Chicago (IL) - Take-Two, the parent company of Grand Theft Auto creator Rockstar Games, has filed a lawsuit against the chicago Transit Authority after it pulled an ad campaign for GTA IV.
Take-Two claims that the city violated its first amendment rights by taking down ads a bus stops and other areas owned by the city’s transit department shortly after they were put up one week prior to the game’s April 29 release date.
Take-Two had set purchased the advertising space for six weeks, which would extend the ads through June.
As many gamers know, the Grand Theft Auto series epitomizes the debate over violence in video games, with its graphic content and morally questionable action sequences.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving went immediately on the offensive, slamming the game for the fact that it allows players to drive while under the influence. However, it also gives players the option of calling a taxi and being responsible.
Take-Two is running similar ad campaigns in other major cities, but Chicago was singled out because a rash of violent street crimes plagued the city right around the game’s release. Chicago answered to pressure that the ads be removed because of the game’s visualization of those kinds of crimes.
The game publisher is seeking $300,000 in damages as well as an order to put the ads back up.