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Peter Moore bicep tattoos and a loads of cash helped to secure GTA on Microsoft’s Xbox 360
Grand Theft Auto “only on Xbox 360” to cost Microsoft $50 million

Grand Theft Auto carries an enormous fan-base as a game franchise  – one that Microsoft so desperately wanted to grab from Sony’s PlayStation 2 legion. Microsoft felt like it won a victory when it announced Grand Theft Auto IV would be launching on the same day as the PlayStation 3 version, though it wouldn’t stop there.

Word recently got out the Xbox 360 would be receiving exclusive episodic content, giving it the edge over PlayStation 3 version. Getting the exclusive content wasn’t cheap, however, as revealed in a recent Take-Two Interactive earnings call. There is a $50 million incentive to keep exclusive episodic content “only on Xbox 360.”

There will be two distinct episodic content packages related to Grand Theft Auto, each costing Microsoft $25 million, according to comments made during the conference. The $50 million may help Take-Two alleviate its recent financial woes.

“The first 25 is for the first episodic content package that’s supposed to go out and that is in March of ’08. That’s why it moved into current because it’s in the next 12 months,” Take-Two CFO Lainie Goldstein explained. “The second 25 will be for the second episodic, the episode, and that will be later in fiscal ’08.”

Despite the Xbox 360 exclusivity deal, Take-Two Chairman of the Board Strauss Zelnick believes the pull of Grand Theft Auto IV will still stir sales of the PlayStation 3. “We think that frankly, the release of Grand Theft Auto 4 is going to have a materially beneficial impact on the sales of PS3. Certainly if history is any guide, that’s going to be the case. We think this is a must-own title that will help the platform,” he said.

Zelnick also hints at differences between the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, “Obviously we’ve episodic content coming for X-Box 360 for the title and because the consoles do differ, there will be some differences in the games. My kids actually have three game consoles at home and sometimes play the same titles on different consoles and they see some differences and they find that compelling. So there’ll be – these obviously are not going to be identical experiences but they are going to be very, very close.”

Grand Theft Auto IV ships to retailers on October 16 as both a regular and special edition.

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nice tat
By audiophi1e on 6/18/07, Rating: 0
RE: nice tat
By Schadenfroh on 6/18/07, Rating: 0
RE: nice tat
By therealnickdanger on 6/18/2007 1:17:05 PM , Rating: 3
Correction: boardroom tan.

Paying $50m for anything LESS than a full exclusive is dumb, IMO. Obviously they have an army of bean counters who believe otherwise.

RE: nice tat
By walk2k on 6/18/2007 1:47:07 PM , Rating: 1
$50 is nothing for MS, they can just add it to the $5 BILLION they have already lost on Xbox.

RE: nice tat
By greenchasch on 6/18/2007 1:59:48 PM , Rating: 2
Throwing good money after bad is never smart. I agree; they overpaid for this big time.

RE: nice tat
By omnicronx on 6/18/2007 2:43:06 PM , Rating: 1
MS has 50 million lying around ready to be used for kindling and to tissue paper..

50 million is nothing to them, why are you so worried about someone else's money, when all they are trying to do is give you a superior product.

i dont know why people always get so riled up about these things.. (such as sports athletes being overpaid) its not your money why do you care.. well unless that is if you invested in Microsoft.. then i take it all back.. you have reasons to be mad haha.

RE: nice tat
By porkpie on 6/18/2007 3:10:17 PM , Rating: 3
> MS has 50 million lying around ready to be used for kindling and to tissue paper..

So? No matter how much you have, overpaying is never a good idea. What matters is whether you make a PROFIT on the transaction. Will Microsoft bring in an additional $50M to the bottom line, just from a couple of extra GTA episodes? No way. A true exclusive for that price would have been a good deal, but this is just plain silly.

> its not your money why do you care?

I don't "care". I'm just expressing an opinion. Sort of the reason for an opinion board, eh?

RE: nice tat
By omnicronx on 6/18/2007 3:24:06 PM , Rating: 2
and thats when you have to remember.. its that in your opinion that they paid too much..

obviously theirs was different, and something gives me a feeling they have a lot more information/reasons to base their actions upon

i think the value of the GTA series is greatly underestimated by the public.

but then again.. thats just my opinion :)

RE: nice tat
By porkpie on 6/18/2007 3:30:00 PM , Rating: 2
>I think the value of the GTA series is greatly underestimated by the public

Its extremely valuable. An exclusive on the entire serious would have been a lot more than $50M. An exclusive on one title alone would have been worth that.

But a couple of extra "episodes"? Come on. Whose going to buy an XBox 360 just so they can play those?

RE: nice tat
By SigmaHyperion on 6/18/2007 3:44:05 PM , Rating: 2
You clearly underestimate the value of the GTA series.

An exclusive on a GTA title would run hundreds of millions of dollars. The royalties paid to Sony alone for GTA:SA were upwards of $250 million. For just one title. You're not going to buy that away from them for less than [i]twice[/i] that.

