Grand Theft Auto Online Adds Bombushka Run Mode

With Grand Theft Auto Online‘s Smuggler’s Run update out now, the video game developers at Rockstar Games have decided to keep the content train rolling right along with even more free DLC for the open world crime title. To be specific, the studio just recently added the new Bombushka Run mode alongside the brand new RM-10 Bombushka plane for players to enjoy in GTA 5‘s online multiplayer component.

For starters, Bombushka Run is a fresh team-based mode involving two squads of up to four players which pits one gunship that’s armed to the teeth against a fleet of agile and aerially nimble Buzzard Attack Helicopters. Both teams will have the chance to pilot the plane, and whichever one survives the longest while flying the Bombushka scores a win. Plus, in order to celebrate the launch of this brand new game mode, Bombushka Run will be issuing out double payouts to Grand Theft Auto Online players from now through September 25, 2017.

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As far as the aforementioned gunship in Grand Theft Auto Online‘s Bombushka Run is concerned, the plane is officially called the RM-10 Bombushka. In addition to having room for six and front, top, and rear-mounted turret gun positions, the Bombushka also will provide players with an array of available upgrades from the Hangar Workshop. Those looking to upgrade the plane to its full potential will be able to add Explosive, Gas, Incendiary and Cluster bombs.

In order to remain consistent with the aerial theme involved with Grand Theft Auto Online‘s Bombushka Run update, fans will also see a bunch of different aircraft weapons and supplies go on sale this week. To be specific, players will be privy to 25% off Hangar Workshops, Aircraft weapons, Liveries for cars and aircraft, Resprays for cars and aircraft, Mobile Operations Center Cabs, and Executive Offices.

Without a doubt, Grand Theft Auto Online has brought Rockstar Games’ parent company Take-Two Interactive a huge amount of revenue, thanks in part to constant updates like Bombushka Run. as GTA Online fans are aware, the developer is constantly adding new vehicles and game modes, expanding the title well beyond the the wares that were available in the base game at its launch in 2013. So, taking all of this into consideration, it will be interesting to see exactly when the companies decide to follow through with plans to rest the game’s updates.

Grand Theft Auto Online and all of its latest updates are available now in Grand Theft Auto 5 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

San Andreas Character Modded Into Breath of the Wild

A crafty modder has created an unlikely union between Grand Theft Auto and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild by dropping a GTA: San Andreas character in Link’s adventuring shoes.

The crossover between the two acclaimed series may not be the most obvious choice for a mod, but seeing Carl “CJ” Johnson from GTA: San Andreas swing a sword around and glide over Hyrule is all it takes to convince prospective modders. CJ looks right at home in the open-world environment taking flight and chopping down enemies, and the quality of the mod gives the character from 2004 a fresh, upgraded look.

WilianZilv is the content creator behind the Carl Johnson mod, a skin swap for Breath of the Wild’s protagonist that comes with all the shading and textures to make him look like a legit installation in the game. The video above was uploaded to the modder’s YouTube channel to preview the content and give players a taste of what they’re in for before they drop the GTA icon into their game.

This isn’t WilianZilv’s first rodeo with modding Breath of the Wild though, so it’s no wonder that this GTA mod boasts some instant download quality. Another project from the modder replaced Link with Steve from Minecraft, another mod that’s definitely worth taking a look at if you want to further diversify your Breath of the Wild experiences. Another mod adds a PC Master Race Shield that you’ll see CJ riding downhill on in the mod trailer.

In order to make the mod work, it’s important to note that you won’t be able to use any armors to get the proper result. The mod is also for a version of Breath of the Wild that’s been emulated on the PC, but if you’ve got one of those versions yourself, you’ll be in business after you download and install the GTA mod.

Will “Grand Theft Auto” Continue to Push Take-Two Interactive Stock Higher? — The Motley Fool

Like other major video-game publishers, Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO) is benefiting from selling games directly to consumers through digital downloads, but even that tailwind pales in comparison with the company’s biggest performance driver. That’s not to downplay the significance of the digital sales transition, but the publisher’s high-flying stock run in recent years has even more to do with the ongoing success of Grand Theft Auto V.

Take-Two’s shares are up more than 800% over the past five years and trade at a whopping 43 times forward earnings estimates. However, its forward price-to-earnings-growth ratio is just 0.2, so the stock actually looks cheap if the company can continue deliver impressive earnings gains. Much of that will come down to how much gas the Grand Theft Auto series has left in the tank.

Image source: Take-Two Interactive. 

