Publisher Take-Two Interactive released financial results for its fiscal third quarter ending December 31, 2013, revealing that it raked in a whopping $578 million in profits. The company attributed the lion's share of this profit to its latest game in the popular Grand Theft Auto series, Grand Theft Auto V.
Rockstar Games said that those individuals who are using money cheats in Grand Theft Auto Online can expect a swift and unmerciful ban. In a new blog post the company said that those who have used exploits and cheats to secure mountains of illegally-gained funds better watch out. They called the large influx of cash from cheating "game-breaking" and "disruptive to the overall experience."
Rockstar is calming Grand Theft Auto players down who are concerned that they may get their accounts banned through no fault of their own. The fear stems from GTA Online money hackers who are giving away large sums of (we assume ill-gotten) in-game currency to strangers, making them vulnerable to a ban by Rockstar.
Rockstar's position is that honest players do not need to be worried about getting banned.
Here's more from Rockstar's support page for the game:
Grand Theft Auto Online players antsy to get their in-game stimulus cash will have to wait a little bit longer. Rockstar said it would not release any of the free money until it had fixed a majority of the bugs still plaguing the game. The company said this in response to questions about the delay of the first $250,000 stimulus give out which was supposed to occur sometime this week.
A Rockstar Newswire update notes:
Prior to the release of Grand Theft Auto V in September, Activision held the title of biggest video game launch in history with Call of Duty Black Ops 2. Activision UK senior brand manager Kevin Flynn recently told MCV that congratulations were in order for the folks at Rockstar, but that they shouldn't get too comfortable with the title they recently earned:
Rockstar Games will give away in-game currency to those affected by technical difficulties in Grand Theft Auto Online, the online multiplayer component of Grand Theft Auto V. The company said this morning that anyone who played the game when it first launched (a period they define as the entire month of October) will receive $500,000, deposited in their in-game bank accounts. Rockstar is calling the funds "stimulus money." How very political of them. The money will be doled out to players' bank accounts in two deposits.
Grand Theft Auto Online, the multiplayer companion to Grand Theft Auto V, launched today and Rockstar is already apologizing for early technical issues. Of course, Rockstar warned on Monday that it expected a few hiccups here and there as hundreds of thousands or even millions of players converged on the service.
Rockstar parent company Take-Two Interactive told fans in this support forum thread that it is "happy for fans" to upload gameplay footage, but warns them that any videos containing spoilers and other "in-game entertainment" will be flagged for removal via a takedown notice to whatever service they might be using.
While the petition to bring Grand Theft Auto to the PC has gotten plenty of media attention and a fair share of signatures (over 365,000 so far as of this morning) another petition on Change.org isn't getting as much love. As Andrew Eisen pointed out this morning, the petition to bring Grand Theft Auto V to the Wii U has only managed to garner 4,313 signatures of the 20,000 it needs to be sent off to Rockstar Games. The petition has been online since 2012.
From the appeal on the petition to Rockstar Games / Take-Two Interactive:
Rockstar Games' upcoming open-world action game Grand Theft Auto V may have cost up to $266 million to develop and market, according to a report by Scottish newspaper The Scotsman. The article also claims that industry analysts expect the game "could sell" upwards of 25 million copies in its first year on the market. That would generate over $1.56 billion in sales for Take-Two Interactive, they say.
Earlier this year a trailer for Grand Theft Auto V gave the public a glimpse at an odd vending machine that apparently allowed players to buy marijuana. At first people thought it was a bit of a goof, but it turns out that pot smoking is in GTA V, alongside the usual amounts of violence, criminal activities, sexual content, and other drug use.
Grand Theft Auto V developer Rockstar Games revealed the first details about Grand Theft Auto Online and released a new trailer today. Grand Theft Auto Online will be released on Oct. 1 - a few weeks after Grand Theft Auto V hits retail for Xbox 360 and PS3 (there's also a rumor that the game will come out on the PC by year's end but Take-Two and Rockstar have not officially confirmed that). Access to GTA Online will be free to anyone who has purchased GTA V.
Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive filed a complaint this week with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) seeking to claim the domain GTAV.com. The domain name is currently registered to a Spanish resident and listed as "for sale." While the domain name currently redirects users to the official Grand Theft Auto V website, in February it sent users to a blog about the game.
Take-Two has filed more over 24 disputes against websites related to GTA V - including one that promised access to a beta test of the game (gta5betacode.com).
Take Two Interactive's and Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto V passed through the Australian Classification Board review process and survived, earning an R18+ rating for the region. Many were concerned that the game might end up getting refused classification on its first pass through the process much like Saint's Row IV and State of Decay did earlier this year. Saint's Row IV still remains effectively banned in the region, even after the game went through a second review earlier this week.