And you say "episodes" like it's an extra hour of gameplay. Right now we have no idea what an "episode" is, but you can bet that it's more than an extra hour of gameplay if MS is plunking down $50 million for it. For Half-Life 2, which has gone to an "episodic" content delivery, Episode 1 was about 5-7 hours and Episode 2 is said to be closer to 10 hours. That's a hefty chunk of additional gameplay. Particularly with the hugely rabid fanbase that GTA has. They want every morsel they can get. It's a HUGE deal when a new trailer comes out, or a new portion of a game's website is revealed.

And don't forget, this content is highly unlikely to be free. DLC costs money. So MS will get back most, if not all, of what it put into it.

RE: nice tat
By 9nails on 6/18/2007 8:36:47 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think it's a bad deal for Microsoft. Consider that the advertising budget for this would be in the millions anyway. And you've just been informed so this advertising scheme paid off.

It's a fairly large title with a huge fan base. Dropping $25 Mil per episode is a fraction of what MS would expect to earn if GTA's fan base comes through.

RE: nice tat
By FITCamaro on 6/18/2007 3:30:29 PM , Rating: 2
So you think Google overpaid for YouTube? Or any of the other companies they've bought?

I find that when Microsoft does something, everyone calls them an idiot. When another company does something just as dumb, they're heralded as pioneers.

I own a 360 so I'm happy with this decision. I don't doubt that GTAIV will help sell the PS3 though. It'll have like, what?, 2 maybe 3 good games then? I think MGS4 and FFXIII have a better shot at moving the system.

I mean if you desperately want to play GTAIV and don't have either console, are you going to spend $300-480 to buy a 360 or $600 to buy a PS3 just to play it. And if you already have either console, you're not going to buy the other just to play it on that one unless theres a reason to. The only reason would be to buy the 360 so you get the extra content, not the PS3.

And they'll easily make their $50 million back. You figure GTA: San Andreas sold, what?, 10 million copies? If the 360 sees even half of that for GTAIV and even half of that buy the episodes at $10-20, thats $25-50 million in sales for the episodes. Plus you'll have all those people who don't have either console and go out and buy a 360 now as an installed user base.

RE: nice tat
By porkpie on 6/18/2007 3:38:59 PM , Rating: 4
> So you think Google overpaid for YouTube?

Sure do.

Trying to paint me as some anti-MS zealot is way off base. It's simple numbers. Let's assume that, before the 360 dies, MS is able to eventually stop losing money and actually winds up making money on each one. Lets be optimistic and assume they make as much as $50 on each one, averaged over the entire life of the product. Given how much they're losing now, thats a stretch, but lets imagine it.

Now, to make up a $50M charge, you'd then need to convince one MILLION more customers to buy your product. Are one million people so enamored of GTA that they'll buy a 360 just to play a couple extra episodes? Just a small part of one title in the whole series? Don't make me laugh.

RE: nice tat
By SigmaHyperion on 6/18/2007 3:47:58 PM , Rating: 2
There are other ways to make profit than selling the hardware, you know. In fact, console makers often don't. As soon as MS is making a healthy margin on the 360 it'll cut the price down.

You're presuming that those 1 million people never buy another single game. Never buy another single piece of DLC (you're also presuming these episodes are free, when they won't be, so MS will be getting it's money back on the DLC cost). Never buy any of the profit-laden accessories or download any of the other profit-laden stuff available for download on Xbox Live.

There are dozens of addtional revenue streams that each additional console sold generates.

RE: nice tat
By porkpie on 6/18/2007 3:52:48 PM , Rating: 2
> You're presuming that those 1 million people never buy another single game.

Err, no. That would assume MS made $50 off each game sold, which obviously they don't. I'm assuming that those million people make MS an average profit of around $50, which assumes the total royalties from all their games purchased minus the net hardware loss of the console itself, averages to around $50 a head.

RE: nice tat
By SigmaHyperion on 6/18/2007 6:07:31 PM , Rating: 2
You're continuing to assume that MS needs to make back the whole $50 million on the increased sales alone. It doesn't.

MS will make at least half on the DLC proceeds. MS takes a 35% cut right off the top of all transactions. You start getting a few million downloads at $10-15 each, you start making some of your $50M back in a hurry.

You make it sound like $50/head is such an insurmountable goal. For one, we know that the 360 was breaking-even on hardware costs a good 6 months ago, so it's probably making a profit by now on hardware alone (not counting warranty, marketing, etc). But that withstanding, $50 profit is nothing.

Let's go through one of these GTA:IV purchasers and the money that MS would make right off the top. Let's be conservative and say the hardware is still a break-even even another 4 months in the future from now. So that's a wash.

MS makes a $10 cut right off the top as a royalty on the sale of the game. We'll be conservative again and presume it's not a Collector's Edition even though a person buying a 360 primarily based on the release of GTA:IV and it's episodic content would probably be buying that version.

