts which, incidentally, have proven fruitless thus far.

As one would expect, Thompson wasted no time in responding to the suit. Here’s an excerpt from the rebuttal statement he made to Ken Fisher:

This lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, is, without a doubt, the single dumbest thing I have ever seen any lawyers do in my thirty years of practicing law–while in continuous good standing to do so with The Florida Bar, I might add, the shock radio and video game industry’s efforts notwithstanding.

Thompson goes on to express unwavering confidence that he has the upper hand in this situation, and will lower the boom on Take Two when he files his legal response against the distributor this week.

In a legal whirlwind between the parties that has no apparent end in site, I’m forced to conclude that the only real winners that will emerge from the dust are the lawyers, who are no doubt salivating at the seemingly endless streams of legal fees pouring into their wallets.