GTA V still has big sales potential

According to the NPD Group’s tracking, Grand Theft Auto V came in as America’s second best-selling game in August, trailing only Madden NFL 18 from rival publisher Electronic Arts. Of course, it’s worth noting that EA’s football game released last month, while the first versions of Grand Theft Auto V landed on store shelves all the way back in September 2013. Across its incredible run, Take-Two’s monster hit has shipped over 80 million copies, made America’s top 10 best-selling-games list in 41 out of its 49 months on the market, and delivered the best overall revenue and unit sales in the history of NPD Group’s industry tracking. The game’s online mode is also a hit that’s generating substantial in-game content sales that are hugely profitable. 

Based on numbers from SteamCharts, which tracks engagement on the PC gaming platform Steam, the average daily concurrent players for GTA V from June to August of this year increased roughly 41% over the prior year period, and it’s probably safe to assume that engagement is up on PlayStation and Xbox platforms as well. With an expanding sales imprint, evidence that the game is still making substantial gains in its active player base, and the company’s regular introduction of new content, there’s a strong chance that GTA V‘s online mode will continue to deliver year-over-year sales increases.

There’s also the possibility that Take-Two will release the game on Nintendo‘s (NASDAQOTH:NTDOY) Switch console — potentially leading to another dramatic sales bump. Nintendo platforms typically attract a younger user base, but with news that M-rated games including Doom and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus are heading to the system, it’s clear that publishers are interested in testing the market for games intended for older audiences on the platform. Take-Two could likely generate millions of additional GTA V sales if it releases the game on Switch.

All told, I think it’s feasible that total lifetime shipments for Grand Theft Auto V will exceed 100 million units. 

Image source: Take-Two Interactive.

Will the next GTA games be as successful?

Grand Theft Auto V is one of the most profitable games in history, which makes delivering a more successful follow-up a tall order, but the franchise still has growth potential ahead.

The smart move for Take-Two, and one it is likely to pursue for the series’ next installment, is to replicate the release schedule that helped make GTA V such a big hit. That means launching the next GTA sequel on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One when these systems are near the tail end of their life cycles to take advantage of their large user bases — and then delivering an updated version of the game for next-gen platforms and PC at a later date to benefit from new hardware momentum and players who are willing to purchase the game again to experience an updated, graphically superior version.

The franchise actually has considerable room for growth in the digital sales space. Following the incredible success of GTA V‘s online mode, it’s likely that Take-Two will put an even greater emphasis on creating a multiplayer mode that keeps players engaged (and spending) with the series’ next installment. As one of the most powerful brands in gaming, the series also has the potential for a much bigger presence in mobile. Take-Two already sells older series entries for smartphone and tablet devices (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas retails at $6.99 and is currently the ninth best-selling paid game in the iOS store), but it has yet to release a franchise installment that’s built from the ground up to take advantage of the unique benefits these platforms offer.

Take-Two is building its franchise portfolio

The Grand Theft Auto series appears to be in strong shape. Each mainline entry has outsold its immediate predecessor, and even if the next installment doesn’t manage to match GTA V‘s incredible unit sales, it could still be more profitable thanks to growth for game downloads and in-game content sales. However, Take-Two still needs to continue building its portfolio of other hit franchises, and it seems to be making progress on that front. In addition to its annual sports releases, the company is now aiming to debut at least one new, blockbuster title each year — with a new entry in the Red Dead Redemption series launching in spring 2018 and at least one other high-profile, non-sports title due for release next year fiscal year.

With Grand Theft Auto looking as if it will continue to be a powerhouse franchise, an expanding lineup of other viable properties, and industry tailwinds at its back, I think Take-Two stock still has room for big growth.

Keith Noonan owns shares of Take-Two Interactive Software. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Take-Two Interactive Software. The Motley Fool recommends Electronic Arts. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Will “Grand Theft Auto” Continue to Push Take-Two Interactive Stock Higher? | Business Markets and Stocks News

Like other major video-game publishers, Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ: TTWO) is benefiting from selling games directly to consumers through digital downloads, but even that tailwind pales in comparison with the company’s biggest performance driver. That’s not to downplay the significance of the digital sales transition, but the publisher’s high-flying stock run in recent years has even more to do with the ongoing success of Grand Theft Auto V.

Take-Two’s shares are up more than 800% over the past five years and trade at a whopping 43 times forward earnings estimates. However, its forward price-to-earnings-growth ratio is just 0.2, so the stock actually looks cheap if the company can continue deliver impressive earnings gains. Much of that will come down to how much gas the Grand Theft Auto series has left in the tank.

