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Rockstar's Road To Ruin

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the was-a-nice-ride dept.

Businesses 59

Via GamePolitics, an exerpt from an upcoming Wired print magazine article on Rockstar's slide from grace. The article outlines a number of the problems we've discussed here on the site, such as their numerous lawsuits, the 'Hot Coffee' scandal, and stock-option problems. At four pages it's only a teaser for the longer article in the magazine, but it's still very much worth taking a look. "The irony is thick: The company that defined virtual criminality is now associated with the real thing. Rockstar and Take-Two executives declined to answer questions for this article, but their rich and troubled story is revealed by official documents and former employees. It seems the blokes forgot that in life, as in Grand Theft Auto, there are repercussions for the choices you make."

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They're just trying to live up to their name. (4, Funny)

L. VeGas (580015) | about 7 years ago | (#18535503)


Live fast. Die young. Leave a good looking corpse.

Re:They're just trying to live up to their name. (2, Funny)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 7 years ago | (#18535959)

The Law of the Squirrel: Live Fast, Die Young, Leave a Flat Patch of Fur on the Highway.

I call bullshit on this news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18536899)

If Rockstar was going into ruin and nobody cared about their games any longer, it would be easy to download the new GTA IV trailer that they just released at 6 p.m. this afternoon. Just try to find a decent download speed for the 720p version, just about every server hosting it is getting hammered, even FilePlanet crashed on me.

But, oh just wait until you see this trailer, this isn't your Dad's GTA game any more, it's beautiful!

Road to ruin? (5, Insightful)

syrion (744778) | about 7 years ago | (#18535513)

As far as I am aware, Rockstar still makes blockbuster games which afford them a healthy income. How, precisely, does this constitute "ruin?"

Re:Road to ruin? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18536177)

I think the writer just chose the phrase "road to ruin" for the dramatic/alliterative effect. The article itself is more evenhanded, and does not imply the company is totally stuffed just yet.

And for the record, Take-Two didn't make a healthy income in 2006, they lost over 100 million dollars (though one suspects they'll likely make it back in spades when GTA IV is released).

Re:Road to ruin? (1)

syrion (744778) | about 7 years ago | (#18536595)

Take Two loses money because they publish nothing that sells outside of Firaxis (Civilization) and Rockstar games. Everything else is somewhere between the bargain bin and B-grade.

Re:Road to ruin? (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | about 7 years ago | (#18542057)

Right because Rockstar and 2K Sports don't sell anything...

Re:Road to ruin? (1)

syrion (744778) | about 7 years ago | (#18544583)

2K sports is actually not particularly successful compared to Rockstar and Firaxis. (If you notice, I included both of those in the post you replied to.) They come in second to EA on every title.

Re:Road to ruin? (2, Insightful)

PingSpike (947548) | about 7 years ago | (#18536341)

I was thinking the same thing. For all their controversy, it seems like they're doing fine.

Plus, all that stink over hot coffee and the like probably made a lot of people want their games even more. The forbidden fruit always tastes sweeter.

Re:Road to ruin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18538723)

That guy from that blog said Rockstar is on the road to ruin. Where there's smoke there's fire. The writing is on the wall.

"Illegal" Repercussions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18535535)

"It seems the blokes forgot that in life, as in Grand Theft Auto, there are repercussions for the choices you make.""

Not if you're illegally downloading there's not.

Funny thing is... (4, Insightful)

hrrY (954980) | about 7 years ago | (#18535547)

I don't know of many game dev house's that have succeeded in creating a game that can combine aspects of multiple genre's(racing, rpg, action, 3D 3rd person, sex) into 1 game seamlessly and have it be fun at the same time(see universal combat for reference about that approach failing)So whatevs, there problems are mostly based around their success(s)in that regard and that's what sell games. What's going on with them is a reflection how our society treats things that are successful against the better wishes of those who dictate the status quo.

Re:Funny thing is... (1)

nomadic (141991) | about 7 years ago | (#18535857)

I don't know of many game dev house's that have succeeded in creating a game that can combine aspects of multiple genre's(racing, rpg, action, 3D 3rd person, sex) into 1 game seamlessly

I don't know of ANY game dev houses that have ever done that. The GTA series does some of those well, but there isn't much of an RPG aspect.

The main thing that disappointed me when I finally tried GTA games is how surprisingly non-interactive the world is. 99% of the buildings you can't enter, the people are just scenery, and the quests are way too simple and linear. Compare that to something like Shenmue, or KotOR.

