Rockstar Exec Expects GTA IV to Raise Hell

Dennis Faas's picture

A few days ago I reported on Rockstar's upcoming Grand Theft Auto IV, the controversial update to a controversial franchise from an equally controversial video game developer. The game's release date has finally been set -- it's April 29, if you're wondering -- and the company acknowledges it will probably bring them plenty of finger-waving from both the conservative and mainstream media.

There's no foolin' Rockstar. The company behind both Manhunt and the GTA series have, it's fair to say, gotten pretty used to parents, teachers, and politicians barking down their door about the impact Rockstar titles have on the general public. Last year, Manhunt 2 was outright banned in England, while American review boards demanded it head back into development to make it stomachable for the apparently fragile U.S. consumer.

Rockstar vice president Dan Houser expects similar reactions to the fourth major development in the GTA series (there were three very different editions of GTA: III, including Vice City and San Andreas). On the forthcoming criticism, Houser said, "I expect it because we've had so much of it in the past. I wish people would treat video games the same as other media. They seem to not want to do that for reasons that I don't understand. It's a convenient enemy for people."

The criticism could be greater than ever. That's because the sheer power of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 will suck gamers into the Liberty City landscape more than ever. "If the graphics are slightly cartoony, we make sure the writing is slightly cartoony to match that. Obviously, the graphics have gone closer to realism, so we wanted everything else to be closer to realism as well," Houser said. (Source:

The game will also test new limits; according to reports, gamers will finally get the chance to drive drunk and visit strip clubs (although I do remember doing so in Vice City, correct me if I'm wrong...). Regardless, GTA should spice up an otherwise tempered 2008. (Source:

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