That’s when Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive Software will release “Grand Theft Auto V,” the first new full game in the series in five years—and analysts expect it to be one of the biggest releases of the year.
They’re at the center of an increasingly heated debate these days, but when you look at the hard numbers, games carrying a ‘Mature’ rating aren’t quite as big a part of the video game industry as they seem.
The ESRB — the board that assigns ratings to games released in the U.S. and Canada — says only 9 percent of the 1,218 games released last year received an ‘M’ rating. Such games are intended for those 17 and up and “may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.”
Every Thursday, I join Chris Salcedo and Rachel Sutherland on the mid-day edition of America’s Radio News Network to discuss trends and news in the technology and video game space. This week’s topics were Blackberry’s last-ditch effort to remain relevant in the mobile space, the unexpectedly long delay of Grand Theft Auto V and why this is the best time of the year to buy an HD TV.
In my nearly 20 years covering video games, Take-Two’s crown jewel has missed more initial deadlines than I can count, but that hasn’t stopped them from knocking it out of the park more times than they’ve whiffed. This delay, though, could have a more notable impact on the industry than previous postponements.
Year after year, a Call of Duty game hits store shelves and within about 24 hours, Activision’s PR team is shouting from the rooftops about the series setting a new entertainment industry sales record. The most recent release, Black Ops II, is no exception.
But several other gaming franchises have had blockbuster opening weekends as well, earning more in a one- or five-day period than most games make in their entire lifespan.
Here’s a look at the 10 biggest debuts in gaming history.
Rockstar finally pulled back the curtain a little on Tuesday, announcing via its company blog that GTA V will launch worldwide in the spring of 2013. Pre-orders for the game, which will be playable on the Xbox 360 and PS3 (but not, apparently, on the Wii U), will begin on November 5.
With retail brick-and-mortar sales of new video games down 30 percent year to date, few analysts — and even fewer investors — have much faith that things will rebound into positive territory this year.
Even with heavyweights like “Halo 4” and “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” hitting stores this holiday season — and the launch of a new Nintendo console system — the hole seems too big to escape. But when it comes to 2013, things are a bit more optimistic.
The Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas mod, discovered by enthusiasts, unlocked a playable, interactive mini-game where the game’s lead character has sex with his girlfriend. And it opened a Pandora’s Box of controversy when it was exposed.
Rockstar Games co-founder and vice president of creative Dan Houser doesn’t spend a lot of time on the interview circuit, and you’ll almost never find him on a panel of industry experts. Instead, he prefers to let the company’s work do the talking.
In this rare interview, Houser outlines how the company makes its decisions — from booting Max Payne into the future to deciding not to give players much of a window into its games prior to their release. He also discusses lessons learned from Red Dead Redemption and the creative bible for the Grand Theft Auto series.
The logo for “Grand Theft Auto V” festooned the Website of Rockstar Games, the developer of the series, teasing a Nov. 2 release for the first trailer for the game. And despite the lack of a release date, plot information or any other details about the title, the publisher’s stock was up nearly 7 percent in midday trading.