During the build to the launch of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition, Rockstar's parent company Take-Two Interactive issued a lot of DMCA takedowns. Most of the studio's targets were players who had tweaked or modded the games that were in the process of being remastered. One group who reverse-engineered GTA 3 and Vice City are still fighting Take-Two today, recently revealing it is prepared to go to court with the Rockstar and 2K owners.
Now The Trilogy is out in the wild, and most of the projects in place before it launched have been successfully taken down, Take-Two appears to have shifted its gaze. As highlighted by Ash R on Twitter, Take-Two recently filed a very large wave of trademark disputes. Among them are ownership claims of the words Rockstar, Bully, and of course, Take-Two.
If you wade through the extensive list and make it to page five, there's a somewhat confusing claim Take-Two is trying to make. That it should own the rights to the name It Takes Two. That's right, the co-op game created by Hazelight Studios and published by EA, so no connection to Take-Two whatsoever. Well, unless you view sharing the words take and two as being a viable connection, which Take-Two apparently seems to.
The documents appear to imply that Hazelight's ownership of the It Takes Two trademark was either abandoned or left to lapse earlier this year. It names the game of the year contender's developer as the defendant, while Take-Two is the “potential opposer”. Either Take-Two has picked up on the trademark being available, or it is actively trying to take it from Hazelight.
What Take-Two is attempting to gain from doing this remains unclear. Trying to claim ownership of words related to your own games and studios is one thing. Doing the same to something you have absolutely no connection to just because its title includes words that also appear in your company's name is something else entirely. It seems unlikely this will pan out in Take-Two's favor, but if it does, it's even less clear how it will benefit from It Takes Two's success. Hazelight's hit game has already sold three million copies and could be named Game of the Year at The Game Awards next week.
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