A petition on Change.org calling for a PC version of Rockstar's upcoming game Grand Theft Auto V has over 200,000 signatures. While Rockstar hasn't ruled out a PC version, the company has not officially announced that it is working on it either. With GTA IV, Rockstar released a PC version eight months after the console game releases.
The petition jumped from 100,000 signatures in November 2012 to 150,000 in February of this year. Now the signatures are well above 200,000.
The director of such films as The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile has been forced to rename his new television show to Lost Angels. Screenwriter and director Frank Darabont had originally named the show L.A. Noir, but Rockstar Games sent him a letter warning him that they would sue him if he used the name. While the show may have some minor similarities to Rockstar Games' film noir style video game, it is actually based on writer John Buntin's 2009 nonfiction title of the same name.
In a recent interview Darabont explained the name change:
How fitting, then, that the Rockstar Games co-founder Dan Houser is the proud new owner of the Brooklyn Heights mansion at 70 Willow Street where Truman Capote once laid his weary head after a long night of socializing with New York City's who's who. The house that once belonged to the author of the gritty true crime bestseller In Cold Blood sold for $12.5 million according to city records obtained by The New York Observer. It was also apparently the most expensive real estate purchase in Brooklyn history.
As part of his Top Five 2012 predictions feature on IndustryGamers, EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich predicted that Grand Theft Auto V will be the top selling game of the year. He even goes so far as to say that it will beat out the next Call of Duty game.
"It goes without saying that GTA V will be one of the year's biggest releases, but I will take it one step farther and say GTA V will be 2012's biggest release," said Divnich.
It's game over for Team Bondi, the Australian development studio that helped create LA Noire for Rockstar Games. According to papers filed with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, Team Bondi will close its doors and its assets will be sold off to pay creditors. Liquidators have been appointed at the company to sell off assets and pay off the company's debts, documents show.
Here's something you don't want to hear from developers: we didn't make DLC to give fans new content, we did it to combat used game sales. I'm paraphrasing, but that's sort of what a top Take-Two Interactive executive told a gathering at ThinkEquity's 8th Annual Growth Conference in New York City earlier this week. Concerning the first batch of downloadable content released for its hit game Red Dead Redemption, he said:
Team Bondi, the Sydney, Australia-based game development studio behind LA Noire, has entered administration (what we like to call bankruptcy in America), according to a report from the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. This year the company found itself in the media spotlight over its workplace practices after several of its employees claimed that they were forced into unpaid overtime, and that they were not included in the game's credits.
Sydney studio Team Bondi is on the verge of declaring bankruptcy, according to a growing number of online sources. Mostly, the rumors are coming from the Neogaf discussion board, and the claims have not been substantiated by an official representative. While an official "statement is forthcoming," Develop claims that an unnamed company representative declined a request to comment.
In light of the accusations of horrible working conditions that L.A. Noire developer Team Bondi has garnered of late (excessive hours, no overtime pay, employees cut out of the game’s credits), do game developers need labor rights? Should they have a union?
United Arab Emirates retail chain Geekay Games updated its Facebook page today with sad, if unsurprising news:
Unfortunate news, L.A. Noire has been banned. Sorry guys :(
Bummer. The UAE’s National Media Council (NMC) did not reveal why it banned the game and so far, Rockstar has not commented on the situation.
Speculation has it that The Witcher 2 and Duke Nukem Forever will be the next titles to receive a wallop from the NMC banhammer.
Source: Middle East Gamers via Cheater87
-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen
After pointing the finger at the newest firmware update for PS3 as the cause of the console overheating while playing its crime noire game, L.A. Noire, Rockstar Games has backpedaled today. The company released a joint statement with Sony saying that the new firmware was not the root cause of the problem. Neither company claims to know what exactly is the cause of the PS3 overheating problem related to L.A. Noire either.
From the PlayStation Blog:
"We have received a very small number of customer support questions about PS3s overheating or shutting down while playing L.A. Noire. At this time, Rockstar Games and Sony can confirm that neither L.A. Noire or firmware update 3.61 are causing the PS3 hardware to overheat. We are both committed to working hard to find solutions to this and any issues that may arise."
Rockstar Games’ upcoming crime noire thriller, L.A. Noire, is officially the first video game to be honored as an official selection for the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. It cannot be emphasized enough that, with this selection, Rock Star's game is the first to ever be chosen as an "official selection" in a festival reserved for film.
"We’re thrilled that L.A. Noire is being recognized by the Tribeca Film Festival in this way," said Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games. "It’s a real honor, and another step forward for interactive entertainment."