Re:Funny thing is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18538361)

Shenmue is the perfect example of a great idea gone horribly wrong. Beautiful, open-ended world that winds up being boring as hell. It's just a damned shame.

Re:Funny thing is... (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | about 7 years ago | (#18542491)

I never really got the GTA allure. I actually purchase Vice City, but never got hooked. KotOR on the other hand is thoroughly engrossing. I still haven't managed to successfully play through on evil though..

Blah. (3, Insightful)

MeanderingMind (884641) | about 7 years ago | (#18535555)

I wouldn't care if Rockstar lived or died, except that Jack Thompson would take the latter as a personal victory no matter the circumstances.

Re:Blah. (2, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 7 years ago | (#18536421)

I'm sure Jack would take Rockstar living as a personal victory somehow, because he's a giant self-aggrandizing spinning ball of cook.

Re:Blah. (1)

Coraon (1080675) | about 7 years ago | (#18539551)

isnt it written somewhere that as people of the internet its our highest law that this can never happen? Jack Thompson cannot be allowed to win, that leads to the religious right of the force...

Ironic? I think not... (-1, Flamebait)

happy_place (632005) | about 7 years ago | (#18535711)

I fail to see how it is ironic... it seems to be a natural thing that a company that sells the glorification of violence and criminality would eventually become entangled in criminality.

OH wait... video games could NEVER affect real world behavior... I keep forgetting that... :rolling eyes: (having a hard time feeling any sympathy for these guys... please... someone help me care...)


Re:Ironic? I think not... (4, Funny)

PylonHead (61401) | about 7 years ago | (#18536181)

it seems to be a natural thing that a company that sells the glorification of violence and criminality would eventually become entangled in criminality.

I don't see this. You're saying that when someone creates a work of fiction that glorifies criminality, it makes them more likely to engage in criminal activity?

So by this logic, Martin Scorsese is probably up to no good? Perhaps he's beating someone to death with his Oscar as I type this?

Re:Ironic? I think not... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18536465)

Exactly. Scorsese beating someone with his Oscar is nothing, though. The shit is really going to hit the fan when iD Software manages to open that portal to Hell.

Re:Ironic? I think not... (2, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 7 years ago | (#18536855)

So by this logic, Martin Scorsese is probably up to no good? Perhaps he's beating someone to death with his Oscar as I type this?

I dunno, but I hear Quentin Tarentino and Uma Thurman have been on an international killing spree for quite a while now!

Re:Ironic? I think not... (1)

Floritard (1058660) | about 7 years ago | (#18541993)

So by this logic, Martin Scorsese is probably up to no good? Perhaps he's beating someone to death with his Oscar as I type this?

Why do you think they took so long to recognize the man? Would you hand the guy who made Goodfellas a sharp metal object?

Re:Ironic? I think not... (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | about 7 years ago | (#18544441)

Well, after reading books like "The Forgotten Soldier" and "Panzer Commander" I found myself stealing a Tiger from a WWII museum and invading Russia.

I just wish this "watching/reading about it leads to it" rule worked for sex though.

Result, not a cause... (3, Insightful)

PhoenixOne (674466) | about 7 years ago | (#18537779)

Beware of putting the cart in front of the horse.

These people had "colorful" pasts to begin with, creating and selling video games about criminality didn't make them more criminal. More likely, they picked a topic they understood and/or admired.

Same thing with video game players. Look at the past of any crazy kid that shoots up a school. They didn't start with violent video games, more likely they had abusive parents, history of picking fights, violent friends, etc. These kids are obviously attracted to violent video games, but that's a result not a cause.

Video games are a long way from being the brain-washing/reprogramming tool the media makes them out to be.

Re:Result, not a cause... (2, Insightful)

moloko_synthemesc (961937) | about 7 years ago | (#18549281)

Video games are a long way from being the brain-washing/reprogramming tool the media makes them out to be.
More like... Video games are a long way from being the brain-washing/reprogramming tool the media became decades ago.

Allow me to rephrase (1)

MMaestro (585010) | about 7 years ago | (#18539927)

OH wait... movies could NEVER affect real world behavior... I keep forgetting that... :rolling eyes:

Call me when Hollywood executives start serving prison sentences for crimes committed after being encouraged by movies that glorified violence and criminality.

