The marketing director behind one of last year’s best-selling but
most controversial video games, Grand Theft Auto, is leaving its
publisher, Take 2 Interactive.
Simon Downing, international marketing director, leaves the company this
week. A replacement is being sought.
Downing joined BMG Interactive in 1996, prior to its takeover by Take 2
in July last year. He was responsible for creating an international
department for BMG Entertainment, for marketing its products across
Europe and for taking BMG into the more lucrative console market after
its concentration on PC games.
Downing led the push for Grand Theft Auto which has sold around 450,000
units across Europe since its launch last November. The game attracted
wide press coverage through publicist PR guru Max Clifford because of
its mafia-style action.
Downing leaves before finalising advertising agencies for Take 2’s
latest releases, including the sequel to Grand Theft Auto. He also
leaves in the middle of a licensing dispute with the Football
Association over exclusive kit and emblem rights for its Three Lions