MS makes $50 when they buy XBL Gold (which most gamers will and they'll have to to get the episodic content). Fair to say they make a LARGE margin on that one. It's not like bandwidth costs MS much. Let's say $25 margin on that though I admit I really don't know.

MS makes at least a $6 royalty on the 2 episode downloads.

MS just made $41 in margin right there on just selling GTA to that one gamer. It almost completely covered it's "losses". That's no other game purchases. No other accessory purchases (like play-n-charge, VGA cables, additional controllers, WiFi, etc, all of which have HUGE margins). No additional DLC purchases (like themes, gamertags, or any other XBL downloads).

And why you continue to presume that a measly 5% or so of GTA buyers would buy a 360 just to get access to the episodic content, I don't know.
Have you been a part of the gaming revolution we're seeing thesedays? Hell have you been a part of gaming ever? Gamers are crazy when it comes to their games, they always have been, and as they've gotten older have a lot of disposable income, and put down LOADS of money for a single title.

People shoot one another to get a console. Millions of people wait in lines at stores at midnight just to get a Halo title a few hours before anyone else. Tens of thousands of people are putting down $120 to get the Legendary Edition of Halo 3 so they can get a friggin' mini Master Chief helmet. Tens of thousands of people in a matter of hours put down $250 to get a little figurine for Starcraft 2.

There are a LOT of people out there who some may argue have more money than sense. But they're a huge marketing presence. There are a LOT of people out there (to the tune of about 90% of the gaming market) with a last-gen console sitting around not sure which console they want just yet and something like getting exclusive content for the biggest franchise in the world is going to sway them considerably. Whenever a GTA game came out in the past, PS2 sales spiked by hundreds of thousands of units in the months before and after the release.

RE: nice tat
By porkpie on 6/18/2007 6:17:22 PM , Rating: 3
> MS will make at least half on the DLC proceeds

I'm not sure why you're still not getting it. Had MS not spent this money, Take-Two would have still made the episodes, and 360 owners would have still downloaded them.

MS paid Take-Two to NOT make these episodes for the PS3. The only way they can recover that cost is for some of the people who OTHERWISE would have bought it for the PS3, to buy for the 360 instead. That's it. Finit. No other options.

> For one, we know that the 360 was breaking-even on hardware costs a good 6 months ago

You're confused. ISupply said 6 months ago the cost of the components was around $323. That may be roughly equal to the retail selling cost, but that doesn't count assembly costs, warranty costs, retailers markup, or a dozen other things. MS is still losing big on the Xbox 360.

RE: nice tat
By SigmaHyperion on 6/18/2007 6:30:21 PM , Rating: 2
Way to not copy what I wrote. As well as ignore the entire point just to (incorrectly) nitpick a couple statements.

The exact thing I said was:

For one, we know that the 360 was breaking-even on hardware costs a good 6 months ago (not counting warranty, marketing, etc)

I explicitly said that MS was breaking even on JUST the cost of the hardware alone, not counting all the accessorial costs.

And you call me confused?

RE: nice tat
By 9nails on 6/18/2007 8:50:28 PM , Rating: 2
That was a long read...

But I'd agree. One could speculate that if this move brings PS3 potential buyers off the fence and into the Xbox 360 camp, you couldn't measure how much money this would make for MS! It would move Xbox 360 systems off the shelf, followed by each extra game title the consumers would buy, and this doesn't even count on a single GTA title being sold, yet. Now factor in the earning from the GTA Episodes, and MS has quickly recovered the $50 Mil.

Keep in mind GTA sells in the tens of millions. At that level MS would only need to make $2.50 off each episode to break even.

RE: nice tat
By omnicronx on 6/18/2007 3:40:00 PM , Rating: 3
good analogy!
best post here by far

RE: nice tat
By omnicronx on 6/18/2007 3:41:24 PM , Rating: 2
heh replied to the wrong poste haha ooops

RE: nice tat
By porkpie on 6/18/2007 3:50:56 PM , Rating: 2
> if even half of that buy the episodes at $10-20, thats $25-50 million in sales for the episodes

Big logic error here. Had they not paid this money, Take-Two STILL would have made those episodes and MS still would have made its royalties on the 360 sales of them.

MS paid Take-Two to NOT make this for the PS3. They only get that money back if it convinces a large number of people to buy a 360 just to play the content.

RE: nice tat
By FITCamaro on 6/18/2007 4:38:34 PM , Rating: 2
Over 10 million people already have a 360. And I'd say its a safe bet that a large portion of that will go out and buy it. I think its also a safe bet, that GTAIV will be a title that spurs people to go out and buy a 360 (or a PS3).

It doesn't matter that Take-Two would have made the episodes anyway. It matters that they'll only be on the 360 which adds incentive for those without either console to buy a 360 instead of a PS3. Most people won't be buying both so it gets more people in the 360 camp to buy more games and accessories. And those really hardcore fans of GTA who only have a PS3 at the moment have some incentive to buy a 360 to get the extra content whereas 360 owners don't have the same motivation.

