Archive for category Grand Theft Auto 4

Has Grand Theft Auto Peaked?

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Broadpoint AmTech analyst Ben Schachter says:

“Has the Grand Theft Auto franchise peaked? Given the strength of GTA IV in 2008, the question may seem misplaced, but our concern is that the very highly rated new GTA content for Xbox as well as PSP and DS did not perform up to expectations in 2009,”

“Now, we very clearly understand that these do not represent ‘true’ new GTA titles. However, the fact is that these were compelling titles, attractively priced, and reasonably well-promoted, yet they fell relatively flat.”

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Take Two just lowered it’s Q4 ’09 revenues from $350-$375 million to $325-$350 million, which is the second time they lowered revenue projections this year, are expecting an overall yearly loss, and blamed this on, among other things, weak demand for “several of its key holiday releases”, of which we can presume GTA is a large piece.

Beyond that, there is a noticeable lack of gamer interest around the 360/PSP/DS GTA releases despite very high review scores and very heavy promotion.

When I was playing PSP Chinatown Wars, part of me was admiring how good the dialog was, how unique and attractive the graphics were, and how polished everything was. But at the same time, (IMO) the game was a real bore to play. All the missions and mini-games felt like real chores… Thinking back to the magic I felt when playing GTA 3/VC/SA (and even GTA 4), I don’t think anything had broken since then, but rather that the “newness” and uniqueness had worn off.

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On the other hand, I don’t underestimate Rockstar’s ability to innovate. From the previews of Red Dead Redemption, where the player can explore an authentic and stylishly recreated time period, this is my most anticipated title of 2010.

And of course, we haven’t seen much from Rockstar North’s “The Agent”, but that seems a safe bet in terms of quality, innovation, and ultimately gamer interest.

Bottom line, Rockstar’s premium development teams are no where near peaking, but their ability to spin off golden franchise formulas is definitely limited.

Take Two still projects to lose money in 2010 even with premium releases like Red Dead, Bioshock 2, Mafia 2, and Max Payne 3, which is a whole other problem; they probably need to fix or cut some of their under performing projects.

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Black Friday Game Deals

Here’s a good line up of some of the deals that can be found during Black Friday weekend. Highlights include Dragon Age $35, GTA4 $20, Brutal Legend $35, NfS:Shift $35 and a $10 gift card with CoD:MW2 or Assassin’s Creed 2. Also Game Fly members get a $10 coupon on Used or Keep games. Via Yahoo

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Hints of GTAIV DLC coming to PS3

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ps3center reports that a local radio show, “Cousin Ed & Dima”, was nagging a Rockstar rep about a PS3 release of the GTA4 DLC and the response was:

“I don’t know entirely what I can talk about, but it’s on Xbox. Microsoft came to us and said ‘hey here is some money if you can bring the content to us FIRST”

The rep could have simply misspoke, but clearly it sounds like he inadvertently slipped that it definitely is a timed exclusive. As is always the case, they generally aren’t allowed to publically say so.

Even without this tidbit, it was already a very safe bet. Historically Rockstar always ports their “exclusive” games to other platforms eventually and historically Microsoft’s “exclusive” third-party deals are almost always timed-exclusives.

The other point is that there is so much of this type of content available. Rockstar’s next big full-release (not just an expansion) GTA/Bully like game is Red Dead Redemption, which looks absolutely amazing and is fully cross-platform on day one. Plus there is Chinatown Wars this year on DS, PSP, and soon the iPhone, and an explosion of quality GTA-style action games (Infamous, Red Faction, Prototype are on PS3) that fans of the genre have plenty to keep themselves entertained…

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40 Hour PS3 Marathon Sets World Record!

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An article in Zeenews states that Chirantan Patnaik, a 26 year old private equity broker, spent a massive 40 hours and 20 minutes playing GTA IV on the PS3 which may sound quite sad at first, but it is an impressive mental feat to pull off. The 40 hour marathon started from 10:00 am on September 4th and ending at 2 am on September 6th. The safety guidelines for the record allowed him to take a 10-minute break after every hour, but Patnaik said he only took four breaks throughout the entire attempt . The previous record for playing GTA IV was 28 hours 1 minute which was set late last year.

And by all accounts Chirantan had never played GTA IV!:

“There are so many other games which I have played for long hours. But I had never tried playing this particular game seriously. However, I knew that I can do it after I saw my brother playing it … I enjoyed the game very much. It’s fun playing long hours. It wasn’t that exhaustive for me, as one might feel.”

Chirantans’ marathon was monitored by Zapak.com which had observers in place to inform Guinness World Records and make the attempt legitimate.

Chirantan describes himself as an avid gamer that buys “The latest games in the market if it interests me. I don’t mind spending money on games at all.” To prepare for the massive endurance test he took up Yoga and exercised on a regular basis. He also drank a LOT of coffee during the marathon!

A true hardcore gamer! Hope he tries to break more records in the near future but I want to see some contenders to try and kick him off the podium!

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