GTA V Rated R18+ for Australia

August 1, 2013 -

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.

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GTA V PC Petition Surpasses 200K Signature Mark

July 23, 2013 -

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.

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BMO Capital Markets Analyst Reacts to Grand Theft Auto V Delay

January 31, 2013 -

After announcing that Grand Theft Auto V would be getting released a little later in the year than was previously announced and expected, some financial analysts have decided to adjust their opinion on Take-Two Interactive's future earnings. One such firm is BMO Capital Markets.

BMO Capital Markets analyst Edward S. Williams said in a note to investors that Take-Two moving the upcoming launch of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V for the PS3 and Xbox 360 from a spring 2013 release window to Sept. 17 will have an impact:

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Billionaire Ken Griffin Now Owns Six Percent of Take-Two

January 4, 2013 -

According to documents unearthed by Motley Fool, Billionaire Ken Griffin has increased his financial stake in publisher Take-Two Interactive. Ken Griffin's Citadel Investment Group now holds 5.5 million shares in the company, according to a December 28 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That's a substantial jump from the 3 million shares of Take-Two stock held by Griffin's group in October of 2012.

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What If: GTA V as a LEGO Game

December 6, 2012 -

If you have ever wondered (and believe me you are not alone in your imaginings) what a Grand Theft Auto game might look like if developer Traveler's Tales ever got the opportunity to create it, then you will want to check out this video from thefourmonkeys. The video is an entry in the Machina Interactive film festival, which you can vote for right here.

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Take-Two CEO: Annual Releases Can Hurt Franchise Sales

November 28, 2012 -

My, Mr. Zelnick sure is chatty this week.

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick told GameSpot UK that the secret to Grand Theft Auto's continued success is the fact that the games are released years apart, making each debut special.

"It's our view that if you want intellectual properties to be permanent," said Zelnick, "then you run the risk in that circumstance of having consumers fall out of love with that franchise. [Activision] obviously views the world differently."

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Grand Theft Auto V PC Petition Garners 50K Signatures

November 27, 2012 -

While Grand Theft Auto V is coming to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 next year, Rockstar Games has said that other platforms such as the PC and Wii U are still "under consideration" at this time. This is apparently not a strong enough response from PC gamers who want the game on their preferred platform and in a timely fashion. To that end a petition on Change.org has been launched. So far that petition has over 50,000 signatures from gamers who want to see GTA V on the PC.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 30

November 26, 2012 -

In Episode 30 of the Super Podcast Action Committee hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight discuss the possibility that Grand Theft Auto V will cause controversy when it is released, a lawsuit about a tattoo in a video game, what a stripper thinks about 'the Saints' in the latest Hitman game and a whole lot more. Sorry, no time for complaining about the Wii U this week! Download it now: SuperPAC Episode 30 (1 hour) 56 MB.

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Poll: Will Grand Theft Auto 5 Cause a Controversy?

November 21, 2012 -

Grand Theft Auto.

You might have heard of it.  You might have even seen the new trailer for it.  Readers of GamePolitics know the series as a controversy magnet.  Over the years people have raised a fuss over how inappropriate it is for kids, how violent it is, how sexual it is, its portrayal of cops, women, and minorities and a host of other things that aren't even in the game!

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GTA: Vice City Temporarily Pulled from Steam

November 16, 2012 -

Rockstar Games was forced to pull Grand Theft Auto: Vice City from Steam, according to reports from The Sixth Axis and Cinema Blend.

7 comments | Read more

Cypress Hill Back-Up Singer Loses Appeal in GTA: San Andreas Lawsuit

November 2, 2012 -

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Michael "Shagg" Washington has failed to convince an appeals court in California that a lower court's ruling on his case against Take-Two Interactive over Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas didn't have merit. The lower court ruled that the case filed by the model and backup singer for the rap group Cypress Hill against Take-Two in 2010 was without merit.

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Take-Two Postpones Q2 Results, Reveals GTA V Release Window

October 30, 2012 -

Today publisher Take-Two announced that it would delay releasing its second quarter earnings report for the fiscal year 2013 and conference call due to the "catastrophic weather conditions in the regions of its corporate headquarters." New York City is currently suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which caused widespread flooding, power outages, and a closure of most means of transportation in and out of town.