RE: nice tat
By porkpie on 6/18/2007 5:04:07 PM , Rating: 4
> Over 10 million people already have a 360. And I'd say its a safe bet that a large portion of that will go out and buy it

And each and every one of those would have bought it with or without the exclusive content. An exclusive arrangement is to get people still CHOOSING between two consoles to buy yours, not your competitors.

> I think its also a safe bet, that GTAIV will be a title that spurs people to go out and buy a 360 (or a PS3).

We're talking about extra episodes , not the title itself. The title will be on both consoles, so it won't convince anyone to buy a 360 instead of a PS3.

> It doesn't matter that Take-Two would have made the episodes anyway

It matters from the perspective of trying to claim the revenues from the episodes against the $50M cost. MS would have gotten those revenues in either case. What matters is how many people bought into the console SOLELY due to this exclusive deal.

RE: nice tat
By rsmech on 6/18/2007 9:28:02 PM , Rating: 2
I respect your opinion in all but opinionated math is another. Your numbers along with everyone opposing are a little silly. If business was that basic we'd all be millionaires. I think there is more at stake here than just this one title & XBox360. For starters Xbox is a brand name like PlayStation. You are investing in the name, all returns are not immediate. This is an investment. Microsoft isn't stopping with the 360, this investment in content is to help in promoting current & FUTURE hardware. That is all that it is. When you are a small company with small ideas you look for immediate returns. When you are a large company you INVEST in future returns along with greater market share.

RE: nice tat
By Emryse on 6/19/2007 4:36:33 PM , Rating: 2
Just exactly what is your agenda here? If it’s citing your viewpoint, you did that with your first post; you said nothing new or compelling in the twenty posts thereafter. Last time I checked it was MS, not you, that generates massive amounts of profit every single year. Last time I checked it was MS, not you, that creates or sponsors all kinds of events and business interactions geared towards advancement in all kinds of tech-related platforms.

Indeed, who are you anyways to question what MS does as they are, last time I checked, arguably one of the most profitable and enterprising businesses on Planet Earth?

The issue isn't even really whether or not MS profits from the game, or even from the console (although the reality is they are profiting from both). This issue IS about, like everything MS does, promoting MS branding and penetrating that branding into all facets of daily life, whether it be business, entertainment, lifestyle, etc. Whether or not you are capable of fathoming it: they're succeeding!

You're claim that the crux of the issue only pertains to direct profitability from the game, as a direct result of this $50 M investment is foolish and one-dimensional. Were you to wisely consider the art of strategy, you would recognize the immense value this move has the potential to create for MS both now and in the future.

As a final note; if you think that the only appropriate time to make decisions on investing is when it’s all spelled out in black and white with a clear definitive of your bottom line with a sizeable profit margin – don’t engage in any form of management within a business. Profit in any form is based upon companies who take risks (calculated, as it were) to achieve success and there are no guarantees; MS is one of the largest risk-takers in big-boy business I know of; in my mind this is one key element contributing to their success. Love or hate MS policy, they are un-deniably successful – this development is just another chapter in their on-going epic saga; but for your opinion it is “end-of-story-period”.

RE: nice tat
By just4U on 6/18/2007 4:32:50 PM , Rating: 2
I don't doubt that GTAIV will help sell the PS3 though. It'll have like, what?, 2 maybe 3 good games then? I think MGS4 and FFXIII have a better shot at moving the system.

I don't plan to buy a console until FF13 comes out but I do agree with you, having popular titles (with extra's) is always a selling point for any given console.

RE: nice tat
By SigmaHyperion on 6/18/2007 3:36:31 PM , Rating: 3
No way?

You sure about that?

Microsoft sold 360s for, what, a $100+ loss for quite a while on each one sold. It thought it would make money eventually on those. The added market penetration was worth it. It now, purportedly, breaks even (if not better) on the hardware costs of the 360.

If it sells just 500,000 additional 360s as a direct result of this deal, that is exactly the same as losing that $100 on each console it sold early in the 360's life. That's nothing. That's a price of doing business -- of gaining market penetration.

And that's just a measly 500,000 units. The GTA series is the most popular gaming franchise in the world today . Each version sells upwards of 20 million copies and there is absolutely no doubt that it is a massive driver of hardware purchasing. 36 million copies of GTA games were sold for the PS2 alone -- if MS can steal just a tiny portion of that away from them it would be an absolutely killer deal for them.

If MS can intice just 10% of those 20 million people that bought GTA:San Andreas to buy a Xbox360 over a PS3 because of that exclusive content (or even in addition to the PS3, and some people will for that content alone), that $50 million only costs it $25 a console. That's nothing.

RE: nice tat
By porkpie on 6/18/2007 3:43:44 PM , Rating: 4
> Each version sells upwards of 20 million copies

Meaning that to get the needed 1M extra sales to pay off this charge, five percent of all buyers would have to be willing to buy an Xbox 360 just to play two extra mini-episodes. Come again?

