By any criteria, Grand Theft Auto is one of the most famous – and successful – video games franchises in the world. Since the initial game was released in November 1997, there have been seven major game releases, with 14 games in total, counting chapters and additional content.
In total, the series has sold 125M copies to date, GTA has been included in the Design Museum, as one of the top ten British designs ever. The series has won numerous awards, critical acclaim and positions in the charts listing the Best Games Ever.
The game has attracted a wide range of Hollywood stars and talent from the movie industry to participate and lend their voices to characters with the series, including Michael Madsen, Ray Liotta, Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper, Danny Trejo, Gary Busey, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Penn, James Woods, Joe Pantoliano, Debi Mazar, Jenna Jameson, Frank Vincent, Robert Loggia, Ricky Gervais, Andy Dick, Debbie Harry, Kyle MacLachlan, Phil Collins and Peter Fonda.
It is, in short, huge.
And it’s made in Scotland. Rockstar North, the developer behind the game is based in Edinburgh and is the country’s largest developer by a wide margin. The team has been working on the latest game in the series, GTA V, since around 2011.
GTA V is the most ambitious Grand Theft Auto game yet, promising a larger, more complex world, with greater story-telling, mission-based gameplay and online multiplayer than any Rockstar game to date.
With a development budget of $137M, industry analysts are predicting the game will sell upwards of 18M copies in the first year of release.
GTA V is due for release on September 17th 2013. The launch trailer for the game was revealed earlier this week. If you’re not a gamer, if you’re not familiar with the series, then watch this clip and consider that it represents what is quite possibly Scotland’s biggest cultural export of all time.
Rated M for mature…
I think the $137 million development budget for GTA V is really huge. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire cost of producing this game turns out to be far much higher than this figure. Rockstar has been on an aggressive marketing campaign for GTA V, and so they must be spending a fortune on that as well.