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GTA Creators: UK Publicist Created Buzz, Controversy Around Game

October 22, 2012 -

While DMA Design may have created the original game that became a worldwide phenomenon, the creators of the game credit a UK publicist with creating the buzz that helped the game jump onto the international stage. Mike Dailly, co-creator of the original Grand Theft Auto, said that infamous British publicist Max Clifford did a job of manipulating the press to gain GTA notoriety and publicity.

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Poll: Are Any Video Game Topics Taboo?

August 22, 2012 -

Are there any themes or topics that should never be explored in a video game?

Hot Coffee Game Pokes Fun at ‘Hot Coffee’ Mod

May 7, 2012 -

Described by its creator as is kind of a 'sex game' that features no sex," Hot Coffee plays with the phrase synonymous with the infamous secret sexual gameplay hidden in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (thanks Polygon). While there's no actual sex in the game there's enough innuendo in it to turn a modest man or woman beet red.

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David Kushner on His New Book, 'Jacked: The Outlaw story of Grand Theft Auto'

April 17, 2012 -

CNET has an interesting interview with games journalist David Kushner who talks about his latest book, Jacked: The Outlaw story of Grand Theft Auto. The book takes a deeper look at the Grand Theft Auto phenomenon, and delves into related topics such as the game's development, the ESRB, Hot Coffee and Jack Thompson, amongst other topics.

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Dan Houser Buys Truman Capote's Brooklyn Estate

March 21, 2012 -

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.

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GTA V Announcement Timed with Thompson’s Three-Year Disbarment Anniversary

October 25, 2011 -

A friend of mine (a developer who will remain nameless) said that the Grand Theft Auto V announcement was oddly timed. I didn't understand what he meant at first until our readers and Twitter began mentioning that today's date coincides with the official start date of former Florida attorney Jack Thompson's disbarment date. On September 25, 2008, the Florida Supreme Court’s disbarment order for Thompson was signed. It went into effect 30 days later, on October 25, 2008.

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Former GTA Director Plans Game Based on Iran's Islamic Revolution

August 11, 2011 -

The former director of the Grand Theft Auto series, Navid Khonsari, is working on a new game that will explore Iran's Islamic Revolution. The game is called 1979 and will be set in an open world where protagonists can make moral choices that affect what is going on around him. Khonsari, who worked on Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, and San Andreas, spoke to CNN about his plans for the game recently and why it is important to him.

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London Evening Standard Corrects Game Blame Headline, Daily Mail Runs with It

August 9, 2011 -

The revolving door that is blaming games for bad things that happen in the world spins and spins... First, after blaming video games for the riots that have plagued London for three days, UK Newspaper The London Evening Standard, ran a bold front headline page yesterday suggesting that Grand Theft Auto had inspired youngsters to run rampant through the street, committing acts of violence, looting and general public displays of destruction.

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Study: Violent Game Players Less Sympathetic to Others

April 5, 2011 -

A new study from Simmons College researchers comes to the conclusion that children exposed to more violent games for longer periods of time are less able to sympathize with others. The new study published in the Journal of Children and Media surveyed 166 Boston, MA and southern New Hampshire schoolchildren. The study was overseen by Simmons College professors Edward T. Vieira and Marina Krcmar. They examined the relationship between violent games and kids' attitudes toward violence.

The duo surveyed children age 7-15 about their favorite games, how many hours a week they played, and questions to gauge their ability to sympathize with others, to see things from another person's perspective, and whether they saw violence as an appropriate response in situations where it would be deemed justified or unjustified. The favorite "violent games" included Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Counter Strike, Mortal Kombat: Deception, and World of Warcraft.

Cypress Hill Singer Sues Rockstar/Take-Two Over 6-Year-Old Game

December 15, 2010 -

Would you believe yet another musician is suing a game developer/publisher?

Joining the ranks of No Doubt, Courtney Love and most recently, Axl Rose, Michael “Shagg” Washington, backup singer of rap group Cypress Hill, has filed suit against Rockstar Games and Take-Two.  He alleges that the main character of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was created using his image and life story.

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Grand Theft Childhood Author Challenges Research on SCOTUS Case

October 30, 2010 -

The author of Grand Theft Childhood offers an intelligent, thoughtful rebuttal to the arguments (and the research data) being used by the State of California in the U.S. Supreme Court's review of Schwarzenegger v. EMA.

Cheryl K. Olson (Sc.D., Asst. Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School) offers an update that takes on the evidence that California is using in the case, and the conclusions drawn by politicians in their arguments. She also says that the law may very well backfire should the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling be overturned.

