Like a child's game of "Telephone" gone horribly wrong, it seems that the whole Rockstar vs. The Simpsons Game controversy has been blown way out of proportion. Around the time of Leipzig, rumours started flying around the blogosphere that complaints Rockstar made about the game had been the impetus for some posters promoting the "Grand Theft Scratchy" level of the Simpsons Game being removed from the show. As the weeks went by, the rumours grew to titanic proportions with stories of actual content being removed from the game and a level name change. All of this resulted in quite a bit of speculative Rockstar bashing not only from the press, but from some of the games' writers as well. But, as we've now discovered, it was mostly unfounded.
In a comment to Kotaku on the subject, EA rep Tammy Schachter had this to say.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to put these rumours to rest. There was absolutely no content removed from the game as a result of complaints or comments by another publisher.
The spoof content and parody storyline for The Simpsons Game has been in place since the early stages of the titles' development. In-game spoof content for Grand Theft Scratchy has not been removed.
Rockstar has remained typically tight-lipped on the whole situation but given all the trouble they've been having lately with certain Florida lawyers and the overblown hub-bub over Manhunt 2, who can blame them. The reasons for the removal of the posters from Leipzig is still a bit of a mystery, but who knows what goes on behind the mysterious walls of EA? In any case it seems that quite a few outlets and individuals owe a certain Rockstar Games a little apology. Strike that, a big apology.