Secret Meeting Between Jack Thompson and Take Two Chairman

June 14, 2007 -
GamePolitics has learned that anti-game activist Jack Thompson and newly-minted Take Two Interactive Chairman Strauss Zelnick met secretly in New York City recently.

Did they discuss Manhunt 2? GTA? Bully? Golf? The weather?

GamePolitics does not yet have details of the meeting but we know that Zelnick requested it. Thompson would only confirm that it took place. A spokesman for Take Two had no comment.

Thompson, of course has a long history of litigation regarding Take Two titles, including a pair of current GTA-related wrongful death suits (Alabama, New Mexico) as well as last year's failed attempt to have Bully declared a public nuisance in the state of Florida.

Earlier this year, while Paul Eibeler was still CEO, Take Two sued Thompson in Federal Court in Florida. The parties reached a settlement, however, after Zelnick came on board.

More recently Thompson has been leading the charge against Take Two's upcoming Manhunt 2.

GP: We'd love to have been the proverbial fly on the wall...  If we were speculating, we'd guess that this was Strauss Zelnick's effort to meet and get a feel for the man who likes to call himself "Take Two's most abiding critic" and who has vowed to bring the company down. Zelnick has a far more inclusive management style than his predecessor, the inept Paul Eibeler.

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Comments

How did GP find out about this? O_o Not that I'm expecting any named sources, but that's some fine investigation there, Dennis.

Nice that Thompson can kinda keep THIS one a secrect and "only confirm that it took place."

I smell bribery....Jack Thompson got paid for this obivsiouly.

He only confirmed its occurrence? Thompson's usually so eager to toot his own horn that I'm thinking he might be in trouble again.

Can't wait to hear more!

Not sure what to make of this. I'd like to think more trouble for Thompson, and given what hayabusa75 said, it's possible, but Thompson getting any kind of attention from the game industry makes me uneasy.

I really hope they're trying to fill in some of the legal gray areas of the settlement. It seems wrong that Jack was banned from suing T2, and is STILL at it, as long as he sues by proxy.

Could this possibly mean that he is/was an agent provacateur? I know that's just pure speculation, but just look at his "professionalism".

What if Strauss Zelnick is trying to pay Jack to stop trying to make Take Two look bad? How completely insane would that be? I don't know anything about Strauss so I can only guess. Maybe he just wanted to come to an understanding with Jack? Maybe he wanted to defend the company against Jack's accusations personally? I hope it's this and not something slimey. Either way I'm sure we'll hear A LOT from Jack soon.

I was thinking the same thing as Dustin - perhaps TT is trying to somehow buy JT's silence. I don't think they're especially afraid of him, but maybe they're just tired of his endless press releases. I'd be a bit surprised that JT, being a man of supposed morals, would take anything that resembles 'blood money' - but then again, every man has his price. And let's not kid ourselves, JT isn't exactly the most effective critic of TT. If he's not going to win some sort of change in the end, regardless, he might pocket something on the side and just stop being a thorn in TT's side.

While I normally try to post constructive messages and inquiries, I have only this to add (after being so jaded to the news of JT):

I wonder if there was any hugging or crying? =)

I think it was for his yearly employee eval and for his "best in sales" award for his record breaking ideas and practices on game advertising and getting the word out. But that's just me.

@Hyabusa

They could force him to sign a NDA or similar document. Jack might just be desperate enough... or a bad enough lawyer to not notice that section. Heck in his original agreement he may have been forced to keep all further meetings quiet unless given explicit permission by T2.

Nah, sorry ,but they can't be buying his silence. if JT himself leaked it, then he would never have let it out unless it was some huge perceived victory for him

@Zen

Ha! Not 'just you' -- I was thinking the same thing. Well said!

@Kurisu

That's not Jt's normal MO. When he wins anything, he doesn't keep quiet about it unless it doesn't actually exsist. We've seen plenty of cases where he claimed victory of some kind. ((Penny arcade, anyone)) But if he had won some sort of debate with TT, he'd be singing it from the roof tops.

No, I think what happened was this.

Jt was brought in, and TT said the following.

" If you ever try your crap again, we will BURY your career under so much legal pressure that you'll never see the light of day again." And JT, knowing he's already got a bunch of trouble with the BAR, agreed to back down in exchange for them not ending his, admittedly short, remaining days as a lawyer.

With 5 bar complaints and a settlement on the books, JT has little if ANY legal or political clout anymore. Take two was probably giving him a final warning before he tries any crap. AFter all, that whole Manhunt WII thing if I had to guess, is probably gonna be the final straw that forces take two to put and end to JT once and for all if he keeps pushing it.

If JT isn't bragging about anything, then he probably got pwned behind closed doors.

Off topic, but watching last night's Daily Show got me to thinking. If Jack really wants to put that law degree to use, he should give up on the video game industry and go after the tobacco industry. Cigarettes are dangerous and it's been proven that the tobacco industry is targeting minors. These are the same complaints Jack makes about the games industry, only it's true in this case.

That's a good idea. That's why it'll NEVER happen. Either that, or Jack knows that NO ONE can successfully sue the tobacco industry despite the overwhelming evidence. Makes you wonder why he even bothers with the game industry despite the overwhelming LACK of evidence.

Yuki, I can agree with you on that aspect. However, I think an Ocean's 13 feel should apply to it all. "I know people... who really know how to hurt..."

In all seriousness, it is likely that he's been threatened with something great; or they told him he'll appear as a lawyer in GTAIV where he'll get beaten at the rendezvous point.


@A-well Cruiz

The reason why Jack doesn't go after it is because "God" doesn't tell him he should. He is led by "God" similar to the crusades to go and do something in his name.
However, you can never know if these people were smoking crack or just thought it up in their imagination. They just usually feel they are partially divine and will succeed in their quest(s).