 

Below is a taste:

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Rockstar Trouble in Brazil

October 20, 2010 -

A Brazilian court has ordered Rockstar Games to halt the worldwide sales of Grand Theft Auto IV: Episodes From Liberty City. The Third Civil Court in the city of Barueri ordered an injunction because it allegedly uses a song without the composer's consent. The song, "Bota o Dedinho pro Alto," which was performed by an 8-year-old Brazilian boy that was composed by his father.

A court statement says the game makers do not have the rights to "Bota o Dedinho pro Alto," which is sung by an 8-year-old Brazilian boy and was composed by his father, Hamilton Louren. The court concluded that the song in the game, "Daniel Haaksman" (performed by Kid Conga feat. MC Miltinho) infringes on the other song.

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Rockstar Wins "GTA Rothbury" Libel Case

October 4, 2010 -

Earlier this summer the UK’s Daily Star fabricated a story claiming that the next entry in Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series would be based on the July 2010 crime spree committed by ex-con Raoul Moat (pictured)across the NorthEast section of the UK and that the game would be named GTA Rothbury.

While the paper later apologized for the incident, and the piece’s author insulted gamers, calling them “grown (?!?) men who sit around all day playing computer games with one another,” the paper has been ordered to pay undisclosed damages to Rockstar and Take Two Interactive. According to the Guardian, Rockstar has accepted “substantial” libel damages as awarded by a High Court.

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Music Producer Condemns Music, Games for Impact on Kids

August 11, 2010 -

Musician and record producer Mike Stock lashed out against the current state of pop music, stating that the “industry has gone too far” as it serves up “soft pornography” to children.

Stock, perhaps best-known as one member of a trio of songwriters and producers known as Stock Aitken Waterman, which produced and wrote songs for an impressive list of musical acts ranging from Elton John to Judas Priest to Bananarama, saved some of his blame for videogames, stating:

Before children even step into school, they have all these images. The pop videos and computer games like Grand Theft Auto confronting them, and the parents can't control it. Talking to mothers' groups, they were saying that even they have lost faith in brands like Disney.

Daily Star Apologizes for Fabricating GTA Story

July 26, 2010 -

Only the Daily Star could make the New York Post look like the New York Times.

We’re a little late to this one, but last week that bastion of accurate reporting, the UK’s Daily Star, ran an article insinuating that Rockstar was making a Grand Theft Auto game based on the criminal actions committed earlier this month by ex-con Raoul Moat, who killed one and injured three across a six-day spree throughout the NorthEast UK. 

GTA Rothbury, as the game was called by Star writer Jerry Lawton, contained a series of animated quotes from relatives of the victims, outraged by the thought of a game, book or movie based on the criminal’s exploits, as reported up by CVG.

The story was eventually taken off the Star’s website entirely (since it was made up) and the newspaper issued an apology (thanks again CVG) stating:

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GTA Said to Inspire Molotov-based Attempted Arson in MA

June 30, 2010 -

Claiming they were motivated by a Grand Theft Auto play session, a pair of Raynham, Massachusetts  boys were arrested after allegedly attempting to set fire to two buildings with Molotov cocktails.

The 12-year old and 16-year old tried to burn down a garage and an apartment building early Sunday morning with stolen gasoline poured into bottles, according to Enterprise News. The younger of the two suspects told police that “they got the idea from a video game they had been playing earlier in the night.”

Police Chief Lou Pacheco told the paper, (in a solemn voice, no doubt), “They appear to have crossed the line from virtual reality to reality.”

The boys were arraigned on charges of possession of an explosive device and attempted arson before being released to their families. The two are also suspected of going on a tagging spree as well, though thankfully there was no mention of the boys playing Mark Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure prior to that undertaking.

15 comments

Four Year Old Plays GTA, Stays Nice

June 9, 2010 -

Writer Matthew Orona let his four-year old son play Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and documented the action for an article on Bitmob.

Asked by his father to jack a car waiting at a red light, the boy “quickly looked up at me with disgust and refused, stating that the car was already owned by the person driving it.” After finally grabbing an unoccupied car, the boy, unfamiliar with the controls and driving a bit too fast, ran over a woman on a sidewalk. His reaction? “He was incredibly ashamed of himself and profusely apologized.”