Image source: Take-Two Interactive. 

GTA V still has big sales potential

According to the NPD Group’s tracking, Grand Theft Auto V came in as America’s second best-selling game in August, trailing only Madden NFL 18 from rival publisher Electronic Arts. Of course, it’s worth noting that EA’s football game released last month, while the first versions of Grand Theft Auto V landed on store shelves all the way back in September 2013. Across its incredible run, Take-Two’s monster hit has shipped over 80 million copies, made America’s top 10 best-selling-games list in 41 out of its 49 months on the market, and delivered the best overall revenue and unit sales in the history of NPD Group’s industry tracking. The game’s online mode is also a hit that’s generating substantial in-game content sales that are hugely profitable. 

Based on numbers from SteamCharts, which tracks engagement on the PC gaming platform Steam, the average daily concurrent players for GTA V from June to August of this year increased roughly 41% over the prior year period, and it’s probably safe to assume that engagement is up on PlayStation and Xbox platforms as well. With an expanding sales imprint, evidence that the game is still making substantial gains in its active player base, and the company’s regular introduction of new content, there’s a strong chance that GTA V‘s online mode will continue to deliver year-over-year sales increases.

There’s also the possibility that Take-Two will release the game on Nintendo‘s (NASDAQOTH: NTDOY) Switch console — potentially leading to another dramatic sales bump. Nintendo platforms typically attract a younger user base, but with news that M-rated games including Doom and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus are heading to the system, it’s clear that publishers are interested in testing the market for games intended for older audiences on the platform. Take-Two could likely generate millions of additional GTA V sales if it releases the game on Switch.

All told, I think it’s feasible that total lifetime shipments for Grand Theft Auto V will exceed 100 million units. 

Image source: Take-Two Interactive.

Will the next GTA games be as successful?

Grand Theft Auto V is one of the most profitable games in history, which makes delivering a more successful follow-up a tall order, but the franchise still has growth potential ahead.

The smart move for Take-Two, and one it is likely to pursue for the series’ next installment, is to replicate the release schedule that helped make GTA V such a big hit. That means launching the next GTA sequel on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One when these systems are near the tail end of their life cycles to take advantage of their large user bases — and then delivering an updated version of the game for next-gen platforms and PC at a later date to benefit from new hardware momentum and players who are willing to purchase the game again to experience an updated, graphically superior version.

The franchise actually has considerable room for growth in the digital sales space. Following the incredible success of GTA V‘s online mode, it’s likely that Take-Two will put an even greater emphasis on creating a multiplayer mode that keeps players engaged (and spending) with the series’ next installment. As one of the most powerful brands in gaming, the series also has the potential for a much bigger presence in mobile. Take-Two already sells older series entries for smartphone and tablet devices (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas retails at $6.99 and is currently the ninth best-selling paid game in the iOS store), but it has yet to release a franchise installment that’s built from the ground up to take advantage of the unique benefits these platforms offer.

Take-Two is building its franchise portfolio

The Grand Theft Auto series appears to be in strong shape. Each mainline entry has outsold its immediate predecessor, and even if the next installment doesn’t manage to match GTA V‘s incredible unit sales, it could still be more profitable thanks to growth for game downloads and in-game content sales. However, Take-Two still needs to continue building its portfolio of other hit franchises, and it seems to be making progress on that front. In addition to its annual sports releases, the company is now aiming to debut at least one new, blockbuster title each year — with a new entry in the Red Dead Redemption series launching in spring 2018 and at least one other high-profile, non-sports title due for release next year fiscal year.

With Grand Theft Auto looking as if it will continue to be a powerhouse franchise, an expanding lineup of other viable properties, and industry tailwinds at its back, I think Take-Two stock still has room for big growth.

10 stocks we like better than Nintendo

When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now… and Nintendo wasn’t one of them! That’s right — they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

*Stock Advisor returns as of September 5, 2017

Keith Noonan owns shares of Take-Two Interactive Software. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Take-Two Interactive Software. The Motley Fool recommends Electronic Arts. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Here’s Why Grand Theft Auto V Is So Amazing Four Years Later

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Grand Theft Auto V is celebrating its fourth anniversary on store shelves today, initially arriving for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and setting records right off the bat. The game managed to clear $800 million in revenue within its first 24 hours, and $1 billion in the following week. And that was just the beginning of its success.

The game would continue on with releases for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and would eventually sell over 80 million copies up to this point, becoming one of the biggest success stories in video games.

