Mirra drops $21m 'porn' lawsuit against BMX XXX game publisher - BikeBiz

Mirra drops $21m 'porn' lawsuit against BMX XXX game publisher

BMX pro Dave Mirra and Acclaim Entertainment, the New York-based PS2 and Xbox games publisher, have resolved their differences, says a rather plain statement from Acclaim. The statement doesn't mention the reason for the dispute and says Mirra is again helping to develop BMX-themed games for the company. Mirra had objected to the strippers and soft-porn images in BMX XXX, the successor to the 3m-selling Dave Mirra BMX games
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When BMX XXX was launched in 2002, British tabloid newspaper The Sun devoted a double page spread to a picture of a collection of semi-dressed young women on GT bikes. See the link below for the full (-frontal) story.

US retailers such as Wal-mart and Toys R Us refused to stock the game. Sales were therefore lower than expected and Acclaim laid off staff earlier this year.

Mirra complained that his name was used to promote the game against his wishes.

He launched a $21m lawsuit against Acclaim in February this year. His suit alleged breach of contract, unfair competition, injury to reputation, false advertising and invasion of privacy. Mirra said he had asked for his name to be removed from the game and for his name to play no part in the game's advertising. Many of the ads were banned in the US, including the one above.

According to a press statement from Acclaim, the suit - which Acclaim had earlier said was "baseless" - has now been dropped:

"Mr. Mirra's lawsuit against the Company was settled with no monetary or other damages being paid by either side, and Mr. Mirra will continue, uninterrupted, to be under contract with Acclaim until the year 2011."

The statement adds that Acclaim and Mirra have started working on the development of a new Dave Mirra BMX video game for the next-generation gaming systems.

"We are pleased to have amicably resolved this matter with Dave and anxiously look forward to resuming our successful working partnership," said Rod Cousens, CEO for Acclaim Entertainment, Inc.

"The Dave Mirra brand is the number one BMX brand in the video game industry and we will continue to work with Dave to build upon our proven formula for success."

Mirra was said to be "glad that this issue is behind us."

According to Reuters, Mirra said BMX XXX was to have been a tongue-in-cheek spoof game, similar to Airplane, but morphed, against his wishes, into a pornographic game.

In October last year, Acclaim Entertainment defended its "mature rated" game:

"We believe that there is a general, unfair characterization of the interactive entertainment industry and as a result, our product is being held to an entirely different standard than other entertainment media with comparable content, including movies, television and radio," said Greg Fischbach, the then CEO of Acclaim.

"While we acknowledge that we are setting new benchmarks with BMX XXX, we are disappointed that there are groups who fail to see how this humorous product is truly on par with such widely accepted mainstream entertainment experiences, including movies like American Pie, and TV shows like The Sopranos and Sex and the City.

"As a leading publisher, we fully believe that consumers should have a right to choose their entertainment, and with that right comes the importane of responsible consumerism."

"This product was not designed for, nor is it being marketed to consumers under the age of 17."

Acclaim's net revenue for the first quarter of fiscal year 2003 was $63.1m, as compared to $81m or 22% lower than the first quarter of fiscal year 2002. For the first quarter of fiscal 2003, the Company reported a net loss of $13.9m.

According to a company statement, in 2003 Acclaim "implemented targeted expense reductions through a restructuring of its business operations. In connection with this restructuring, the Company reduced its fixed and variable expenses, closed its Salt Lake City, Utah software development studio, redeployed various Company assets, eliminated certain marginal software titles under development, reduced its staff and staff related expenses and lowered overall marketing expenditures."

http://www.bmxxxx.com

http://www.acclaim.com/.../MirraSettlement.html

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