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Grand Theft Auto IV

Michael Hollick, the man whose voice you've been listening to as you kill indiscriminately as Niko Bellic in Grand Theft Auto IV, is upset that he's not receiving residuals for his work, and was only paid $100,000 for a little over a year's worth of work. This is a part of a New York Times article highlighting the woes of actors who don't get paid in the same way for internet jobs as they would for stage or screen.

This is at the heart of the SAG strike that is primed to happen over the summer. Oh, yeah. If you didn't know, there's going to be an actor's strike, which means that we're looking at another work stoppage in entertainment. The first one was hard enough, and we're not all the way back, so you never know what's going to happen this time. Personally, I'd take $100,000 to do some VO work, but that might just be me.

New York Times.com: A Video Game Star and His Less-Than-Stellar Pay

Grand Theft Auto IV isn't popular with everyone;  Some religious people, members of law enforcement and Jack Thompson have all spoken out about the game's bad influence on society, children and cepholopods. But, in the end, we'd much rather hang out with the girls of Gay Girls Who Game... not only do they like women almost as much as we do, they also dig GTA IV.

Check out the video.

The girls get the tongue-in-cheek humor of the game, and even forgive the title's homophobia, pointing out that the game's homophobic characters are generally shown as buffoons as opposed to role models.

With the release of GTA IV, the arguments that "videogames are destroying a generation of children" have again begun being thrown about like fistfuls of mashed potatoes in a cafeteria food fight. Sometimes, it seems like anyone with an internet connection can sound off from left field and pronounce how our society is going to unravel into chaos and disorder ala Mad Max because we let our children play a game where you can shoot people. Well, not everyone.

Harvard professor Lawrence Kutner, co-author of the book Grand Theft Childhood, recently sat down for interview with Open Education to discuss the revitalized criticism of violent videogames and to defend games such as GTA IV. He quickly admits to not having the opportunity to play GTA IV yet, but he has some incredibly interesting and intelligent things to say about the nature of videogame criticism in general. At one point, Dr. Kutner observes:

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Actor/rapper/Freestyle 101 vet Ice-T recently said in an interview that he loves videogames, specifically Grand Theft Auto. He describes San Andreas, which he once lent his voice to, as "f***ing mayhem."

“I was in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas,” the cold one said. “I played a cracked-out rap star who had his lyrics stolen and the person that stole them became a star. So I went on crack and by the end of the game I get my reputation and my mansion back. You start off as a kid in South Central LA, you build up your rep and then you get a gang. It's definitely some crazy shit.”

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Microsoft dropped bags of money on Rockstar's door for exclusive Grand Theft Auto IV downloadable content, but Sony has been dropping hints that they'll get some DLC as well.

Is this possible?

Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg doesn't think so, saying, "It's not possible as far as I'm aware, but that would be a good question to ask Rockstar. Rockstar and Xbox have only said there are exclusive episodes coming this fall to Xbox 360. I might put that up for a bit of wishful thinking on their [Sony's] end."

To us, it looks like Microsoft might get the exclusive "episodes", which will probably be significant chunks of extra story or gameplay, while Sony gets the table scraps of extra cars, guns, or clothes.

Remember, $50 million doesn't just buy you some run-of-the-mill DLC. We're betting it's major content.

Kotaku: Microsoft On PS3 Getting Grand Theft Auto IV DLC

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Sony has released version 2.35 of the PlayStation 3 firmware, which is a "minor update to improve stability of some PS3 titles."

Boot up your PS3s and update you console.

This update does not fix the GTA IV issues, but Sony apparently has a magical solution that they will share with you if you call them.

We;ve heard all about Grand Theft Auto's sprawling city, storyline and massive multiplayer, but the real question has yet to be answered:

Will. It. Blend?

 

We have to wait until later this week for official NPD numbers for Grand Theft Auto IV and hardware sales, but that isn't stopping Microsoft and Sony from trying to spin the Gamestop numbers their way.

For those that missed it yesterday, Gamestop released their figures, which saw the Xbox 360 version of GTA IV accounting for 60% of all copies sold.

Microsoft's take on this? "These sales results add GTA IV to a long list of franchises that have switched over from Playstation to find a new home on Xbox 360 similar to what happened last year with titles like Madden and Guitar Hero."