Microsoft is trying to buy some status for the 360. Exclusive content is a great idea, but they overpaid for this. Add-on episodes are something you'd expect a third person developer to offer as a free download, not something you rush out and buy a console to play.

RE: nice tat
By omnicronx on 6/18/2007 3:44:06 PM , Rating: 2
every little bit will help..

RE: nice tat
By Miggle on 6/18/2007 11:35:05 PM , Rating: 2
MS may not gain anything for this. But this could hurt PS3 sales.

RE: nice tat
By Samus on 6/18/2007 4:53:22 PM , Rating: 4
good, take two needs the money. nobody better to give it to them than microsoft. if they didn't give it to them, this 'exclusive content' would never even exist, so it only benifits us, the gamer, and take two, who desperately needs it.

RE: nice tat
By spindoc on 6/18/2007 5:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
golfer's tan?

Its not a loss leader
By Killdozer on 6/18/2007 3:11:35 PM , Rating: 2
Oh somehow i doubt MS sees this as a loss, they get the "better" version of GTA and they get to rape you on points to DL the extra content.

They will make sure they earn that 50 mill back. $20-$30 an episode anyone?

RE: Its not a loss leader
By FITCamaro on 6/18/2007 6:22:22 PM , Rating: 2
I see the episodes being $10-20 at most.

RE: Its not a loss leader
By boing on 6/19/2007 4:23:17 AM , Rating: 2
if there are 10-12 million 360's they could easily sell 6-7 million coies of this game and if 5 million of those buyers go for the episodes then at 10 dollars per episode they will make their money back on episode one.

not to mention the increased hardware sales this would generate and the ensuiing live accounts and associated trading.

By Goty on 6/18/2007 7:56:40 PM , Rating: 4
There's a big loophole here that I think a lot of people are missing. This article says that the 360 gets exlusive episodic content but it doesn't say that the PC and PS3 don't get any kind of episodic content whatsoever.

RE: Loophole
By RogueSpear on 6/19/2007 9:42:50 AM , Rating: 2
I can only imagine that the legal documents behind this are pages long. Unless there is access to this agreement, nobody can really say for sure. If you look at the recently posted article about Microsoft suing Immersion over it's agreement with Sony I think that you'll agree Microsoft doesn't believe in loopholes (unless it benefits them). If there is any episodic content beyond the 360 and for the PS3 specifically, Microsoft will certainly bring it to court. The only possible exception that I could see would be if there were a PC (Vista only) version that somehow tied into Microsoft's online services.

Could be $50M well spent
By RogueSpear on 6/18/2007 1:23:57 PM , Rating: 2
I'm still finishing off some remaining titles on my PS2 and have yet to commit on a next gen console. So it's an interesting view from the outside, watching Sony and Microsoft making announcements, releasing updated firmware, updating the online services, etc. Competition truly is a good thing.

The other day when there was a report of Sony developing a new PS3 controller with rumble, I was pleased. And it seems as though Sony is truly making an effort with their firmware updates. For Microsoft, the 360 Elite is certainly a step in the right direction and hopefully they will soon follow up with the previously discussed 65nm die shrink.

This whole GTA4 thing really illustrates just how completely out of touch or asleep at wheel Sony was. First it's not exclusive, and now they don't even have a shot at the episodic content. This Microsoft exclusive might just be the tipping point that hooks up a 360 to my TV and not a PS3. I'll continue to reserve judgment until some reviewers can publish differences, pros and cons between the two systems as far as GTA4 is concerned.

RE: Could be $50M well spent
By FITCamaro on 6/18/2007 4:45:53 PM , Rating: 2
Here's an example of my point right here.

And GTA4 isn't exclusive because Sony's license on the franchise wore out. Microsoft was just getting started with the original Xbox when Sony bought the exclusive license to the franchise. This time around they're in the game and if Sony had tried to again buy exclusive rights to the franchise they would have either outbid them or made it so expensive it would have killed Sony. Microsoft has a lot more cash than Sony to buy exclusive rights to titles and content.

By omnicronx on 6/18/2007 2:04:11 PM , Rating: 3
i think this is the smartest thing ms has done in a while..
i think many people forget the reason a lot of people first bought a ps2 back in the day (well atleast for a guy in their teens and early 20's which at the time was most of the gaming market lets face it)..
#1 GTA3
#2 DVD player
i would have to say 75% of my friends bought a ps2 for that game alone period.. why do you think ms wanted a piece of the action..

im not saying gta4 will be as influential as the previous gaming titles as there are many games now that resemble the style.. but it sure as hell helps..

In my view this can only help microsoft in a major way because when it comes down to it.. all those people who dont have a ps3 or 360 who want to play their good ol GTA will probably jump on the cheaper 360 bandwagon with more content... even if the extra content blows

A little much?
By Munkles on 6/18/2007 1:57:06 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, $50m seems like a lot of money, even for MS. One things for sure, MS knows its business so there is likely more going on here than meets the eye. I would wager that $50m is likely to also include some deal about the next GTA game or Rockstar game.

MS has lots of cash, but they didnt get all that money by blowing it on stupid deals.

