When you make a hit video game you can expect some people to come for you – especially if they believe you’re slandering their name – and that’s just what’s happened with Rockstar Games and the real-life Pinkertons.
If you’ve played Red Dead Redemption 2 then you should be familiar with these notorious baddies who like to hunt you down and kick your ass. Turns out the Pinkertons in real life are really unhappy with their name being included in the game and are suing Rockstar for it.
According to reports from The Blast, a company known as Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations has sent a cease and desist letter to Rockstar Games and its parent company, Take-Two Interactive.
The company is claiming that Rockstar has used images associated with its business without seeking permission, including the Pinkerton Detective Badge.
In documents uncovered by The Blast, the investigators claim the Pinkerton National Detective Agency characters are: “used as villains, hunting the game’s protagonists.“
It also adds that it’s: “likely to blur the distinctive character and tarnish the reputation of Pinkerton’s famous trademarks.”
Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations has reportedly been in business for over 150 years and “in the 1870s the agency worked with law enforcement to apprehend famous criminals across the country.”
The company has said they are “willing to discuss a lump sum figure” to end the dispute with Rockstar, but it seems like Rockstar’s keen to fight the allegations, citing the First Amendment and arguing its game is an “historically accurate videogame set in the Wild West in the late 1800s…historical references are woven into the fabric of the game at every level…
“The game’s reference to the historical Pinkerton National Detective Agency and its agents is but one of a myriad of ways that Red Dead 2 accurately portrays the historical Nineteenth Century American landscape.”
The leaked documents are dated from December 2018, so it’s unclear whether the two companies have reached an agreement.