Take-Two Interactive, publisher of Red Dead Redemption 2, is in a legal battle with the security company Pinkerton over the use of characters Andrew Milton and Edgar Ross, two Pinkerton agents featured in Rockstar’s latest title.
As reported by The Verge, this all began when Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations sent Take-Two a cease-and-desist letter over the previously mentioned characters in December.
Pinkerton appreciated Rockstar’s “clear affection” for Pinkerton, but felt the developer was “creating a false impression that the game was made by or connected with Pinkerton,” which it is not, and it is demanding Take-Two “pay either a lump sum or ongoing royalties.”
Take-Two, in response, is suing Pinkerton in return and claiming the characters are within the protection of the First Amendment and are requesting the characters to be “declared fair use, arguing they’re part of Red Dead Redemption 2’s detailed historical setting.”
Take-Two further explains that the Pinkerton National Detective Agency appears in other Western fiction and that the agency “played a major role in real 19th – and early 20th-century American History.”
As The Verge states, Pinkerton agents appear in such other media as Deadwood, The Long Riders, and BioShock Infinite, where main character Booker DeWitt was a former Pinkerton agent.
The complaint accuses Pinkerton of trying to capitalize on the success of Red Dead Redemption 2, which has already sold over 17 million copies.
This is hardly the first legal battle Take-Two has partaken in, as it also found itself in hot water when Lindsay Lohan filed a 67-page complaint that accused Grand Theft Auto V of using her likeness in the game for the character Lacey Jonas without her consent.
For more on how historically accurate Red Dead Redemption 2 is, be sure to check out our discussion of how true to the past Rockstar’s western title actually is.
Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN who wishes the best to all involved in this war. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst.