Okay, so maybe this is just my ignorance showing, but I am absolutely astonished to learn that The Pinkertons (the pre-FBI law enforcement we see in Red Dead Redemption 2) are still very much a thing in 2019.
The Pinkertons are now owned by Swedish security company Securitas AB, and go by Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations. As if that wasn’t enough of a revelation, it turns out they’re suing Rockstar parent company Take-Two Interactive over Red Dead Redemption 2.
The Verge reports that Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations sent a cease-and-desist notice to Take-Two last month over Red Dead Redemption 2’s repeated use of “Pinkerton” throughout the game. They’ve asked for either a single payment or a royalty arrangement.
In the game, Arthur Morgan and the gang are constantly pursued and ultimately torn apart by a group of particularly nasty Pinkertons. Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations have now claimed that the Pinkerton presence in RDR2 is so strong, that the implication is that they’re in the game with the express permission of the company.
Take-Two argues that their use of the Pinkertons is fair use, and have filed a suit of their own. They say their use of the word and organisation is justified on the grounds of historical accuracy, given that what the Pinkertons do in RDR2 is pretty much what they did back in those days.
The publisher also pointed out that the Pinkertons have appeared in various media before now, including Deadwood, BioShock Infinite, and a Weezer album that the agency apparently also tried to sue – with no success.
On other, slightly less weird, Red Dead Redemption 2 news, Rockstar recently introduced a new battle royale mode. Let’s hope there are no Pinkertons to be found there.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.