The media begins to pick up on the OJ story

Posted July 20th, 2007 at 1:37 pm
OJ screen 2K8

As I predicted in my article regarding the Gametrailers OJ Simpson trailer, there was the potential that the media would pick up on and run with it, making it a more mainstream topic. How it could become more than the message board discussion it has been thus far. That now has happened.

In an article that reads eerily similar in some ways to what I wrote, Priya Ganapati at has detailed the situation of OJ Simpson within All-Pro Football 2K8 and the exploitation of his past in that trailer. You can read the full article here.

2K Sports' decision clearly reflects a lack of sensitivity and leaves the company open to accusations of bad taste, but, at its worst, it suggests an attempt to deliberately offend and use Simpson's past to profit and promote a video game that many parents would likely buy as a normal sports-game purchase.

Not surprisingly, the family of the victims are looking into the legalities of him profiting from signing on to the game, with 2K reportedly paying him between $50,000-$125,000. He was found liable for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in a civil trial.

Fred Goldman, father of Ron Goldman who was killed along with Simpson's wife, Nicole Brown, through his lawyer David Cook declined to comment on the game. "This whole thing is just beyond any comment and shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone," said Cook.

"As to whether Mr. Simpson is entitled to participate in any revenue stream based on the video and other rights, this matter is being studied," he said.

I'm convinced that 2K wasn't behind the creation of this trailer after seeing the Michael Vick version that Gametrailers produced yesterday. However the fact that they've been contacted about this trailer and are well aware of it, yet have done nothing to have it removed, will open them up to criticism. And justifiably so. 

Once one media outlet deems something worthy of a story, generally many others will catch on as well. We'll see how things progress, but this appears primed to become a controversy on a much larger scale than what we have seen so far.

Update: Now being talked about on Kotaku and Joystiq. 2K has come stated they did not make the trailer. By allowing it to remain up though, the perception that these trailers represent APF and that they support them will continue to build.