Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive Software broke the news late Monday night at Sony’s pre-E3 press conference. Although the announcement had been expected, that didn’t dampen the response from fans.
Franklin, Michael and Trevor — the three protagonists of Grand Theft Auto V — are a potty-mouthed bunch. But now there’s conclusive proof that they’re among the crudest characters in video game history.
Youtuber TheMediocreScot spent the last five months compiling every F-bomb from last year’s biggest release, and it’s pretty, um, “impressive”: the game drops it some 1,018 times from beginning to end.
Ken Levine, head of the studio, announced the stunning news Tuesday, saying all but 15 employees would be let go as he and a core team begin a “smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavor.”
While many video game publishers are racing to embrace the mobile world – and seeing some significant earnings in the process – Take-Two Interactive Software CEO Strauss Zelnick is moving cautiously.
There’s certainly potential in the market, he concedes – but, so far, the hardware isn’t where it needs to be to be a proper showcase for the company’s games. And he’d rather wait than make compromises.
China represents a huge opportunity for U.S. publishers, which are quickly exploring ways to monetize the country’s growing appetite for gaming. Meanwhile, some of the biggest firms in China are eyeing the U.S. market.
Hollywood and 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.
The tragic school shooting in Newtown, CT has once again revived the debate about the impact of violent video games in the media. Senators are calling for hearings. Groups like the NRA are pointing a finger of blame at the industry. And parents are confused and scared.
Aside from a couple of statements from the Entertainment Software Association and Entertainment Consumers Association, the industry has kept its mouth shut about the shooting — and it’s likely to do so for some time. There is, after all, no upside in walking into the fray.
But December wasn’t the first time the issue of video game violence came up. At E3 in June, show goers debated whether the level of violence in demos was over the top. I had a chance to discuss the issue with several CEOs of major publishers.
Regardless of whether or not you’re a fan of Borderlands 2’s over-the-top combat and loot gathering (we definitely are), you have to give the game credit for one thing: It refuses to take itself too seriously.
Not only do the game’s characters spout hilarious lines as they mercilessly mock the player, enemies, and even gaming in general, but the game is loaded with winks and nods to an untold number of other pop-culture icons.
Borderlands 2 is not a game for pacifists. But for those who like combining the loot discovery of Diablo with the guns blazing, shoot-first-never-ask-questions style of classics like Quake or Unreal, it’s a match made in video game heaven.
The Gearbox Software game for the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 hits stores today and has already charmed critics, who unanimously agree that it’s a better game than its predecessor thanks to great writing and strong visual design. With a Metacritic score of 90 — after 33 publications have chimed in — it currently stands as one of the most critically-acclaimed games of the year.
But with a mere two months to go before the tip off of this year’s NBA season, we don’t know much more about the game. It was at E3, but no one was allowed to touch it, and it didn’t look great. Since then? Virtually nothing. What’s going on here?