Just over a month after bringing a preemptive lawsuit
against anti-game crusader Jack Thompson, Take-Two has reached a settlement with the lawyer that will keep him from suing or otherwise restricting future sales of Take-Two's games.
Following a threat to keep sales of forthcoming Take-Two games such as Grand Theft Auto IV
from going forward in Florida, the publisher filed a preemptive suit to bind Thompson from moving forward, alleging that the lawyer's actions violate the publisher's First Amendment rights, and seeking to recover any legal fees resulting from the litigation.
“Thompson has a history of making multiple threats of legal action, whether substantiated or not, both against (Take Two) as well as the retailers who purchase the video games and offer them for sale to the public. Thompson has made such threats again in connection with Manhunt 2
and GTA IV
...,” wrote Take Two in a statement.
Bringing the suit to a close, GamePolitics is reporting
that the two parties have settled, with Thompson agreeing that he will not bring suit or threaten to restrict sales or distribution of any Take-Two game, or any of its subsidiaries.
Furthermore, Thompson is restricted from merely communicating with Take-Two or any of its business partners any claim that asserts that any party involved with the sales of Take-Two's games are engaging in wrongdoing of any sort, though it specifically notes that Thompson is perfectly free to criticize the content or distribution of the games themselves.
Finally, Thompson has agreed through the settlement that any future communication with Take-Two or any of its subsidiaries, divisions or affiliates will take place only through the publisher's legal team.
As part of the settlement, Take-Two has dismissed both the original March suit and another contempt of court case the two were engaged in over previous actions Thompson took over Bully
In their April 11th call to investors, new Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick and CEO Ben Feder made a point
to note that part of their initial 5 point 100 day plan for revitalizing the company included bringing all of the publisher's litigation and regulatory issues to a close.