Coffee Stain's Goat Simulator 3 has landed itself in hot water after tweeting an ad for the game which contained leaked GTA 6 footage. Naturally, the footage was swiftly hit with a DMCA by Grand Theft Auto IP holder Take-Two Interactive, but the Goat Sim people don't seem too bothered about it.
Earlier this year, footage of the upcoming Grand Theft Auto 6 was leaked online by a hacker. The leaked clips included plenty of work-in-progress footage, including players moving through office complexes and exploring the game's open world. Apparently, Goat Simulator 3's social media folks then decided it was a good idea to include some of that leaked footage in an ad spot for the game on Twitter.
The ad, which has now been taken down, shows Shaun, a Goat Simulator 3 NPC "in training" to be in the game. He's shown doing a variety of humorous things, including ragdoll training. After this, he says he's got other works in the pipeline, including a spot in a major upcoming game. The ad then shows the NPC spliced into some of the in-progress footage for GTA 6. We're not going to post it here, but it's still around online.
That tweet was posted on Monday, and today, Goat Simulator 3 followed it up with the famous Simpsons GIF of Ralph laughing and saying "I'm in danger". That was shortly after the video was taken down "in response to a report by the copyright owner", which is Twitter's way of saying Coffee Stain got hit with a DMCA by Take-Two.
It's unlikely Coffee Stain will be met with more than this DMCA, which is arguably the equivalent of a stern reproach rather than any long-lasting consequences. The tweet only contained a few seconds of footage, which is probably what Coffee Stain will say if any further legal challenges are mounted, although that's not likely.
Given Goat Simulator's reputation as a "funny" game, this could well be a stunt designed to drum up interest around Goat Simulator 3 and create a media event rather than an earnest mistake. There's no way Coffee Stain didn't know using the footage would land it in trouble, so it's almost certainly a deliberate decision, DMCA and all. This is, after all, the game that parodied the infamous Dead Island 2 trailer during its announcement at Summer Game Fest earlier this year. The GTA 6 ad feels very much like a deliberate attempt to escalate, a sort of "people like our irreverence, so let's be more irreverent" play.
We've reached out to Coffee Stain and Take-Two for comment on this and will update our story if we hear anything further.