Tuesday 23 January 2018

Game expectations off the scale

The Punt bows to no one in gaming skills. In the parlance of our times, we pity the fools who step up to frag against us.

Nevertheless, we do wonder about some of the figures being bandied about with regard to the release of the season's biggest blockbuster, 'Grand Theft Auto V'. For the uninitiated, 'GTA' is an over-18s rated game series, played mostly on Xbox and PlayStation.

It is set in a fictional US city where the central character is usually a hoodlum. Progress can be achieved not only by besting competitors, but also by casual thuggery, such as beating up prostitutes.

The game's appeal lies in the relatively vast tapestry it creates: where some games only allow you to travel within predefined paths, this allows you to veer wildly off track.

All of this costs money and the latest instalment has cost a whopping €190m to make. This is more than the sum budgeted for 99pc of Hollywood movies because of the expected financial returns.

As such, the world is being guided to expect an opening month's (gross) sales figure of €780m, vastly in excess of any film released this year.

The Punt wonders about this. Blockbuster games have been big business over the last five years. But games for consoles have been slowing considerably in the last 18 months.

The Punt will, therefore, be very surprised if 'GTA V' makes anything close to the money predictions being rehashed in the international press.

Irish Independent

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