Ruin, eh? (1)

nuzak (959558) | about 7 years ago | (#18535839)

If owning a billion-dollar game franchise is ruin, I'd like to be ruined too.

Take Two's management woes are not automatically Rockstar's problem. They're a subsidiary, not a department.

Re:Ruin, eh? (5, Interesting)

badasscat (563442) | about 7 years ago | (#18537161)

Take Two's management woes are not automatically Rockstar's problem. They're a subsidiary, not a department.

It's the same company. Read the article. Rockstar is not just a subsidiary, and the problems are not only Take 2's.

I used to work there, so I'm saying this from first-hand experience as well. The article is pretty much dead-on, and while a lot of the "former employees" are not named, their quotes sound 100% believable to me (and I have my suspicions who they are).

Implicit in the article but not fully explored is the fact that nearly 100% of the company has turned over in the past 4 years (including myself). Some of us left because we saw the writing on the wall, others for personal reasons. But almost all of the people that made that company what it originally was are now gone.

Re:Ruin, eh? (1)

Khanstant (1049112) | about 7 years ago | (#18546505)

Did anyone ever leave because of how terrible the animators were? Or did the animators ever leave because of their own shame?

They deserve props, no matter what (2, Interesting)

dave562 (969951) | about 7 years ago | (#18536087)

I still remember playing the first GTA, initially in standard VGA and then with the mystical "new" 3dfx card. It was by far one of the most entertaining games out at the time. I completely hated GTA2, but everything from GTA3 onward just got better and better. The guys at Rockstar created something that gamers have wanted forever... a huge world that you can run around and do pretty much anything in. I'm still convinced that if anyone came out with an MMO like GTA where you could progress to the point of being a crime boss and running portions of the city, they'd have a huge hit on their hands.

Re:They deserve props, no matter what (1)

cowscows (103644) | about 7 years ago | (#18536479)

It'd be a tough game to make though. It'd likely end up being mostly PvP gang warfare. Mostly because nobody would want to play the everyday normal people/businesses/etc that would have to make up the bulk of the population in a game like that. You could try and fill it out with NPC's, but I don't think the AI is there to make it really work. I don't think it's feasible to have a virtual city with a bunch of virtual residents realistically react to the actions of a sizeable amount of players.

I guess you could try to have employees playing scripted roles within the game, similar to what the matrix MMO did, but I don't see that as a long term workable solution.

Re:They deserve props, no matter what (1)

dave562 (969951) | about 7 years ago | (#18536673)

I agree with what you have to say about the AI. It just seems like a huge coding challenge to get a bunch of AI NPCs to react in any sort of sane way to players who pull out guns and start blasting away at each other.

Re:They deserve props, no matter what (1)

cowscows (103644) | about 7 years ago | (#18536909)

Well, you could always just have the NPC's panic and run away. But imagine having NPC's negotiate the sort of schemes that a crime boss might be interested in getting involved in. It can work in a single player game like GTA because there can be a pre-written script that presents certain choices to an individual and only has to react to one person, but that system can't really be scaled, because the game designers can't accurately predict interactions between different players.

An example that might be helpful to look at is EvE-online. It has basically evolved into two games with a little bit of overlap. You can run around by yourself, interacting only with NPC characters and going on the little missions that the devs have created, but you won't have any significant impact on the game as a whole, you'll experience very little continuity in terms of the bigger picture, and you'll miss out on half of the game. The other option is to get involved in the player driven part of the game, where things like politics, negotiation, long term wars, etc occur. It's a very vibrant part of the game, but it's almost entirely devoid of NPC interaction.

Mixing the two doesn't really work, because NPC's can't react realistically. The way eve works, however, the game universe is set up so that it still makes sense without a bunch of random civilians running around everywhere. A crime boss type game set in city would really suffer from not having a population.

Re:They deserve props, no matter what (2, Interesting)

zrobotics (760688) | about 7 years ago | (#18537915)

Personally, I think something like this would be fairly easy to do. The average pedestrian NPC's in GTA react to shootings in a perfectly sane manner-they scream and run away. Yes, it would involve a lot of pvp warfare, but that's the whole point of such a game. If there were different character classes-I.E. bodyguards, crooked cops, hitmen, etc., it would keep things fairly well balanced. If there were multiple 'gangs' in a city, the territory each gang controlled could be controlled by how much money they made from whatever illegal enterprises they controlled and how well they did in PvP warfare. Also, the quest system would be as viable as any other MMO. For instance, how many people are upset that when they are questing in, say, wow, everybody seems to be doing the same thing. In quests that involve helping some prisoner escape, or collecting a certain number of items for a NPC, it doesn't make any logical sense that the NPC would want to escape multiple times, or would need millions of a certain item, but it happens anyway. I have been waiting quite a while for a full-fledged MMO GTA, and I don't see any serious problems hindering the development of such a game.

