Grand Theft Auto boss resigns

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.

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

game.



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