@JC's reply to A-well Cruiz


Ugh....i really dislike people who think they're on a crusade from God in any way shape or form...In the good book it states Judgment isn't ours to pass on to others its His.

[...] Filed under: Culture [...]

The details will come out sooner or later. Thumper loves the sound of his own voice and the publicity even more than the sounds of massacres. He will not be able to resist to send some rambling "press release" about it.

I agree with Yuki as well. I think the meeting was twofold:

1) To be able to sit down with Jack for a kind of "Know your enemy" type of meeting to see what this guy is really about, as well as to give Jack the impression that unlike Eibler he is willing to face his critics, and in so doing take some of the wind out of Jack's sails. Part of the reason why Jack makes wild accusations against his targets is because most of the time they never respond to him personally and he's come to expect that. This must have taken him completely by surprise.

2) As Yuki said, to make sure that they hold him to their legal agreement. And that if he ever tries anything he'll put a price on his head so large he'll never be able to go near a civilized star system again. ;)

Considering the uncharacteristic silence from Jack, I strongly suspect that this is what happened. Otherwise we would have had a ready-made press release from him within an hour of that story dropping.

Kind of wish it was a meeting with someone important.

Thompson and Zelnick with two other men come into the room and sit down. Zelnick joins his hands before him before addressing Thompson.

"I'm going to be direct mister Thompson, Take Two has changed, and personally I'm sick of all your BS"

Thompson eyes open wide. Zelnick continues as he sits back on his chair.

"Of course you will stop your babbling as well as keep this meeting under wraps, if not, well, perhaps you might meet again with my friend here. He is known for somehow being around 'accidents'"

Thompson pisses himself in the pants.

"That is all, have a good day Jack"

Zelnick leaves leaving Thomspon sitting on a wet couch with his eyes and mouth wide open.

Hehe, the imagination goes wild when you don't know what really happened XD. Please excause my english folks, english is not my native language :)

@ Zen

I agree 100%. I mean look at it. He single handedly gave enough precedent so no one can sue the game industry for wrongful death, got Bully huge sales, and made me eprsonally want to get Manhunt 2 just to spite him. He's got to be getting two paychecks (assuming he makes money as an anti-game activist :P)

I can only see this meeting as a good thing. Both parties willing to talk to each other means that they've agreed to get the other's point-of-view, criticisms, or whatever.

I think I agree with you Yuki. he likely went in thinking he might get some inside dirt, but since he wasn't on camera and couldn't cry foul, he can't say anything now

@Robb Thompson, willing to talk? Ha!

Then we find out that Thompson has been working with TT all the time, simply to promote their games...

Personally, I'm wondering how close to the bone he got by writing to various other public figures and attempting to get them to declare Manhunt 2 a public nuisance, whilst that's not a direct act on his part, I'm wondering if he isn't stretching the terms of his agreement with Take Two just a bit.

[...] Has Nothing To Say. Gamers Confused! June 14, 2007 Posted by kendricke in The Gaming Industry. trackback Per GamePolitics.com, it seems that Florida attorney and frequent video game critic Jack Thompsonhad a little secret meeting with Take Two Interactive’s new Chairman, Strauss Zelnik.  [...]

@Brokenscope:

I suppose that's possible, although asking Jack to keep his mouth shut (even legally) is akin to asking Uwe boll to stop making sh_tty movies.

As I recall, Jack only clams up when it's something bad for his end... Of course, give it two weeks and he'll be claiming it was some great victory over the video game empire. *sigh*

[...] GS - And you thought the meetings in your offices were awkward. GamePolitics.com is reporting that game-industry gadfly and antigame-legislation author Jack Thompson had a secret tete-a-tete with the newly installed chairman of Take-Two Interactive, Strauss Zelnick. [...]

I just think that manhunt 2 for the nintendo wii should not be messed with
because we should have the right to play whatever we want in our own
home when we are not committing any illegal act. From my experience I
felt alot better when I was mad at someone when I played a violent game
by which I let my anger out. I feel that this new addition wii controller will
make people that are mad feel even better letting out there intentions with
the wii remote rather than commit a violent act. There is way more
serious issues for people like Thompson to help solve rather than try to
mess with a video game. People like Thompson need to do the job they
chose and take care of more serious issues of society.

Jack Thompson's words are nothing but just a pack of lies. And hey, I just learned that he is a christian, but a bad one! I suppose his God taught him how to lie? Hey I thought it was Satan, lol!

Looks like God sucks pretty bad at his job at making people good and doing his good job at making his own creation a pile of crap, some God...

We all know Jack Thompson. We all know he doesn't shut up for nothing. So this most've been a powerful meeting and it surely didn't go well for him. Otherwise we'd be seeing "press releases" all across the interweb.

[...] Hallo Jack Thompson- Geheimes Treffen mit Take 2 Rechtsanwalt und Computerspiel-Gegner Jack Thompson hat sich in New York insgeheim mit dem neuen Take 2-Boss Strauss Zelnick getroffen. Das berichtet die Website GamePolitics.com, die sich das Treffen von Thompson best

[...] Link [...]

@clyde,
I sure hope you're joking.

Jack talked to Take Two and wouldnt tell everyone?
I am guessing they told Jack that they have his nuts in a legal trash compactor and will switch it on if he doesnt take it easy.

To Jer,

I'm not joking... I am very serious about this and believe it or not, most of the what we called "holy wars" were done by Christians and Islamists themselves, so much for the "thou shalt not kill" commandment.

@Clyde: Ideology kills, religion doesn't. Most religions, at least. Christianity doesn't teach to kill - ideology does that.
 
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