I'm sure by now you've all heard that the new installment of Grand Theft Auto; Grand Theft Auto V, has earned like a bazillion dollars for it's Rockstar developers. Or more officially, as of Friday, the game had hit the 1 BILLION dollar mark! That is simply remarkable.
So how did this happen? Let me speculate as I am no expert but am highly opinionated.
First, and most obviously, is that the games are well made and this installment is no exception. As an animation degree holder the first thing that really stuck out to me was the lifelike movements; walking, turning, interacting, of random pedestrians. There was a woman, OK let's be honest, a hooker, walking down the road and it looked natural. People in games are looking better and better but there is still that unmistakable boxed movement that we haven't quite gotten right yet. This game comes damn close. I've heard a lot of complaints about the strippers boobs not being great. They were alright, but yeah, not great. Whatever.
There are lots and lots of cars. What is the point of car jacking a sweet ride just to see one parked unattended on the side of the road right around the corner? Well this game has a larger variety which offers that feeling of accomplishment when you steal someones life long dream away from them at gun point.
The map is frakking HUGE and you can zoom in and out with whimsy. The scenery isn't half bad either.
There has been an incorporation of mini games like golf, tennis, and even hunting!
The biggest, and most anticipated addition is of course the multi-player online option. By boyfriend and I are already planning on getting an apartment together. How romantic is that? Yes we have two Xbox's in the house.
The biggest factor that I believe helped in sales of the game? Bad press. That's right, tell me something is inappropriate and dangerous and it will at the very least strike my curiosity. It's the same phenomenon when you ban a book from a school and suddenly all the kids, including the ones who hate to read, are reading it. (when will the fundies figure this out?) Tell people they shouldn't have something and suddenly it is the EXACT thing they want. Look at gun sales lately. Backlash is a money maker.
It's obvious that the Grand Theft Auto series has it's controversies. Among the issues are theft (Grand Theft...hehe), murder, prostitution, drugs, nudity, sex....oh my. Having all of these dirty habits in one place with good graphics is a magical formula. According to PCmag.com, 60% of American Adults age 30-49 play video games frequently. This age group also tends to be financially stable, head of their household, and the decision makers. Yes groups under 18 play games but guess what? They tend to NOT be the ones spending the household money. They usually need to ask mommy and daddy, you know, that 30-49 age group. So from a marketing stand point, that's who I want to impress. I am going to make a game that my 33 year old boyfriend wants to play, not my 14 year old cousin, (although he wants to play GTA V like the rest of us).
Adults like action, drama, and titties. Sorry conservatives, it's true. Now I understand the problem that arises when little 9 year old Jimmy starts playing a game like this. News Flash: it's inappropriate! But why am I even pointing this out? Why is anyone pointing this out? Considering the game is named after a crime that will land you in the slammer should have been your first clue. There's a rating system for a reason parents!! It's not the gaming industries job to parent your kid. If your kid outsmarted you and got you to buy them the game in spite of all the red flags, then good on em. Maybe they deserve it after displaying such critical problem solving skills.
The reoccurring theme from gaming store employees after the GTA V explosion is that they sold WAY too many copies of the game to parents who were either clueless or simply didn't care....and Rockstar is laughing all the way to the bank.