back to article Daily Star is sorry for Grand Theft Auto Raoul Moat blunder

Last week the Daily Star published the sensational scoop that Rockstar Games was prepping Grand Theft Auto Rothbury, inspired by the murderer Raoul Moat. It was a hoax of course, but it would be much too kind to describe the Star as a victim. The paper compounded its error by mocking up a fake cover (see here) and by …


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  1. Tom_


    They're an embarrassment to gutter-tabloid-filth, they are.

  2. g e

    So how much

    do they have to fork over?

    I think out of VIZ and the star, VIZ contains more useful information.

  3. DrStrangeLug


    And the newspaper industry is hoping to sit behind a pay wall and expect people to pay for journalism of this quality ?

  4. JWS


    I'd have paid money for that game, wouldn't have lasted long though! You run and lots of police surround you for 6 hours, get bored and shoot you a few times...

  5. Llanfair

    The Star is owned by

    Richard Desmond who has just bought Channel Five.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: The Star is owned by

      He's bought Channel 5?

      Great! I look forward to hardcore pr0n on FTA terrestrial telly. (Have a look at what comprises the bulk of Richard "Dirty" Desmond's empire to see what I mean).

      Mine's the mac. Yes, it is rather grubby now you mention it.......

  6. Shaun 1

    Here is the Daily Star's statement in full:

    Here is the Daily Star's statement in full:

    "On 21 July we published an article claiming that the video games company Rockstar Games were planning to release a version of their popular Grand Theft Auto video games series titled 'Grand Theft Auto Rothbury'.

    We also published what we claimed would be the cover of this game, solicited comments from a family member impacted by the recent tragedy and criticised Rockstar Games for their alleged plans.

    We made no attempt to check the accuracy of the story before publication and did not contact Rockstar Games prior to publishing the story. We also did not question why a best selling and critically acclaimed fictional games series would choose to base one of their most popular games on this horrifying real crime event.

    It is now accepted that there were never any plans by Rockstar Games to publish such a game and that the story was false. We apologise for publishing the story using a mock-up of the game cover, our own comments on the matter and soliciting critical comments from a grieving family member.

    We unreservedly apologise to Rockstar Games and we have undertaken not to repeat the claims again. We have also agreed to pay them a substantial amount in damages which they are donating to charity."

    1. James Smith 3

      Proper Apologies

      I reckon that any paper printing such garbage should have to print an equally large story about how they screwed up, and on the same page too. No hiding a small grovelly statement somewhere at the back where no-one will see it.

      Imagine... full front page running "Aliens have landed!", should be followed the next day by full front page running "Oh dear. We're a bunch of cocks!"

    2. Anonymous John

      Why do any of that?

      When you can foam at the mouth instead.

  7. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    I thought they had lawyers for this kind of thing

    Even if they don't spend any money on journalists to check the facts, I thought the tabloids still spent lots of cash on lawyers to avoid getting their arses sued from here to buggery.

    Clearly not in this case. Ouch! I guess they couldn't get away with the usual 1 paragraph apology on page 20, as it was an open and shut case, and Rockstar might well sue for serious money if not appeased quickly.

    Hahahahahahaha. Always nice to see the nastier side of the 'press' having to pay out.

  8. Doshu
    Thumb Down


    begets rubbish

  9. Lottie

    Amazingly dumb

    I've been following this story via Charlie Brookers twitter feeds (yes, I know, web 2.0 koolaid drinker etc) and have been amazed at the story.

    It's a bit worse than it looks at first because the idiot who wrote the story tried to get out of the shit by writing about how gamers should get a life instead of being angry at him.

    Il'' try to find the link.

    Anyway, how much did the daily star have to cough up?

    1. Anonymous John

      How much?

      A substantial amount. Or small change to Richard Desmond.

  10. TeeCee Gold badge

    That motto.

    I await with bated breath the six hysterically amusing, monumental cockups the Star is going to have to apologise for in the remaining days of this week.

    They're going to have to pull the stops out to measure up to today's as the yardstick for "best".

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Did you know...

    that the word "Gullible" isn't even in the Daily Star's official in-house dictionary?

