Games Editor Alasdair Preston examines the leaked release of Rockstar’s latest offering
Last week’s hotly anticipated launch of the ambitious Grand Theft Auto V was slightly upstaged as the game leaked online four days before the September 17th release date. Savvy internet pirates managed to acquire the Xbox 360 version of the game in its entirety and share it via popular torrenting site, The Pirate Bay. Despite Rockstar’s best efforts to keep the title under wraps, videos and images of the game in play have been surfacing from all corners of the internet. The guilty parties are having their accounts banned and all content pulled as quickly as possible by Microsoft.
Further problems arose when Amazon mistakenly shipped the game a day early to many customers who had pre-ordered, an embarrassing and possibly costly mistake on their part. Some have suggested that this may have been a pre-emptive move aimed at beating any work action taken by Royal Mail.
Rockstar shouldn’t worry, as best estimates place the total number of pre-orders at around 2.5 million and Forbes has predicted launch day sales to reach 6.5 million units. The game cost around £170 million to make, more expensive than nearly every Hollywood blockbuster, and is expected to be wildly popular in the coming weeks. GTA V was produced by Rockstar North, the Edinburgh-based studio responsible for much of the GTA series, including III and IV.
Days before, Rockstar warned gamers against the “inevitable game info and asset leaks” and made a point of outlining a strict policy on people posting game content and spoilers to their website.