The Simpsons, who doesn't love The Simpsons? Apparently Rockstar. Or at least that's EA's story as Rockstar has demanded that content be pulled from their new Simpsons game. Lead Designer Greg Rizzer elaborates further:
I was always under the impression that when you do parody, it's a sign of respect... If we make fun of Grand Theft Auto, we're not going to hurt the sales of Grand Theft Auto... But yeah, we've definitely had some reactions - we've had to pull stuff from the game.
He also adds that during Leipzig Games Convention, EA had to pull a GTA parody poster (Grand Theft Scratchy) from the floor due to a Rockstar-sourced complaint. Rizzer elaborated that it was probably a lawyer who's been the source of said conflicts, but that's no excuse in our book. Parody has long offered legal solace to those stretching the bounds of freedom of speech and social commentary, even in the light of potential profits—just imagine this classic SNL vid without such protection. EA's response to self-censor has very likely been the result of playing nice to save legal costs and headaches as opposed to actual IP infringement.
With as often as Rockstar (justifiably) whines about freedom of artistic expression, we're ashamed of their double standard. Seriously. We're shaking our finger and everything.