By compudog on 6/18/2007 2:03:23 PM , Rating: 2
It's a shame an ultra-violent (albeit one I love playing) video game garners so much attention and money.

Does this mean....
By GhandiInstinct on 6/18/2007 2:34:30 PM , Rating: 2
PC will have the episodic conent to? If so no need for a PS3 at all now.

Well except for Nba 2K8

50 Mil???
By AlvinCool on 6/18/2007 2:50:53 PM , Rating: 2
I know 50 mil is nothing to Microsoft but still, I belive that the creators of this game missed the boat. They could make 5 times that by offering a special version that allows players to carjack Gates, and other people in the computer industry, and bend them over the hood of the car.

Hey I don't say it's right, it's just how it is

Making me consider the 360
By Nik00117 on 6/18/2007 3:30:06 PM , Rating: 2
This makes me consider the 360 as a console. I bougt the PS2 for this purpose of playing GTA. In fact I sold my PS2 after I got bored of GTA III then I rebought a PS2 when GTA VC came out.

This deal is going bring MS alot of profit.

Great - guess who ends paying the bill :-(
By BZDTemp on 6/18/07, Rating: 0
By FITCamaro on 6/18/2007 5:00:57 PM , Rating: 2
Yes....that crappy Halo series that never made any money and isn't heralded by millions as one of the best game series ever....

I preordered my Xbox a year in advance from Babbages to get it so I could play Halo. Me and my friends have enjoyed hundreds of hours of shooting each other with rockets in Halo. Yes Halo 2 was a bit of a disappointment but still was a good game.

Yes, Halo was a shooter like many but it was things like the vehicles that were different than other games. It was one of the few well done shooters for a console where not having a keyboard and mouse didn't matter. It's story was top notch as were the graphics.

No mention of Live!
By InternetGeek on 6/18/2007 11:13:04 PM , Rating: 2
1) They are very interested in the Wii

2) They don't give out many details about the episodic content for the 360. It might well include MP or not, or come through live or not.

Is it weird
By leper on 6/19/2007 12:09:56 AM , Rating: 2
Is it weird to be promoting episodic content before the title is even out? Finish the main game first fellas!

GTA decline
By Sureshot324 on 6/19/2007 3:13:49 AM , Rating: 2
MS is wasting their money. GTA has had so many sequels that I doubt the series has much life left in it.

Waste of money
By henrikfm on 6/19/2007 5:10:10 AM , Rating: 2
What a waste of money, they could try to make new original games instead of GTA #22 that it's the same just with new graphics and typical stuff...

Microsoft's army of lawyers...
By GoatMonkey on 6/19/2007 8:25:30 AM , Rating: 2
...will now be taking on Jack Thomson.

Business is war!
By bkm32 on 6/19/2007 10:04:31 AM , Rating: 2
I can't say this is a surprising move by MS, it's their M.O. I'm surprised that MS didn't outright buy Take Two (makes more sense than buying Yahoo!) Anyway, MS is probably just waiving $50M in royalties from Take Two regarding this game. Moreover, expect this game to sell at least 1M copies per console in the first 24 hours, globally. The GTA franchise is just as popular in the EU as it is here.

Also, THIS GAME WILL MOVE BOTH CONSOLES!! Period. A conservative estimate is an additional 1M in the subsequent 3-4 months per console. This is expected anyway with both the rumored/expected price drops for the X360 and PS3, the Holiday buying season, and the release of exclusives for each system (Halo 3 and MGS4, maybe, respectively). Therefore, 1M copies of GTA4 selling for both systems each is not a radical estimate.

One more thing, "Bundle-maina". I remember shortly after GTA: VC was release, a PS2 bundle with GTA3 and GTA: VC was released around the holiday season. Please, believe that MS is getting something like this exclusively for it's system.

Here's the war part: currently, the X360 is outselling the PS3 2-to-1 in the U.S. (it's 1-to-5 in Japan as of May); however, the PS2 is kicking the crap out of the X360 (and subsequently the PS3). Therefore, the PS3 is winning big time in Japan (and gaining momentum in the EU and AUS) and the PS2 is winning overhere. To Steve Ballmer, Sony is winning overall. This deal with Take Two (along with the expected price drop) allows MS to slow/stop the monthly losses to the PS2 and to sway GTA fans, who purchased the PS2 exclusively for GTA: SA in the last console battle, to purchase the X360 instead of the PS3 exclusively for the extra (and expect free) GTA DLC.

That's right I said "free". Expect this DLC to be free (for the first 6-12 months or until it goes multi-platinum) for the sole purposes of selling consoles and Xbox Live Gold Accounts. Here's why. MS is about winning the numbers game in this round of console wars. IOW, marketing the brandname "XBOX" over profiting, for now. As someone so elegantly stated, investments are about future revenue. People, we're not even halfway into this console battle. MS wants to have the systems in place to accomodate its future needs, which go way beyond gaming. Remember, MS still wants control of your living room. It wants to be the exclusive content provider for your entertainment needs or (in their words) "Mediaroom". The X360 and the XBOX brandname are only a means to an end.