So what is it about Grand Theft Auto V that keeps us coming back for more? There are a number of factors to consider, so, as we celebrate the anniversary of its initial release, let’s look at what makes the game so damn fun to play.

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Grand Theft Auto Online

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First, the package doesn’t just include Grand Theft Auto V, as there’s a whole online offering to consider. Grand Theft Auto Online allows friends to join in sessions together and do all sorts of stuff, whether it’s hanging out at an apartment, taking part in gun battles, or causing vehicular mayhem, either with joyriding or racing in pre-set events.

And that list of activities has only grown over the past few years, with frequent updates that include new races, new activities (like the just-released Smuggler’s Run), new cars – new everything. There’s just so much to come back to, or enjoy if this is your first time joining in.

Grand Theft Auto Online is a testament of prolonging the online component of a game with awesome, fresh materials – and it doesn’t look like Rockstar Games will be wrapping up anytime soon.

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There’s a Vast Amount of Single Player Content

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Even without the downloadable content that’s been rumored for some time, Grand Theft Auto V’s single player is nothing short of stupendous. You have hours’ worth of storyline to cover between the main characters, not to mention side activities and just plain screwing around and getting pursued by the cops – or jumping off a building just to say that you did so.

And that’s not including the hidden stuff that’s been talked about for the past few years, like the mysterious surroundings regarding outer space, and the other goodies that you can find with a little looking. This is an open-world game done right. Know how we can tell? We’re still finding cool stuff.

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The Newest Versions of the Game Are No Mere Upgrades

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When companies usually port over games from older generation to newer generation, they do so with very little frills, just hoping to make a quick buck based on a hurried-up development cycle. But Rockstar Games knew it had a lot of people interested in Grand Theft Auto V, so they reprogrammed the game from the ground up with a very crucial feature – a first-person perspective.

This viewpoint actually changes up the way you play within the game, and makes things feel more realistic than ever. In fact, this addition alone probably prompted a lot of fans to buy the game all over again, just to see what it was like. And it’s still paying off for them.

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It’s Just So Much Fun

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Rockstar Games has dialed in the controls for Grand Theft Auto V pretty much perfectly. Everything just feels right, whether you’re getting in a fistfight with someone, engaging in a high-stakes heist or gun battle, or cruising around the freeway and stylishly trying to lose the police.

We can’t tell you how much time we’ve wasted taking part in activities that didn’t really affect the main story. That’s the level of depth that GTA has, and it’s still a whole lot of fun. Our main hope is that, when it releases next year, Red Dead Redemption 2 has a similar amount of depth. We can’t wait to sink our teeth into that one.

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There’s No One Like Trevor

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Finally, the characterization of Grand Theft Auto V is off the charts. We actually care what happens with the main antagonists each time around, even if they start out being pains in the asses. And, to be fair, there is one standout that continues to be a lot of fun to play as – Trevor.

Trevor is just plain bonkers. He kills people with reckless abandon; he wanders around in his underwear on occasion; and he lives for chaos, even if that means completing a mission in a pure suicide manner. To put it bluntly, there’s no video game character like him out there. And love him or hate him, he truly makes GTA V click better than most of Rockstar’s previous Grand Theft Auto affairs.

But, yeah, don’t make him your hero. Because he isn’t one.

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Mods, Mods Everywhere

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Finally, there’s the PC version of Grand Theft Auto V, which is a monster in its own right because of the mod community. We’ve seen all sorts of stuff emerge from the mod community, including some amazing mods based on Rick and Morty and The Lion King, as well as a space expansion that’s nothing short of exceptional. And chances are, even with some concern from Take-Two, the mod community isn’t close to done yet. We could be seeing more insane stuff right around the corner. And, hell, we could even see worlds recreated in them, too — like the space mod. Wow.

GTA Online Update Brings New Car to the Game

gta online update

Grand Theft Auto V has gotten a new car for players to add to their GTA Online garages, as the Dewbauchee Rapid GT Classic makes its way into the game alongside this week’s bonuses.

Described by Rockstar as a “deeply customizable sports classic”, the GT Classic is part of the weekly bonuses coming to GTA Online this week. Starting now through September 18, players will earn Double GTA$ and RP in the new Motor Wars mode. They can also earn twice the regular payouts in the Rockstar-created Stunt Races playlist.

For more information on this week’s bonuses for Grand Theft Auto V, check out below:

When he’s not busy broadcasting harebrained conspiracy theories on Blane County Radio, Ron’s refining his business acumen – having finagled buyers across the state into paying out Double GTA$ & RP for Cargo in Smuggler’s Run Sell Missions through September 18th. Plus, it is SecuroServ Employee Appreciation Week, with Bodyguards and Associates receiving Double GTA$ salaries.

