Has there ever been a more anticipated new game than Grand Theft Auto Four? As I write this on April 16, 2008. there are already people all over the world camping in tents outside gaming stores waiting for the May 1, 2008 launch.
“Sure,” you say, “there are always a few nutjobs out there lining up for any new entertainment release.” There is nothing new anymore about seeing people living in tents to be first in line to get a new product or see a new movie.
But the buzz around Grand Theft Auto Four has also reached Wall Street and analysts are predicting it will not only be the biggest launch in gaming history (anticipated to smash Halo 3’s box office record of $300 million in its first week last year), but it is also expected to topple all records for the entire entertainment industry as well. Based on pre-orders, it is expected to break the $404 million raked in by Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.
And that is not all when it comes to Wall Street’s interest. Grand Theft Auto Four’s creator, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. has been the target of a $2 billion buyout offer by Electronic Arts Inc., which it recently rebuffed. Most financial analysts predict that a slightly higher offer is in the works, so only time will tell if such a merger will take place.
But all this financial talk begs the question of whether Grand Theft Auto Four will live up to its hype when gamers finally get their hands on it May 1. Based on early reviews, the game has a realism never before seen. The streets of Liberty City come alive with hustle and bustle, and it has a sense of place that reportedly puts one right into this gritty metropolis.
Add that to the fact that its streets will soon be filled with mayhem come May 1, and you have a reason for fans sleeping in pup tents around the world.