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Fans queue at midnight for ‘Grand Theft Auto V’


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One of the most expensive computer games ever made went on sale on Tuesday, greeted by five-star reviews and midnight queues at shopping centres.


Grand Theft Auto V cost £170m to produce, according to its Scottish developer Rockstar North, about the same as the films Avatar and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.


However, it is expected to earn £1bn in retail sales within a year, if it meets analysts’ sales forecasts.


“When you compare it with big-budget films, it’s up there in terms of revenues,” said Piers Harding-Rolls, an analyst at IHS.


The game, the first edition of the GTA franchise since 2008, is likely to benefit from a surge in console ownership in recent years, confirming the push of computer gaming into the mainstream.


The current generation of home consoles – the Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 – have sold more than 250m units worldwide.


Wedbush Securities has forecast that retailers will take delivery of 14m copies of GTA V this month, allowing its publisher Take-Two to exceed guidance of up to $800m in sales for the September quarter.


US pre-orders are more than five times those for the next best-selling game, Ghosts, Activision’s upcoming instalment of its best-selling Call of Duty franchise, according to a ranking from Cowen and Co.


Ahead of Tuesday’s release, Amazon sold out of copies of the game, while some other sites were reported to be selling copies, which normally cost about £50 ($60), for as much as £75.


The launch is another success for Rockstar North, the Scotland-based studio that also developed Lemmings. While it thrives, other UK gaming studios have struggled amid competition from Canada and consumers’ transition to smartphones.


Blitz, a developer based in Leamington Spa in the UK’s Midlands, announced last week that it was shutting down after 23 years.


“The industry is polarising,” said Richard Wilson, head of TIGA, the developers’ trade association. “Blitz was capable of making excellent games, but it was caught in the middle [between blockbusters and smartphones].”


In the past, the Grand Theft Auto series, which is set in lawless, fictional metropolises, has been criticised for its depictions of physical and sexual violence. “It is an 18-rated product,” said Mr Harding-Rolls of IHS. “The games are known for their satirical wit. All the edgy content is framed in that context.”


The latest version of the game is averaging 98 points out of 100 on Metacritic, a review aggregation site, with some describing it as “the best game of all time”.


It is yet to be confirmed when the game will be available on Sony’s PlayStation 4 or Microsoft’s Xbox One, the two much-awaited consoles that are due to be launched in November.


Analysts at Cowen expect the US video game sales will now rise by more than 30 per cent year on year in September and October, after months of falls earlier in 2013.


Rockstar North said it was investigating claims that online retailer Amazon had shipped the game to some UK customers ahead of Tuesday’s embargo date.


Soon after the release, the game was reported to be available for illegal download from torrent sites.


Developers have been seeking to combat piracy by making games progressively more complex, with extensive online components, said Mr Harding-Rolls.



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Man stabbed and robbed in London of Grand Theft Auto game



Grand Theft Auto V could generate £1bn in sales


Man stabbed and robbed in London of Grand Theft Auto game


A man was hit with a brick and stabbed before being robbed of the much awaited Grand Theft Auto V video game in north London.


The 23-year-old was returning home from shopping when he was attacked in Colindale at 01:20 BST, police said. The video game by RockStar Games was officially launched at midnight.


The victim, who is in a stable condition in hospital, was also robbed of a watch and a mobile. No-one has been arrested over the attack and police have appealed for information. A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: "The victim had been shopping and was on his way home when he was hit with a brick. He was then stabbed and robbed."


Police said the motive for the attack was unclear. Grand Theft Auto V was launched in stores across the UK at midnight, with long queues forming outside gaming shops.


Experts believe Rockstar Games could sell 25 million copies, generating £1bn during its first year on sale.



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Keeps the kiddies off the streets for at least a week before they complete it.


Teen pregnancy rates will go down for the time being, I guess.





I'm totally gonna buy that game once I've get some free time on my hands :wideeyed:


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