AIRCRAFT & GROUND VEHICLE UPGRADES & DISCOUNTS

Fight in flight with 25% off Countermeasures in your Hangar Workshop to evade incoming missiles and disorient attacking aircraft, as well as a handy 25% off Aircraft Engine and Armor Upgrades.

Whether you’re looking to benefit from this week’s bonus Stunt Race payouts or just looking to add a couple of crown jewels to your collection, grab 25% off the Truffade Nero (base price and upgrade) and the Pegassi Tempesta. Then, beef up your shiny new purchases (or any other car in your garage) with 25% off Engine and Armor Upgrades on all cars.

PREMIUM RACE & TIME TRIAL SCHEDULE

Go big, and go home with nice payouts in this week’s Premium Race & Time Trial events, live now through September 18th:

  • Premium Stunt Race – “Big M” (Locked to Motorbikes)
  • Time Trial – “LSIA”

Launch Premium Races through the Quick Job App on your in-game phone or via the yellow corona at Legion Square. The top three finishers will earn GTA$ and you’ll get Triple RP regardless of where you finish. To take a stab at the Time Trial, set a waypoint to the marker on your in-game map and enter via the purple corona. Beat par time and you’ll be duly rewarded with GTA$ & RP payouts.

[Source: Rockstar Blog]

This Grand Theft Auto V Mod will Take You to London

This Grand Theft Auto V Mod will Take You to London

Ule Lopez


The world of modding will never cease to amaze people. From jabs at a certain spineless effort from Bethesda to entirely new games with re-used assets like in the Donut Mod. It certainly seems that we can go nowhere but up in the world of modding. The creatives will always be rewarded, and here’s the reward for one of the most ambitious projects I’ve seen in some time.

It’s time to go from Los Santos to London, with Project London. This project focuses on reworking textures and making a map overhaul to turn the city where Grand Theft Auto V takes place to London, England. They are trying to incorporate important set-pieces and landmarks such as the Wembley Stadium, the Metro stations and the biggest hospital centers.

Not only that, but the modder group has also overhauled the textures of some vehicles to reflect that of public vehicles in London. One of the modders decided to talk to PCGamer about the complexity of the project as well. “I got a message the other day,” says modder Kieran. “from some guy asking if the roads could be done—if the cars could be swapped to the opposite side in the style of British road networks. I sat down and calculated the work for that. I’m looking at 210 hours just for the roads.”

So, what’s next for the project? What can be added from now on? Well, Kieran decided to clear this up as well. “It’s a lot of work, it will take time, but whenever I’m finished one thing—I’ve just finished Heathrow Airport, for example—I add it into the pack, update it, and release it.”

It must be important to note that this is just a hobby of the group. Nothing too major because they have to focus on their financial resources as well with real jobs and other real life aspects. It will be a very long time before we see this project anywhere close to finished.

“Simply put, this project is something I love doing. It’s something that I’ve always loved doing. I think it makes the game overall more enjoyable. I think the standard, vanilla GTA is a bit lacking in certain areas, and that’s why modders do what they do.” Said Kieran.

Well, I certainly don’t care about how long they take. We can only hope that they manage to reflect the current city of London through this mod. This will be a very great transformation and add an entirely new layer of gameplay to GTA V.


Jimmy floats, too, in ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ remake of infamous ‘It’ scene

Why it matters to you

Bill Skarsgard makes a great Pennywise in the new It movie, but Grand Theft Auto V’s Trevor Philips is perfectly suited to the role.

Last week, Andrés Muschietti’s adaptation of horror classic It hit theaters, bringing the Stephen King story back into the zeitgeist. The movie’s most iconic scene has already been turned into a meme that is sweeping across social media, and now the sequence has been re-created in Grand Theft Auto V.

The children that make up the “Losers’ Club” in It are hounded by the terrifying Pennywise, an ancient evil that tends to take on the form of a deranged clown. As the story gets underway, the ill-fated Georgie Denbrough has a brief, unpleasant encounter with Pennywise after his paper boat gets swept down a storm drain during a rainstorm.

When the scene is transplanted to the streets of Los Santos, the role of Georgie is filled by Jimmy De Santa. If you haven’t played through Grand Theft Auto V, Jimmy is the lazy, obnoxious son of protagonist Michael. In keeping with the game’s setting, and the character’s reliance on technology, he chases his smartphone down the storm drain rather than a paper boat.

