Did Grand Theft Auto creators threaten ‘Shawshank’ writer?

Hollywood la-noire-vs-hollywoodand the video game industry usually have a fairly cordial relationship. Studios need game publishers to put out licensed products for their tentpole films, and game makers are often eager to expand the universe that directors create on screen.

This week, though, there was a fracture in that relationship, as Rockstar Games, creators of the Grand Theft Auto franchise, and Frank Darabont, screenwriter of films like “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Green Mile” and developer of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” bickered publicly about an upcoming project, each with a different version of the story.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Grand Theft Auto V coming in Spring 2013

There’s been plenty of speculation about when Rockstar Games would roll out the next installment of Grand Theft Auto, but precious few hard facts.

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.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

‘Max Payne 3′ is a commercial disappointment

Rockstar Games is considered a nearly bulletproof game developer. They take their time crafting their games, and their releases are always major events. The company’s last three blockbuster titles — Grand Theft Auto IV, Red Dead Redemption and last year’s L.A. Noire — enjoyed chart-topping success, a testament to the company’s dedication to quality and terrific sense of timing.

But the release of Max Payne 3 is putting their impressive streak at risk.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Four keys to next-gen success, according to Take-Two’s Zelnick

New console launches “separate the winners from the losers — and we fully expect to be one of the winners,” says Take-Two chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick in this Gamasutra interview.

While Nintendo fell short of its goal of whipping gamers into a frenzy for the Wii U at this year’s E3, third-party publishers, who see the system as a key driver of future growth, were reticent to downplay its potential. Instead, they cited the system’s long-term potential, rather than its initial impact.

Take-Two Interactive Software chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick, however, was not among the cheerleaders.

Read more at Gamasutra

‘Jacked’ goes behind the scenes of gaming’s biggest scandal

It’s been seven years since the words “Hot Coffee” changed the video game world, but they still make developers wince.

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.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

‘Payne 3’ ready to load

There aren’t a lot of surprises in the entertainment world these days — particularly when it comes to tentpole events.

Whether it’s a quick-cut trailer, the interview circuit or an online spoiler site, audiences generally have a pretty solid idea of what they’re going to experience — with movies, TV shows and videogames.

But that’s rarely, if ever, the case with new releases from Rockstar Games. The vidgame developer tightly controls the flow of information before a title’s ship date and seldom emerges from the studio to talk about its products. The reason, says Dan Houser, the veep and co-founder of creative at Rockstar, is pretty simple: Letting people peek behind the curtain spoils the fun.

Read more at Weekly Variety

New ‘Grand Theft Auto’ Jacks Take-Two Stock

Shares of Take-Two Interactive Software surged Tuesday as the company confirmed the long-rumored next installment in its hit “Grand Theft Auto” series is on the way.

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.

Read more at CNBC.com