Therefore, expect free DLC episodes for the X360 version of GTA4 until it goes multi-platinum. Then expect a new or giant-sized version that has the original game, plus the 2 episodes, repackaged and rebundled as the "Crime-boss Edition" or the "King-pin Edition". Bethesda did this with "Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind--Game of the Year Edition", Activision did as well recently with Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, and the most famous one is Half-Life 2: the Orange Box, which includes the original Half-Life 2, Episodes 1 and 2, Team Fortress 2, and Portal. That's four (Episodes 1 & 2 account for 1) games for the price of one.

Sorry for the long post, but no one's making you read it either.

Have to agree with Zaki
By Wolfeymole on 6/18/2007 2:17:03 PM , Rating: 1
I have to agree with Zaki on this.
MS has so much money they can't be bothered to think of new concepts whatsoever.

Microsoft's only way to win is to bribe.
By daBKLYNdoorman on 6/18/07, Rating: -1
RE: Microsoft's only way to win is to bribe.
By FITCamaro on 6/18/2007 4:53:53 PM , Rating: 1
So its ok though that in the last generation of consoles that Sony bought exclusive rights to the entire GTA series so that the Xbox couldn't have the titles on it for 4 years. Granted Take-Two was able to get around it but it was a year and a half to two years later. By that time most had already bought the games on the PS2 and it was a moot release that sold but nothing fantastic.

Just another anti-Microsoft idiot.

By daBKLYNdoorman on 6/19/2007 6:27:30 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't know that Sony bought rights for the entire GTA series before.

My bad.

THe only way microsoft knows how to win
By zaki on 6/18/07, Rating: -1
RE: THe only way microsoft knows how to win
By omnicronx on 6/18/2007 2:09:35 PM , Rating: 5
so let me get this straight.. what your saying is.. microsoft should not have paid to get the most played video game of recent memory.. and just lay down and let sony have it? losing needed console and game sales?

whats your number i want you to run my company!
oh wait... the point is to make not lose money oh ya..

RE: THe only way microsoft knows how to win
By Munkles on 6/18/2007 2:17:23 PM , Rating: 2
Its not quite that straight forward. There are probably a large number of people who would still have chosen the 360 version simply because its another AAA title that is on the platform they already had a preferance for before deciding which system to purchase.

There is no gaurantee that this exclusivity will generate ANY extra sales. While almost everybody who has a 360 has and uses live, a far smaller number of those use the market place to download content. Those that do, tend to purchase quite a bit but that is still a relatively small number compared to those who dont.

Alternatively there are a LOT of consumers who feel episodic content is wrong, (I am NOT amung them) and may end up purchasing the ps3 version simply to represent their feelings on this matter.

So in this case, $50m is certainly a lot of money to put down for a NON-exclusive, Same-day-launch title simply for some extra missions that a LOT of gamers will end up feeling should have been included from the get-go.

RE: THe only way microsoft knows how to win
By omnicronx on 6/18/2007 2:31:43 PM , Rating: 2
chances are you are right.. the exclusivity will in the end probably not be worth it. but to say that MS is stupid for grabbing GTA4 on release day is just not smart, and obviously have no idea what this will do for sales for both consoles.

Alternatively there are a LOT of consumers who feel episodic content is wrong, (I am NOT amung them) and may end up purchasing the ps3 version simply to represent their feelings on this matter.

now of course if i had a ps3 i would buy the ps3 version.. but do you really think people are gonna go buy a ps3 and not buy the 360 version because of them buying episodic content? chances are the pros will outweigh any con's for ms..

in the end i think this is a win win for MS.. as the success of the 360 will not make or break the company, they just want to keep things even.. whereas the success of the ps3/blueray could possibly really affect sony.

RE: THe only way microsoft knows how to win
By Munkles on 6/18/2007 2:40:34 PM , Rating: 2

Im not saying that people would buy a ps3 just to shun MS, but for those consumers who DO have both, they may choose the ps3 version simply as an attempt to "stick it to" MS.

I also never said that MS was stupid for grabbing GTA4 on release day, I rather think this was a smart move. What im saying is that this COULD be a a VERY risky proposal as MS gains nothing out of the gate. Perhaps it would mean more to the consumer if that content was available immediatley. But as a vague promise of more to come.....

Yeah I agree Sony has a LOT more riding on the ps3 than MS does on the Xbox, the caveat to that is however that MS stands far more to gain, by winning. Sony's only net gain would be staving off financial ruin for another 5-10 years. MS can potentialy capture the market, and your home theater. IPTV is an interesting concept and is being integrated well.

My point in posting was simply out of concern for MS, this move COULD go either way and capture a significant portion of the market that is yet untapped, it could also backfire and be $50m thrown away for nothing at all. Its a move that is too risky for my blood, and one that IMHO does not fit with the MS way of doing business.

Personally, I like the PS3 as a system, I just have no reason to buy one.

