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GTA IV: Is The Game Really That Good?

gtaiv.jpgIt’s certainly in demand: tonight, before Rockstar’s creation hits store shelves, a few UPS workers were fired for stealing pre-ordered copies of Grand Theft Auto IV. There’s no doubt it’s going to set a new sales record for entertainment product starting tomorrow — perhaps $400 mil and 6 mil copies because it plays on both Microsoft’s Xbox 360 as well as Sony’s Playstation 3, way beyond the previous record-holder Halo 3. In fact U.S. retail sales of video games jumped 57% in March, and analysts predict increased hardware sales due to the new game release. So on the eve of GTA IV‘s release, I turned to my video game guru Keith Boesky, whose company is responsible for selling the most intellectual property and developers into the game business and who has opined on video game violence here as well as on video games versus movies here. Now he analyzes whether GTA IV has really got game:

“To put it lightly, if the other things made for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are called ‘games’, we have to come up with a new word for GTA IV. I think the word is ‘platform’. By every measure, GTA IV is orders of magnitude larger than anything else on the market, including with the critical scores. The fact you are reading this and know what I am talking about is already an indication of the scale. How many of you knew the second largest game on the Playstation, Gran Turismo: Prologue

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GTA IV Countdown: Are Video Games Or Movies More Violent? One Expert Analyzes

gtaiv.jpgI’m going to keep a spotlight on video games over the next days because of all the hype surrounding the April 29th release of Grand Theft Auto IV which is going to set a new sales record for entertainment product (perhaps $400 mil, way beyond the previous record-holder Halo 3). Again, I look to my video game guru Keith Boesky, whose company is responsible for selling the most intellectual property and developers into the game business, to answer the oft-asked question: is there more violence in video games than movies? Keith takes issue with my recent description of GTA IV as “loathsome” and compares the game’s content to past and present violent Hollywood films and TV:

“I love Nikki, I love GTA, so I have to address the adjective. I could think of a lot of ways to describe GTA IV. Perhaps ‘mind boggling in scope,’ ‘unbelievable achievement in game making,’ ‘more technologically complex than the NASA systems that put a man on the moon,’ or just ‘beautiful.’ …GTA IV is an ‘M’ rated game — the industry equivalent to the MPAA’s “R” rating — and will not be sold to anyone under 17. The GTA series drives its medium forward and takes us where we’ve gone in films like The Godfather, Scarface, or more recently, The Sopranos.

“Isn’t the most troubling part of watching those movies feeling like you might do the same thing in the same situation? In GTA, you don’t feel it, you do it.

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GTA IV Countdown: Are Games Bigger Than Movies? One Expert Analyzes…

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With all the hype about how the loathesome Grand Theft Auto IV is going to set a new sales record April 29th for entertainment product (perhaps $400 mil, way beyond the previous record-holder Halo 3), I look to my video game guru Keith Boesky, whose company is responsible for selling the most intellectual property and developers into the game business, to answer the oft-asked question: are games bigger than movies?

gtaiv.jpg“At this year’s Game Developers Conference, a Microsoft executive proclaimed not only is the game business bigger than the movie business, but it is bigger than music. This statement was made last month, but we are about to see this repeated a whole lot more. Some stories were triggered by the annual NPD report on industry growth, others will be triggered by the launch of Grand Theft Auto IV. The articles are complete and utter bullshit on so many levels.

“We can look from the standpoint of mild deception. Game revenues are in fact larger, but they are only larger because we charge 6 times as much per consumer. The elephant standing in the room next to this statement is the actual market is significantly smaller. Especially when you consider NPD’s number includes hardware sales which are between $250 and $600 per box. This would be the same as counting DVD players in home video sales – which, incidentally, without DVD players are larger than the game market.

“We can

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