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Rockstar Games’ Take-Two and Remedy are fighting over an ‘R’

Ironically, the two companies are making Max Payne and Max Payne 2 remasters together

Remedy Entertainment logo and Rockstar Games logo Image: Remedy Entertainment, Rockstar Games/Take-Two Interactive
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Take-Two Interactive, which owns Grand Theft Auto 6 developer Rockstar Games, and Remedy Entertainment are doing more together than just making Max Payne and Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne remakes. Both companies are also in a trademark dispute, in the United Kingdom, over the use of the letter “R,” as first reported by gaming website RespawnFirst.

Rockstar Games is opposing Remedy Entertainment’s new logo, which was filed with the Intellectual Property Office of the U.K. and European Union last year. Remedy Entertainment unveiled the new logo in April (before filing the trademark applications in the EU, U.K., and U.S.), changing it from an “R” with a bullet-shaped counter in an oval to a simpler “R” that’s made up of several pieces of the letter. “The bullet in the letter R in the old logo represented the era of Max Payne, but the Remedy of now is much bigger than a single game; we have a whole portfolio of games, new and old,” Remedy Entertainment communications director Thomas Puha wrote at the time.

But Take-Two Interactive is arguing that the new logo may cause “confusion on the part of the public,” according to the filings, because it’s too close to the Rockstar Games’ logo — an “R” with a little star attached to the leg of the letter — which was submitted as evidence. Take-Two Interactive has officially filed opposition in both the EU and U.K., while the U.S. application is still awaiting examination.

The EU proceedings aren’t scheduled to be held until at least September 2025, according to The Verge, but it seems likely that the two companies would settle this before then, given their relationship on the Max Payne games. It’s kind of awkward to be releasing Max Payne and Max Payne 2 remakes together while arguing about the letter “R.”

Take-Two Interactive does have experience in trademark disputes; Take-Two filed in opposition of Hazelight Studios and Electronic Arts’ It Takes Two in 2021, which eventually led to Hazelight and EA abandoning the trademark. As in the It Takes Two case, Take-Two Interactive isn’t necessarily filing to get Remedy Entertainment to change its logo — but it doesn’t want the company to be able to protect it.

The company is pretty aggressive in protecting its trademarked words and logos; it’s also taken on the BBC and the security company Pinkerton, among plenty of others.

Update (Jan. 18): A Remedy spokesperson issued the following statement to Polygon: “There is nothing to see here — this was a discussion between our teams that was resolved entirely and amicably late last year. Unfortunately, it took a little longer to complete than we had hoped due to some holiday scheduling. The legal filing was simply an initial formality, and Remedy and Take-Two continue to work together in partnership.”

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