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Where Should Rockstar Go After Grand Theft Auto V?
Tomorrow, Rockstar will unleash Grand Theft Auto V upon the world. For those of you that may have been living on Mars, GTA V is the newest addition to the ever-popular open world Grand Theft Auto series. Having spent five years in development, it follows three main characters – Trevor, Franklin and Michael – and is set in the sprawling city of Los Santos from GTA: San Andreas, as well as a sizeable chunk of the surrounding countryside.
The hype surrounding the game has officially reached a fever pitch. There are midnight openings for the game occurring all over the world, and some are preparing for it to be one of the biggest launches of this generation.
But where can Rockstar logistically go from here?
Rockstar games are always an event to behold. They put so much development time and effort into them that they are always worth shouting about when released. The hype for them increases with each game that they release. And rightfully so, of course. Each game is intricately crafted and massive, each packed with more treasures to discover than the last. But could Rockstar become a victim of its own success?
Not long after the launch of GTA V, they are going to be putting Grand Theft Auto Online up. (October 1st to be precise.) It will take place in the same city as GTA V, but players will be able to create their own characters, have their own stories, and play with up to 16 people. Rockstar have stated that at launch, there will be 500 missions for players to go through, and they will be adding more content as time goes by. Eventually it is their dream to add other cities from past games, and to have a massive and persistent online world where players can freely flit between Los Santos, Liberty City, Vice City all in one game. Sounds like a dream, right? But then where would that leave the single player offline Grand Theft Auto games?
I am in no way stating that Rockstar don’t have anything up their sleeves. I am quite sure that they have endless amounts of ideas ready to go, each more surprising than the last game.
They aren’t short of good IP’s, either. Grand Theft Auto isn’t their only ace in the hole, as it were. In 2010 they released the insanely popular and very, very good Red Dead Redemption. Red Dead was a massive open world game set in the Wild West, and a spiritual successor to their 2004 PS2 game Red Dead Revolver. This proved to be as much of a hit with the fans as their Grand Theft Auto series, and I would be very surprised if work hasn’t already started on a sequel for the next generation of consoles.
Another IP that they have is a game called Bully, or as I liked to call it; Grand Theft Auto: The Early Years. Originally released for PS2 in 2006, it was set in a prep school in New England. The player is free to explore the school campus in the beginning and, later on in the game, the town, or to complete the main missions. It wasn’t released to as much fanfare as previous Rockstar games, but earned some well deserved praise from critics globally. It was later ported to the Xbox 360, PC and PS3. Quite recently, Take-Two Interactive filed a trademark application for the Bully franchise. Could a sequel finally be in development? Again, I would say that it is a good bet that they will, at some point, return to the franchise.
A strange one here: Agent. Originally slated to be in development for the PS3 exclusively from Rockstar North, very little is known about this title. Rockstar has yet to reveal any details regarding the setting, other than the fact that it will take place in the late 1970’s, will be set around the Cold War, and will take players into the world of Espionage, counter intelligence and political assassinations. Sounds intriguing, right? But with the PS4 just around the corner, have Rockstar shifted this to being a PS4 exclusive title? In July 2013, Rockstar’s parent company, Take-Two Interactive, renewed its trademarks of the “Agent” brand. That would indicate that work is still going on with it, and that they will reveal things only when they are ready to, as Rockstar have a tendency to do.
Whatever Rockstar chooses to do next, the future certainly looks bright for the company. The anticipation surrounding each release that they make seems to reach new heights with every title. And in an industry where some studios pump out sequels every year, the praise is richly deserved for the innovation that they bring to every game that they make. But all, of course, in their own time.