Ed. Note: Communication Professor Dmitri Williams is an expert on the social and economic impacts of new media and video games. Below, Williams spoke with us about this week’s record-breaking release of “Grand Theft Auto V” and his work with startup Ninja Metrics.
Asciutto: “Grand Theft Auto V” released Tuesday to a record first-day sale of more than $800 million. What about this specific game caused it to steamroll its way into the history books?
Williams: GTA is the “Star Wars” of video games. The developers could roll out of bed and their next game would make a fortune. Having said that, this is a studio that’s produced consistently excellent content and so their brand value and loyalty are very high. The GTA games have been subversive, fun, high quality, and widely embraced by the core game audience of young men. This particular entry is somewhat overdue, so anticipation has built up, and it features online networked play, which has become critical over the past 5 years.
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