By omnicronx on 6/18/2007 3:20:08 PM , Rating: 3
munkles i see what you are trying to say.

I just think MS knew they were taking a gamble, and in the end it could easily be a 50 $ flop. i think they just want people to know that the MS version will not come second to the sony version this time, wanting to move people from what they are familiar with (sony) to microsoft..

will it work.. prolly not, the game being released on release date will probably do more than this stunt ever could, but atleast they are trying ;)

personally i hope ms and sonys market share remains or becomes about even.. because both companies are well known for being dirty monopoly seeking bastards haha

RE: THe only way microsoft knows how to win
By zaki on 6/18/2007 3:02:16 PM , Rating: 1
well if they truly wanted to keep things "even" i would suggest that they spend maybe $50 million on new concepts and games..hell even if they had invested $50 million in a gta rip-off they would have gotten more respect from me, i think the whole point here for ms should be to make their own content instead of giving in to the fact that ten years of ps2 dominance has yielded franchises that they can only counter by buying them out.

By omnicronx on 6/18/2007 3:38:14 PM , Rating: 2
may i ask ... but how do you know they arnt spending 50$ or 5 times that for that matter on new concepts and new games.. well unless your work for ms.. you dont.

seems like everyone reason for bashing ms's decision is that they arent do the r&d on other games.. even though they most probably are.. probably spending a hell of a lot more than 50 mill in the process

By SigmaHyperion on 6/18/2007 6:24:29 PM , Rating: 3
MS did invest in a GTA Rip-Off. It was called Saint's Row. And if you can get past the fact that it's a knock-off GTA title, it's actually pretty decent.

Frankly I don't see what the problem is. How is MS paying Take-Two $50 for the exclusive any different than ANY company does?

Game developers are largely independent endeavours. They get their money from advances from the big guys -- sometimes they're publishers like EA, sometimes they're Microsoft, or Sony, or Nintendo themselves. It's how they get paid. it's how virtually every single game you're ever played has been financed

Do you think it's some accident that Sony had an exclusive with Take-Two for so long? Do you think it's an accident that Sony has/had one with Square-Enix for so long? What about Polyphony? Sony pays them to develop for their hardware. That's the way that these business relationships work. They front you the cash for development and you pay them back in royalties. And if you're good enough they'll chip in a lot of extra money to keep you exclusive.

Sony didn't [i]make[/i] these guys. They're not around because of "PS2 dominance". They'd have been around developing for the PC or the Nintendo or whomever else paid them the most money to develop for. They develop games. It just so happens that Sony came along and paid them money to develop for the PS2 to get it off the ground and into more people's homes. But when MS does the exact same thing, the exact same business practices that ANY other similar company does, it's a "bribe" or "lack of creativity".

Give me a break.

By zaki on 6/18/2007 2:52:45 PM , Rating: 1
you fail to understand, instead of spending money to BUY any existing great titles (such as gta, halo , and other titles that have huge following) microsoft should not sit around, it ought to invest money into new titles that could potentially be the next halo or gta. and im not saying they have not done this, its just pathetic to see them dish out %50 million, when i think they still would have had the concerned people playing gta4 on 360 anyways.

RE: THe only way microsoft knows how to win
By Screwballl on 6/18/2007 2:19:23 PM , Rating: 2
This is also how EA began its stride into our PCs... take over some small floundering companies and butcher their games (C&C anyone?) and release multiple versions/sequels that completely suck in order to line the pockets of their share holders and CEO.
Now they have a whole line of games that suck and maybe 2 in the past 5 years has not sucked. This is why I like to see companies like THQ release titles like SupCom that do not suck and drive that stake a tiny bit further into EA.

By Munkles on 6/18/2007 2:28:13 PM , Rating: 2
This is true, but in the end EA also gave us C&C 3 which by rights is an AMAZING game. I really didnt like what EA has done for the last many years but if C&C3 and Burnout: Revenge are a sign of things to come, it looks like they have learned from their mistakes.

RE: THe only way microsoft knows how to win
By Tmansport on 6/18/2007 2:52:33 PM , Rating: 1
The wii has been a sucess, but not for "original" games. I'd bet that about 75% of the games on the wii are PS2 ports with motion controls tacked on. What game has been the most sucessfull thus far... Twilight Princess, which is not original by any means. Also, the two games most people look forward to are Mario Galaxies and Metroid Prime 3, both franchised games that build heavily on previous gameplay and stories. Whether you agree with it or not, franchises are huge money makers, and not just for game companies.

By zaki on 6/18/2007 2:57:22 PM , Rating: 2
having such new types of gameplay IS what i call innovation, it doesnt matter if its happening in a brand new game, or in the third episode of an already prevalent game.

i agree that franchised games are huge money makers, thats why i think ms should spend more trying to make their own (perhaps in house) games, which have the potential of becoming the new big franchise.

This is actually the way microsoft has become successful in the gaming market, and they should not loose sight of that, because in doing so they would be the same as the competition.

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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