Pennywise seems to be portrayed by Trevor Philips, which makes a lot of sense, given the character’s capacity for chaos and his murderous sensibilities. While Jimmy’s appearance is unchanged from his standard in-game look, Trevor’s hair seems to have been modified using external tools to add a clownish red wig.

Whether you’ve seen It or not, you can probably determine that the encounter doesn’t turn out too well for Jimmy. Suffice it to say, he doesn’t get his phone back.

Grand Theft Auto V has proven to be a handy tool for Machinima creators, with most new movies getting some kind of in-game remake ever since a version of the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens went viral in 2015. It isn’t just films that get the treatment — last year a trailer for Battlefield 1 received a shot-for-shot remake set in Los Santos, too.

The freedom to dress up characters and put them in wild situations makes Grand Theft Auto V perfect for movie making, but it is the tools that developer Rockstar Games cooked up that make these projects possible. The Rockstar Editor was released in 2015, but it’s still popular.




What Does the Future Hold For GTA Online?

GTA Online

To say that Grand Theft Auto V and its online component have been a runaway success for Rockstar Games may read as a colossal understatement, but even now, four whole years after its initial launch, the open-world blockbuster continues to pull in the big bucks for Take-Two Interactive.

As a matter of fact, just last month Rockstar’s parent company posted better-than-expected figures for the first quarter of fiscal 2018, and that historic feat can largely be traced back to Grand Theft Auto Online, which enjoyed its best quarter ever. Yes, ever.

Year-over-year revenue grew 34 percent, with Take-Two pointing to a spike in digitally-delivered content (up 27% over the same period last year) for the overly successful quarter. The industry giant didn’t disclose any specific sales figures, but it did allude to GTA Online leading the pack for “recurrent consumer spending.”

A Bona Fide Juggernaut

Virtual currency, downloadable content, microtransactions—this is the fuel that has kept Grand Theft Auto Online ticking over since release. And it all looked to have gone pete tong when Rockstar initially flipped the switch and opened its persistent multiplayer arena to the masses back in 2013. Widespread technical issues and a lack of content meant GTA Online’s launch was ostensibly rendered disastrous, leading to all kinds of year-end accolades ranging from Best Multiplayer all the way down to Biggest Disappointment. Talk about divisive.

grand-theft-auto-online-gunrunning-update-1

Those teething problems continued into the next 12 months, during which time Rockstar slowly padded its online juggernaut with different types of vehicles, clothes and weapons, along with timely themed content such as the Valentine’s Day Massacre Special. Heists weren’t added to the experience until March of 2015 and even then, the long-anticipated feature endured a shaky launch no thanks to the pent-up demand.

It’s been a rocky road, then, but Grand Theft Auto Online has aged like a fine wine. To their credit, the creative minds at Rockstar Games have always kept one ear to the ground, dolling out scores of free updates to fine-tune the at-times hectic multiplayer experience. Hectic in the best possible way, of course.

Humble Beginnings

From content creation tools to those elaborate, wildly entertaining Heist missions, the GTA Online of 2017 is a far cry from the unstable base game that touched down four years prior. And that gradual transformation from bust to boom—from rags to riches—can be seen in Grand Theft Auto V’s lifetime sales.

It’s unprecedented, frankly. 80 million units sold places Grand Theft Auto V among the best-selling games of all time—only Wii Sports, Tetris and Minecraft rank higher in the charts—and the only other GTA title to come close is San Andreas, which tapped out at 27.5m in 2014. For the record, other mainline entries include Grand Theft Auto IV (25m), Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (17.5m), and Grand Theft Auto III (14.5m).

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For all its meteoric success, Rockstar have considered winding down Grand Theft Auto Online as we know it, lest they risk over-saturation. Last summer, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick even mulled over the possibility of placing GTA on ice, believing that the Powers That Be must “rest the franchise at some point.”

A Hiatus On the Cards?

Said he: “We do expect GTA Online’s results to moderate because October will be three years since we released it. Not only was it not our intention that GTA Online was permanent, but it’s important that it not be permanent.”

Wise words. But in light of 2018’s first fiscal report, this more recent statement from Zelnick is telling: “Due to the continued success of Grand Theft Auto Online and other factors, [Take-Two] has determined that it is necessary to extend the life of Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online.”

Read between the lines, though, and you’ll realise that GTA V’s continued success is something of a double-edged sword. Because the creative minds at Rockstar have been so focused on introducing new content (see: the Smuggler’s Run and Gunrunning updates), other projects are at risk of slipping onto the back-burner. And there is perhaps no better example of that bittersweet dilemma than the fabled single-player DLC for Grand Theft Auto V.