The boy rounded out his time by attempting to complete missions which aided other citizens, piloting a police car, ambulance and fire truck. While driving an ambulance he passed a fire house with a shiny red truck out front which mesmerized him, as it would any four-year old boy. Rather than ditch his passengers however, the boy completed his mission by bringing the ambulance occupants to the hospital before asking his dad to guide him back to the firehouse.

Orona summed up the experience:

19 comments | Read more

No Apologies: A Writer’s Cocaine-Fueled Game Addiction

March 23, 2010 -

A young man with a promising future as a writer seemingly gave it all up to in order to give in to the unhealthy combination of Grand Theft Auto IV and cocaine.

The Observer has an article up written by Tom Bissell, the former essayist himself. Bissell begins by outlining the period from 2001-2006, which saw him author two books and a series of magazine articles. During this time he says he “rarely felt disciplined,” and his productivity seemed to happen in spite of itself.

The author's dive into gaming kicked off with GTA: Vice City, which he called, “the first video game I can recall having to force myself to stop playing,” before he moved on to GTA: San Andreas and eventually GTA IV. When the latter game came out, a friend introduced Bissell to cocaine and the pair played the game for 30 hours straight.

Bissell attempted to put a finger on the attractiveness of the game:

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MaskedPixelanteThe Evil Within is only a month old, right? And it's already 66% off...11/27/2014 - 10:29am
MechaCrashI held off on Civ:BE because I am pretty sure it'll get a bigger discount during the Christmas sale.11/26/2014 - 11:09pm
MechaTama31I'm sorely tempted by Civ: BE, but I have to stay strong and remember what it felt like to be repeatedly kicked in the junk by Civ V...11/26/2014 - 10:58pm
MechaCrashNah, just providing more proof that GGers are lying when they claim it's really about ethics in game journalism and not a proxy war against feminism.11/26/2014 - 9:58pm
MaskedPixelanteMSS is Murdered: Soul Suspect.11/26/2014 - 8:34pm
Andrew EisenWhy the interest in Ghomeshi? Is it relevant to something we've been discussing? (Not saying it's not but it seems a rather random thing to bring up.)11/26/2014 - 6:39pm
WonderkarpJian Ghomeshi arrested on sex assault charges, released on $100K bail http://www.citynews.ca/2014/11/26/jian-ghomeshi-arrested-on-sex-assault-charges-released-on-100k-bail/11/26/2014 - 5:55pm
WonderkarpJian Ghomeshi to #Gamergate: Our culture’s toxic masculinity crisis on display http://www.salon.com/2014/10/27/jian_ghomeshi_to_gamergate_americas_toxic_masculinity_crisis_on_display/11/26/2014 - 5:55pm
WonderkarpI saw that. Amiibos are pretty awesome. I have 10 now :P11/26/2014 - 5:49pm
Matthew Wilsonon a weird side of smash news, a level 50 Amiibo almost won a tournament. http://www.siliconera.com/…/story-fox-amiibo-nearly-won-su…/ I guess Nintendo made the cpu ai better.11/26/2014 - 5:44pm
WonderkarpAny of you guys watch Game Grumps? They have an episode detailing alot of the bugs in the hilariously bad Sonic Boom https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3Jb3A0HLe4&list=UU9CuvdOVfMPvKCiwdGKL3cQ11/26/2014 - 4:19pm
Andrew EisenI'm blanking. What's MMS?11/26/2014 - 4:16pm
james_fudgeI keep an eye on it for really good deals11/26/2014 - 4:00pm
MaskedPixelanteEhh, MSS is only half off, I can wait for it to go under 1011/26/2014 - 3:48pm
NeenekoWhich is why I completely ignore the site.11/26/2014 - 3:15pm
james_fudgeAHHH Someone bar the door and keep the kids away from the credit cards!11/26/2014 - 3:14pm
Neo_DrKefkaThe Ralph Retort is a toxic mess and the guy is literally building his career on the back of the GamerGate movement. Whether you believe GamerGate is right or wrong this is a man profiteering on this war.11/26/2014 - 2:56pm
WonderkarpTHE STEAM SALES HAVE BEGUN!11/26/2014 - 2:16pm
MaskedPixelanteUnless you have said DLC already, then you can get the equally broken FarCry 4.11/26/2014 - 2:15pm
WonderkarpI love Boogie. He's awesome.11/26/2014 - 2:02pm
 

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