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Monday, September 16, 2013

Can Grand Theft Auto V Survive?

This is a question that I've been bumping around my head for some time. And seeing as how I haven't posted anything in some time and GTA is being released... tomorrow, why not?

So why is this a question to ask? Is it a valid question? Why am I asking this in the first place? First off I'd like to say Grand Theft Auto (ironically enough) has been a really big part of my childhood, starting off with a favorite of mine: Grand Theft Auto III. Ever since then, I have always loved the series. Its funny, sarcastic, fun, awesome and just all around great games. Rockstar is usually known for being the most sane game company out there, seeming to not make risky decisions and focusing on business decisions that benefit them in the whole. Even with the exception of LA Noire kind of being a flop, seeing as how Team Bondi was dissolved afterwards due to the immense cost of the game. However, even that wasn't a flop considering the game was well received if being an unusual Rockstar game from the stand point of a lack of freedom (ie. random massacres). I was surprised and shocked to hear three things about the new GTA game: 1. it will be on 'this' generation's consoles, 2. it will not be receiving a PC release and 3. there is no talk about the game being released, even digitally for the 'next' gen consoles. Of course things have changed. Rockstar said they'd be doing a PC release but they made it sound like they had no plans to due it like what they did with Red Dead Redemption even to this day.

First off lets talk about game life. Game life simply is the amount of play the local community can derive from a game with or without DLC. This is not always a fixed number. Hell, people are still playing the OG Starcraft game to this day and with things like Steam, a lot of people can get their hands on classic games from yesteryear. Some recent games can have a really low life cycle, whether due to crashes, lack of players or just even a lack of people willing to work on a game which is the case with most fallen MMOs. GTA's game life does not look promising. First its coming on systems most of us have sold by now to get the new consoles so we can scratch those people off the list as most of them are probably not going to buy a new system for this one game. For those of us who haven't sold ours yet, its clear that we'll get some play time out of it. Second we still don't have a PC release date. PC is by far the god of keeping old games alive. GTA still has an amazing shelf life as far as I know. I have every single GTA game to date and I love to just pick one up from time to time. And lastly, Rockstar is betting on us staying with the game. Did you know about GTA Online? Did you know that its coming out 2 full weeks (if my information is correct) after V releases? This is betting on us staying with the game. But lets face it, you and I have never played a horrible GTA game so we're pretty set. The main problem I have with this is there will be a PC release. What's wrong with that? Well we'll be spending about 2 weeks progressing in the game's main story. After which we'll be able to go online. Problem with this is when someone wants more shelf life out of GTA by buying it on PC, all of that progress is gone. Some people may not see this as a problem, but it is in the context of simply being time consuming. Game are very time consuming and, if we go by the PS2's shelf life, we'll not see the 360/PS3 last for much longer. Two years tops before they announce no more games will be put out for them and maybe around the same time they shut down their services like updates or even LIVE all together.

Is this entire thing a good question to ask? Yes and no. First off, like I said, I still play pretty much ever GTA game prior to V. GTA has a sort of timeless characteristic that it will live on forever. The problem is the grossly outdated nature of some of the games, like the very first one compared to IV. GTA is centered around a "I can do what I like" mentality. This new game is all about that. Buying new and awesome things to become more awesome, adding in some real world things like the stock market and making it manipulatable in game at will. Its a very nice concept. As a gamer, I pride myself on playing the best and the most enjoyable. The fact this game won't be on PC anytime soon (I predict next year around July at latest) deals a striking blow to anyone thinking of getting the most out of this game. I don't know. Maybe this is just a personal kind of thought seeing as how I am a guy who doesn't have a lot of money so I sell my games often. GTA is really on a time stamp right now. You're going to get the best amount of play at launch, which, unfortunately enough, is literally at the beginning of the week. Seriously, the earliest you can get this game is probably 24 hours from now via midnight launch or maybe some glitch in your console of choice's store. So you'll be playing this all night foregoing sleep. I'm also presuming you have a job since you bought the thing so you'll be calling in sick either to get more play time or just the fact that you haven't slept for six hours if you took a nap before launch. And of course you must take Thursday off! I mean, you just have to get some more cash to buy that new mansion! My point being that this release is really... inopportune. I don't know about you, but I've found the general conscientious among my friends is that they usually get paid during the end of the week or sometime during the middle. This game almost comes out as soon as the week has started. Personally I find this really insane to chose for a launch date. Personally I think the guys over at Rockstar are trying to see how powerful of a fanbase they have by seeing how much their fans will put up to play their new and awesome game. Maybe its a social experiment to see how much they'll tolerate for quality, not to dog on Rockstar of course. They are easily in my top three most favorite developers list.

Its about this time that I've realized I've been pretty much rambling kind of waiting out going to bed. My final question is am I really saying anything of value? Personally that's for you to decide. While I might have valid points and if I post this now I'll probably smack myself in the face seeing all the grammatical errors I made, the fact still stands. I want this game to do well... I'm just baffled by the choices made by its developer. Don't get me wrong, Rockstar is awesome. I just feel that maybe this game was meant for another time. The release date is weird. Maybe it has some significance to the dev team or not. Maybe they just wanted to shake things up a little. See how much people love their game when a new slew of consoles is coming out in almost exactly two months. Everything about this game screams next gen to me. Screw it. Go buy this game and have a good time. Maybe read this and have a good laugh at how neurotic I can be. Personally I hope/know this launch is going to go well. All in all this is really the first step in the next gen. A whole slew of awesome games are coming out and this is the title I personally think is the one to help us up said steps. Long story short: next year is going to rock for people like me and you.

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