Four years ago, Rockstar hinted that “substantial additions” were coming to the game’s single-player mode, and presumably planned to incorporate some form of expansion in the vein of The Ballad of Gay Tony or Lost and the Damned. But those plans quietly fell by the wayside as GTA Online grew into a lucrative behemoth. It’s also worth pointing out that Microsoft purportedly shelled out $50 million so that GTA IV‘s single-player add-ons remained exclusive to Xbox 360 for a period of 12 months.

The finer details of that arrangement have always been kept under lock and key, but it presents some interesting food for thought. After all, the creative minds at Rockstar initially considered single-player DLC to be an exercise in risk-taking, as digital downloads were still rather sluggish in 2008, not to mention the fact that the company wasn’t able to gauge how many players could access online content in the first place.

The Rise and Rise of GTA Online

Thankfully, online infrastructure has come on in leaps and bounds ever since, but it’s really the continued success of GTA Online that has forced said expansion down the pecking order–if it hasn’t been outright scrapped. Not only that, but Grand Theft Auto Online has survived a console transition, too, with Rockstar releasing a comprehensive version of GTA V–replete with improved frame-rates and a first-person mode–to expand its audience onto current-gen systems and, later, PC platforms.

grand-theft-auto-v-gunrunning

Now available on five different platforms, it’s no wonder Grand Theft Auto V and its online component, in particular, have grown to become Rockstar’s bankable cash cows. But as alluded to before, maintaining that success requires resources–resources that could otherwise be put toward launching new games.

Indeed, it could be argued that the newly-unveiled L.A. Noire remaster is an example of that predicament, as the studio looks to fill its slate with content, particularly now that Red Dead Redemption 2 has slipped into 2018. A sparse lineup is something Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick touched on while speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, claiming that Q1 2018 was really the exception to the rule.

“We don’t want a light release schedule to become a common matter. To the contrary, we’re trying to build up our frontline release schedule, and we’ve successfully done so in the past few years. Sometimes though, the vagaries of the development process will lead to a year that happens to have a limited release schedule. As we continue to increase our development capacity, the goal is to have more frontline titles reflecting these powerful franchises we own, and in any given year, bringing enough of them to market that we have a phenomenal year.”

Perhaps the defining moment for GTA Online will be when Rockstar Games lifts the curtain on the inevitable Grand Theft Auto 6. For instance, will the studio consolidate its sixth numerical entry—you know, assuming it doesn’t opt for a spinoff in the vein of Vice City or San Andreas—and a revamped version of GTA Online into a single package? Or will both products be placed on two separate tracks?

The Future is Bright?

Grand Theft Auto Online isn’t going anywhere—not yet, at least. Four years on from its original release and GTA V, arguably Rockstar’s magnum opus, continues to rule over sales charts and sustain a thriving online community, and that’s something the studio will look to future-proof going forward. Nothing lasts forever, of course, and given Red Dead Redemption 2 will come packing its own online component on day one, it’ll be intriguing to find out how the creative minds at Rockstar keep both plates spinning come 2018.

But for the game that was once described as Rockstar’s lasting legacy, Grand Theft Auto Online has been the lifeblood that has cemented GTA V‘s place in the sales charts for the past four years, nudging its total tally north of 80 million. And that’s a feat worth celebrating; even if GTA Online‘s best days are behind it.

Grand Theft Auto V’s new online mode is Battlegrounds but with way more mayhem

Screenshot: Grand Theft Auto V/Rockstar

Every Friday, A.V. Club staffers kick off our weekly open thread for the discussion of gaming plans and recent gaming glories, but of course, the real action is down in the comments, where we invite you to answer our eternal question: What Are You Playing This Weekend?


Grand Theft Auto V Motor Wars

As someone who really only plays games on consoles, I’ve been watching the meteoric rise of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds with a truly unhealthy level of jealousy. I know the Xbox One version is supposed to come later this year, but I want it now. Thankfully, other developers are starting to catch on to PUBG’s popularity and are trying to emulate it, which is presumably where we get the new Grand Theft Auto V multiplayer mode Motor Wars. Like PUBG, the mode starts with you jumping out of a flying vehicle (it’s a plane in PUBG, but it’s a helicopter here), and then you have to fend for yourself by finding better weapons and vehicles that you can use to kill other players.

