Viewing news posted in January 2007

GTA4 Information Round-up

By Chris | 13th Jan 2007 at 13:23 GMT in GTA IV | 26 Comments
Before we start receiving information on GTA IV, which will hopefully be soon, I've rounded up all the facts, rumours and news we've heard so far to bring you all up to date with where we're currently at.

GTA4 is currently scheduled for release on October 16th 2007 in North America, and October 19th 2007 in Europe. The game will be released on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 simultaneously.
The Xbox 360 version will feature downloadable episodes providing hours of new gameplay content, these downloads will be made available via Xbox Live.

Pesky Lawyers
Lately we've seen the infamous Florida lawyer Jack Thompson up to his old tricks again. Spong was just one of a number of websites which received a copy of an email JT sent to Bill Gates, his nonsensical rhetoric can be read in full at Spong, the general jist of it is that he's trying to persuade Microsoft to prevent sales of Grand Theft Auto IV to millions of minors, a figure which he sources from an article which has no mention of the game at all. Nice try Jack, but yet again you fail.

Set in the UK?
Back in August 2006, Craig Kerr was hired by Rockstar North as an environment artist. A quick look at his portfolio shows us that much of his work was based on places in the UK. While the images don't seem to be live anymore, he does state they were what landed him the job. This is a relatively small hint that GTA4 could feature London and/or some other UK areas as a setting. Of course this is more of a speculative observation, and should not be taken as a hard fact, yet.
Europe also features heavily in the thoughts of fans, as do some American locales such as Chicago, as well as Rockstar's fictional Carcer City. In any case it would be wise to rule out Los Angeles as a possible locale, as Rockstar's upcoming L.A. Noire (official site) is using this setting, albeit in a 1940's era - a time period we could also rule out.

In-Game Advertising = Modern Day / Future Setting?
In a press conference held by Take Two back in early December, in-game advertising was mentioned as an option for creating an additional revenue stream from GTA4. The implications of this are that if GTA4 will indeed have in-game ads, it would suggest a present day or near-future setting. The reasons for this simply being that adverts for modern day products/services would be completely out of place in a game set in the past, there wouldn't be any relevance and they would be ignored. The response to this prospect by some fans was that many would prefer the game to retain it's fictitious, satirical adverts based off real life products, as these obviously add a lot of humour to the game.

Wii want GTA
Also in December, Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America, said in an interview with an American television station that Nintendo has done all it can to persuade Take-Two Interactive Software to bring the Grand Theft Auto franchise to Nintendo consoles, and it is now up to the third party publisher to decide whether Rockstar Games' best-selling franchise will appear on Wii. The main concern from fans has been how the game would make use of the Wii's remote as the controller.

GTA4 PC Version
There is currently no official word on a PC version of GTA4, though it is highly expected. The PC versions of GTA3, Vice City, and San Andreas all had a period of months before they appeared on the PC, it is hopeful that Rockstar will once again follow the same pattern. Modifications often being cited as one of the main reasons for purchasing he game for the PC, in addition to better graphics and multiplayer capabilities through 3rd party modifications.
Our current poll suggests that over half of you are willing to wait for the PC version to come out before you play the game. Though this may be a little biased based on the fact we have thousands of people visiting this site for mods everyday, it's strong evidence that a PC version is sought after by the fans.

Online Multiplayer
Fans have been longing for multiplayer capability since GTA3, over 5 years ago. Some of the more curious members of the GTA community found from looking through various files show that Rockstar were actually planning on implementing such a feature in GTA3, which wasn't completed for what could be a number of reasons. GTA San Andreas was Rockstar's first venture into this domain, with 2 player minigames bringing a little more replayability to the PS2 and Xbox versions. The two GTA releases on PSP featured Ad-Hoc mode multiplayer support for up to 6 players, other than that there have only been third party modifications for the main three PC games, MTA and SA-MP being the current big two for San Andreas.
The fact that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 have decent online gaming brings more hope to fans for a proper multiplayer experience on the console versions.

New Game Engine
Grand Theft Auto 4 is expected to make use of RAGE (Rockstar's Advanced Game Engine), previously used in Rockstar's Table Tennis game for the Xbox 360. The benfits of this are needless to say, much improved aesthetics, and better rendering of objects amongst other things. Gameplay will hopefully be an immense improvement over previous iterations.

More Developers
In late 2006, Janco Partners analyst Mike Mickey stated that there are a total of 150 developers working on Grand Theft Auto 4, which is more than any other GTA game so far. For comparisons sake, GTA Vice City supposedly had 120 developers working on it. The sheer enormity of Grand Theft Auto 4 is likely to amaze everyone with the huge increase in developers working on it, coupled with the advanced capabilities of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

A new COO at R*
On January 3rd, a Take Two Press Release revealed Rockstar Games had appointed Gary Dale as the new Chief Operating Officer, with former COO Terry Donovan presumably having left the company. Dale was the European Managing Director for Capcom since 2003, and has worked with Rockstar Games in the past. He brings with him "a wealth of operational experience and industry knowledge to Rockstar Games".

That's all we have for now. You can discuss this round up in our forums, and more specifically talk about the game in our GTA4 forum along with an abundance of fans. We've made a couple of minor layout changes (it's still not final though) to the GTA4 section of our website, and have removed some obsolete content. We'll be updating our GTA IV pages soon to reflect what we find out, so stay tuned for more updates on that.

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