  12. Daniel 1

    How dim do you have to be?

    The clue is in the name, really. The game isn't called "Inauspicious Robbery of a Fish and Chip Shop and Escape in a V-Reg Lexus".

    In fact, I'm left wondering what kind of game these hacks thought it might have made. Seven days in a storm drain with some cold fish and chips? Talk about 'immersion'. I can just imagine the climactic final cinematic: "Inspector, we're sending in Paul Gascoigne! Between Moat threatening to shoot himself, and Gazza's drinking, one things for sure - one of them isn't coming out of this alive!"

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I thought the press had learned a long time ago that you can't simply print any old rumour and then hide behind the excuse that they'd only printed what "reliable sources" had told them. Obvioulsy the Star never learned that lesson. But then printing a story because of what a "reliable source" tells you is somewhat different to going to war on the same basis. Tell me again how much trouble did the labour government get into for going to war on the say so of a single "reliable source". Oh that's right, none at all.

  14. MrHorizontal


    The Daily Star couldn't have got more owned than even if Murdoch saw reason to get involved with them.

    I do wonder what kind of figure these 'substantial damages' are...

    However, given how many submissions the Press Complaints Commission have had just in 2010 regarding virtually all of Mr Desmond's papers let alone the Star, I do wonder how this fool, Jerry Lawton, can even continue to have licence to practice any form journalism at all! Lies != Journalism. It's not even sophisticated enough to call it libel, it's just LIES!

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Round of applause to Rockstar

    Anyone who believed that should seek help. That said, I have to say I'm impressed with Rockstar's response.

    They've cleared their name, given the Daily Star something to think about the next time they consider a publicity stunt (it must have been) and are giving the winnings to charity.

    Well done Rockstar.

    Grenade: I found it in Liberty City, I think it belongs to the Daily Star, no, there wasn't a pin in it when I found it.

  16. Rick Brasche

    wow-unlike most other media

    these guys apologized when caught in an egregious lie or "mistake". Unlike most of the media which spends years spinning and twisting facts until they can claim it justifies their original untruth.

    Gotta give 'em props for that.

    1. Alastair 7

      It was probably...

      one of the conditions that meant Rockstar didn't sue them. That and the fat settlement.

  17. waldoPepp

    The motto of the modern British tabloid

    Lie through the back of your teeth and be damned.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    just who reads news papers anyway?

    Come off it, you've got to be an absolute idiot to buy a news paper, let alone read them.

    They are full of absolute crap. There's never any truth in anything they print, and who wants to listen to the options of some of the country's most dubious characters? These people are total hypocrites. One story is about peados and the next some just legal lass with her tits out.

    I've not read/bought a printed paper for YEARS. That’s not to say I don’t consume news reports, just not in printed papers, and I always take another suppliers point with a pinch of salt.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks like a promising future for journalism... the Daily Star's new stablemate - Channel 5.

    1. Daniel Evans

      Channel 5

      You have seen "Five News", right? I didn't think you could get much lower in terms of journalistic content.

  20. Ben Rosenthal

    nice one

    Nice work from Rockstar games, didn't think I'd ever be saying that again!

  21. Scott 19


    They may have made a slight mistake here, next Rock* game could have a paper called the daily sh*t in it or something along them, lines?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The daily farce?

      But yeah, the worst part here is that they phoned a traumatized grandma and asked her to talk about it when they must have known it was bullshit.

  22. Yorkshirepudding

    he who laughs last

    odds on rockstar will destroy the star subtly in the next GTA game or something similar

  23. VulcanV5

    A Clarification

    The Daily Star isn't a newspaper, so confusing it with the Press at large isn't helpful. Its sister title, The Daily Express, isn't one either.

    Although its publisher has been much maligned, Desmond has in fact and for many years provided a kind of social services in-home facility for retards. Desmond also employs them.

    Vilifying a wealthy individual for catering to the needs of those dispossessed of a brain is unfair. At least the taxpayer isn't having to pick up the bill.

  24. Spleen

    Well, it couldn't be worse than GTA 4

    "Moaty! Iss Gazza! Youse wanna go bowling?"

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