New York (NY) – Following weeks of growing hype and illegal downloads of the dame surfacing across the Internet, Rockstar Games and publisher Take Two today released Grand Theft Auto IV for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.
Set in Liberty City, which is described as a “painstakingly detailed and life like city” by the developers, players are being thrown into a “rich, immersive narrative experience” with up to 15 additional players online. The environment departs from previous releases of GTA and features a slightly different plot. Players slip into the role of Niko Bellic, who moves to Liberty City, only knowing his cousin Roman, an owner of a small taxi business. Niko eventually ends up tracking down the person who betrayed his former army unit.
GTA IV received overwhelmingly positive reviews from game sites so far and it is generally expected that the title could surpass the launch sales of Halo 3, the biggest launch title to date. Analyst recently said that GTA IV could sell as much as nine million boxes in the launch period, generating revenues of more than half a billion dollars. Other voices believe that revenues will hit more than $800 million by the end of this year.
But even if the game does not surpass Halo 3’s mark, it is clear that more and more video games are now raking in more cash than the most successful movie titles.