Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Grand Theft Auto V: The Right Way to Usher in a New Era of Gaming?

Grand Theft Auto V, more commonly known as GTA V, is unquestionably one of the greatest games of the year. Though it was only released yesterday, the game is already breaking records. In its first day alone, it had over $800 million dollars in sales. This number easily beats the previous record of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 which had around $500 million in first day sales. The movie could continue breaking records as it is not only a commercial success, but also has gotten great reviews, with a 98 on metacratic for the Xbox version. The fact is though, that a new generation of consoles is about to emerge, with the release of the Xbox One and the PS4, and GTA V will be one of the last blockbusters on the current generation (though versions of the game will be available for the new consoles). This game cost $266 million to produce and came a few years after GTA IV.

The problem I see going forward with the industry is that on the heels of the massive success of GTA V, companies will spend a greater percentage of their resources attempting to create huge game franchises while losing focus on one off games that do not have as high a ceiling, but promote long term revenue and help fund the potential blockbusters. Creating more high budget games like GTA V can be great for companies that experience success, but if the games flop, they can cripple the companies as well. The gaming industry is already struggling because of the multitude of options provided by other sources like online games or cheap, easy smartphone apps as opposed to the $60 console games. I believe that if the industry follows Rockstar Games' example and goes for more high budget, high risk games, the already hard pressed industry, along with console gaming itself could soon become a thing of the past.

-Varun Sawhney

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