Amazon smashes Grand Theft Auto 5 embargo

The online retailer shipped copies of the game five days before it was released. Presumably developer Rockstar is feeling decidedly gangster-ish...

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 01 Dec 2014
Rockstar North might be forgiven for wanting to kneecap Amazon after it shipped copies of the developer’s latest game, Grand Theft Auto 5, before its official launch on Tuesday. Apparently, customers of the online retailer began receiving copies of the game on Saturday.

Non-gamers might wonder what all the fuss is about – after all, it’s only a few days – but the move means the lucky few who have received their copies have begun posting spoilers online. That’s the geek equivalent of thumbing their noses and shouting ‘nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh’. Or, you know, smashing up other gamers’ Bentleys and stealing their girlfriends. Whatever…

GTA is a controversial game at the best of times: its premise is to steal cars, shoot people and generally engage in anti-social behaviour in ‘Los Santos’, an imaginary gangsters’ paradise that looks suspiciously like Los Angeles.

So highly anticipated is the game, it’s already been subject to a leak: in August, Sony had to apologise after audio which gave a hint about the storyline was let slip online.  

The game is big business for the UK development industry: a report by the Scotsman reckons it cost £170m to develop, making it one of the most expensive games ever made. That said, it’s expected to rake in £1bn in sales.

Sod stealing cars and shooting mob bosses: the real way to make cash these days is in the far more benign pursuit of creating video games…

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