Game on as Grand Theft Auto fans race to snatch latest instalment
Fifth edition set to be another record breaker for developer Rockstar
Game enthusiasts purchase the latest release of “Grand Theft Auto Five” after the game went on sale at the Game Stop store in Encinitas, California yesterday. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The latest instalment in the Grand Theft Auto franchise looks set to be another record breaker for developer Rockstar, as thousands of gamers queued to snap up the game.
Retailers struggled to keep stock on shelves as dedicated fans took advantage of midnight openings to get their hands on the game in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Grand Theft Auto V is one of the most eagerly anticipated and expensive games ever made, costing more than many Hollywood blockbusters at a reported £170 million.
The open-world game gives players freedom to explore on their own, creating scenarios that affect the overall missions. Between carrying out car heists and other crimes in southern California, players can practise yoga and scuba dive, while controlling three characters.
Retailer Gamestop opened most of its stores at midnight to cope with demand for the game and, by lunchtime yesterday, games fans were still lining up to buy it. Online retailer Amazon sold out of copies before the official launch.
Those who chose to preorder the game from retailers were virtually guaranteed a copy on the day of launch – or earlier, if reports Amazon had sent out copies days ahead of its release were to be believed.
But fans hoping to pick up a copy in-store yesterday had to hunt to track one down, with most of the major games stores expecting fresh stock throughout the day.
Grand Theft Auto V was made in Scotland by the company founded by Dan and Sam Houser. The British brothers pioneered open-world violence embodied by titles such as Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption.
Market strategist at financial spreadbetting firm ETX Capital Ishaq Siddiqi described the game as a “British success story” and predicted GTA V would follow the same success of its predecessors in the series.
The success or failure of the game could have broader implications for the games industry, Colin Sebastian, an analyst with Robert W Baird and Co, said. “There’s a lot of anticipation for this game.
“If the sell-through is disappointing at all, because it doesn’t break records or fit some other point of measurement, then it reflects on the broader industry’s fortunes.”
– (Additional reporting: Bloomberg/PA)