How is Sony going to answer?

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While Grand Theft Auto IV was already patched for PS3 gamers, there are rumors that Sony could be working on a new firmware to fix some lingering freezes with launch PS3s.

Take-Two contends that GTA IV was "checked over and passed as 100% compatible with the current version of the PS3."

While it's not official, this wouldn't be the first time Sony has quickly created a new firmware release to fix bugs with a specific game. There was one for Assassin's Creed and hopefully there will be one for GTA IV.

Even though the problem exists, it's nice to know that Sony and Take-Two are probably working on a solution.

Joystiq: Rumor: Sony may update PS3 firmware for GTA IV problems

Rent Roman

sjohnson
30 Comments

Posted May 13, 2008 - By Stephen Johnson

If you're like a lot of gamers, you don't have many friends, but Roman wants to be your friend...and not just in Grand Theft Auto IV!

Actor Jason Zumwalt, who played Roman, seems a little miffed that he's receiving no residuals for starring in the best-selling videogame of all time, so he's offering his services to gamers. He'll come to your house, play GTA IV with you, maybe make a run to Taco Bell for some burritos. Whatever you want.

Check it out: 

Use our comments section to tell us what you think we have him do when/if we rent Roman!

 

Earlier today, Microsoft claimed that 40% of new 360 owners got GTA IV. We're still waiting on official NPD numbers, but Gamestop has released their sales figures, which should be a good estimate of the real sales.

Gamestop is reporting that 64% of Grand Theft Auto IV sales were the 360 version, while the remaining 36% were the PS3 version.

That's a performance of 2-to-1 for the 360 version. Level Up, who received the numbers from Gamestop, notes that this might represent an underperformance for the 360 version due to its larger install base.

Destructoid: Gamestop: 360 has 2-1 lead over PS3 in GTA IV's first week sales

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It seems that just about everyone who has been playing GTA IV the past few weeks  has been intrigued by the character that is Niko Bellic. This cynical, sometimes psychotic killer is a welcomed change from the two-dimensional protagonists we're usually treated to in videogames.

Unlike most other videogame characters, Niko posseses a true sense of past. You can feel that he has really done things before the game started, that have made him into who is. Well, kezins.com has strewn together facts from Mr. Bellic's conversations throughout the game to present a biography of sorts on our favorite eastern-European killer.

Be warned! Following the source link will lead to SPOILERS!!! Also, be carfeul reading our comments section, as navigating it without coming across spoilers will something akin to walking through a filled planted with land mines: the might make it, you might lose your leg.

Kezins.com: Behind The Game: Niko Bellic… before GTA IV

Eurogamer has conducted some pretty in-depth tests on the framerates of Grand Theft Auto IV on both the PS3 and Xbox 360.

Overall, they found that the PlayStation 3 averages a few frames per second less than the 360 version, but suffers from no "torn frames". The PS3 average never got about 30 in their tests, but the 360 didn't break 30 by that much.

Of course, my wallet is full of Microsoft's money... so much money!

Check it out over at Eurogamer.

 

Microsoft is claiming that 40% of consumers that purchased an Xbox 360 during the week of Grand Theft Auto IV's release were sold with a copy of GTA IV.

What does this mean? It means that GTA IV sold Xbox 360's. If Microsoft's data is correct, we could see a huge jump in system sales.

It'll also be interesting to see Sony's numbers. Many analysts were predicting strong sales for the PS3 with the release of GTA IV.

GamesIndustry.biz: Microsoft: GTA IV has 40 per cent attach rate with new consoles

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article and interview with Rockstar Games' Sam Houser on Grand Theft Auto IV and EA's potential buyout of Take-Two.

The article mostly summarizes the release of GTA IV and that it made a boat load of money, but it has an interesting statement from Houser.

If EA gets Take-Two, and therefore Rockstar, Houser doesn't foresee seeking approval from EA on content. He intends to operate independently.

We wouldn't worry about that, as EA has been extremely hands-off with its recently acquired studios like BioWare and Pandemic. That and they probably aren't itching to mess with a franchise that pulls in as much money as GTA.

Wall Street Journal: Studio Is Prize in Takeover Duel

(via Joystiq)

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