Unlike PUBG, Motor Wars is primarily about finding heavily armed military vehicles and going after your enemies Mad Max-style, making it significantly more chaotic than the usual tense and quiet PUBG round. GTA Online has never really had any good modes beyond aimlessly roaming around and trolling other players, but Motor Wars plays to the game’s strengths in a way that regular death match or racing modes don’t. It’s wild and it’s violent and you can accidentally die in the first minute if you don’t pull your parachute in time, all of which are exactly what I want to see from Grand Theft Auto. It still doesn’t quite scratch this PUBG itch, but I actually enjoyed a multiplayer mode in Grand Theft Auto V for maybe the first time ever. [Sam Barsanti]


Silent Football

If you spend enough time doing improv—and, thus, in the company of a bunch of feckless youths who love nothing more than drinking, partying, and being the funniest person in the room, in roughly that order—you eventually start to accrue a collection of truly stupid party games to keep in your back pocket. But although I’ve played my fair share of Whiskey Scenes and Bucket Of Death over the years, no improv party game I’ve encountered has ever been as dumb, time-consuming, or—in the absolutely right setting—hilarious as Silent Football. You can probably gauge your own reaction to the game by the following fact: When I went looking for an online set of rules to write this, doubting my own orally received memory of the game’s “official” instructions, every online copy I found came courtesy of a bunch of college theater kids or Christian youth groups. It’s that kind of game, perfect for the sorts of nerds who are comfortable requesting everyone at the party turn the music down so they can play a mostly silent bullshit game in the middle of a crowded living room.

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For the interested, here are the rules, in brief: Everybody sits in a circle, with one player as the headmaster. The (invisible) football is passed by tapping knees, or other more complicated moves, all of which include some kind of gesture and nonsense word. Penalties are handed out for rule infractions, real or imaginary, at the headmaster’s whim. And there’s often a requirement that everyone use the worst English accent they can muster in order to speak. That’s it. Like I said, it’s gloriously dumb, a more space-consuming version of old “make the rules up as you go along” card games like the infamous Mao.

And yet, some of the best nights of my life were spent playing it, passing the “football” around the circle in my friends’ Tim and Mary’s crowded living room, coming up with increasingly implausible excuses to get out of penalties, and cracking up laughing at every new idiocy from my friends. Played wrong, Silent Football is the absolute death of any party forced to play host to it; played correctly, and it’s the perfect throwback to a time in our lives when “playing games” just meant coming up with the silliest, most foolish kind of collective make-believe and getting everybody else to play along. [William Hughes]


Project Octopath Traveler demo

Nintendo dropped a surprisingly newsworthy Direct broadcast this week, announcing the upcoming release of Doom and Wolfenstein II on the Switch, providing a name for that new Kirby Switch game (Kirby Star Allies), and giving Xenoblade Chronicles 2 a release date (December 1). But tucked in there was also the news that the next game from the creators Square Enix’s Bravely series is getting a demo ahead of its release in 2018, and that demo is available right now.

The game, a Switch exclusive, is currently known by its codename, Project Octopath Traveler, which is a far more literal title than it initially appears to be. In the full version, you’ll have eight protagonists to choose from, each of which travel on their own path with a unique goal and identity. The demo gives you two of those characters to pick from: a dancer who’s secretly a princess waiting for the men who killed her father to turn up at her show and a former knight who’s toiling away in a small mountain village after losing everything. I’ve only played through the dancer’s story so far, and it was shockingly dark, bringing in language and themes that hit far harder than most of the game’s JRPG ancestors.

The combat, meanwhile, is turn-based and borrows some ideas from the Persona series. Enemies all have weaknesses—whether to certain weapons or elemental magic—and if you exploit those weaknesses you’ll put them in a “break” state that lowers their defense and forces them to miss a turn. Battles seem like they can get tough unless you fall into a rhythm of building up your boost meter (you get one boost point per turn and can consume as many as you want at once to add more damage or new attributes to attacks) and breaking enemies, keeping them stuck in a loop where they can’t damage you, but you’re dishing out plenty of pain.

The look of Octopath is even more distinct. Characters are rendered in a style similar to Final Fantasy’s 16-bit games, with your party looking like squat little dolls while enemies are given much larger, more elaborate designs. But the world of Octopath is where it shakes things up. It’s a strange hybrid of 2-D and 3-D that you view from a tilted angle that allows you to see the depth of your pixel-art surroundings and for the game to play with light, shadows, and depth of field in some beautiful ways. The demo got me very intrigued. I’ll probably hop back in to play the other half over the weekend, and I’m looking forward to the full release. [Matt Gerardi]