Re:They deserve props, no matter what (2, Interesting)

dave562 (969951) | about 7 years ago | (#18547641)

What I would really like to see is a system setup where players are allowed to establish groups, buy property and then generate money from that property. The money generation should be tied to NPCs. Some NPCs could work at the property itself, where as others could be sent out on pre-scripted missions. The NPCs who generate money inside the facility should do so at a much slower rate than those who venture outside of the relative safety of the facility. For example, a property might come with a courier. The courier could be dispatched to various locations around the game world and the reward for a successful courier run could be dependent on how far the courier actually went. Other players could be assigned the task of keeping the courier alive. Rival organizations could earn money by intercepting the courier. If the courier died, there should be a lengthy respawn time... perhaps as long as thirty minutes. To add another level of complexity, organizations might be able to kidnap each others NPCs and then use them (after the appropriate period of indoctrination by a player with the required skills/abilities to do so).

By including bodyguard like AI, other NPCs could be assigned to the primary NPC. Depending on the dynamics of the world, giving the courier bodyguards might not be the best thing to do because it would make the courier a more visible target. I've been mainly thinking about these types of AI in a Shadowrun-esque MMO. In such a setting, rival organizations might have to hack into each others networks in order to obtain intel on the couriers... without the intel, the courier would just appear as a standard NPC.

Re:They deserve props, no matter what (1)

Null537 (772236) | about 7 years ago | (#18538893)

...mostly because nobody would want to play the everyday normal people/businesses/etc that would have to make up the bulk of the population in a game like that.

Yeah, and nobody would ever fish for hours on end to catch a specific type of fish in a video game either...

Re:They deserve props, no matter what (1)

TeraCo (410407) | about 7 years ago | (#18539403)

For the most part people don't fish because they like to fish. They fish because they need money, they need specific types of fish for buffs, or they're after Mr Pinchy.

Re:They deserve props, no matter what (1)

SaDan (81097) | about 7 years ago | (#18627915)

People play in Second Life, and there are plenty of gold farmers in other online games. Make the role of an average citizen/shopkeeper in this world so that there is some miniscule financial reward, like the gold farmers get, and you'll have plenty of people willing to play!

Re:They deserve props, no matter what (1)

Eric52902 (1080393) | about 7 years ago | (#18536511)

No doubt they would have a hit. That would make for a great game and I'm sure a large chunk of the gaming community would hit euphoria over it. The problem lies in making such a game balanced for the muscle in the organization so that they are still entertained. You also need to figure out how to handle an MMO composed entirely of complex cityscapes with hundreds or thousands of players in close proximity. The GTA game design is a thing of beauty. I'm not sure how accurate it is to say that Rockstar is in ruins. The GTA franchise alone has a lot of steam left in it if Rockstar has the good sense to infuse it with some new features and such. I still don't understand how people can get so irate over the violence. We've been experiencing increasing violence in all forms of media, from the news to television to movies and yes, even video games. Is it right? Who am I to judge? I _don't_ think it's a problem though. Not yet anyway. I am by no means condoning a return of Roman gladitorial games, but a degree of violence is understandable. It's simply the way of the world, is it not?

Re:They deserve props, no matter what (1)

dave562 (969951) | about 7 years ago | (#18536723)

You're mystified by the violence, I'm mystified by the sex. I can understand why people have an aversion to violence. In my own life, I started training kung fu about five years. The more I learn, the less I want to fight. I think some of my own aversion comes with age, and the fact that it takes longer to heal as you grow older. I think it's all to easy to cultivate a blaise attitude in kids where they don't respect someone else's mortality long before they have even begun to grasp how mortal they are themselves.

Who cares... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18536255)

...the first trailer for GTA IV is out!

Too soon to call (2, Insightful)

Belgand (14099) | about 7 years ago | (#18536659)

I think this is well before the time that anyone can say Rockstar has failed. Since the Hot Coffee controversy they haven't released any really high-end games. Sure there have been a few titles, but mainly just portable GTA3 spin-offs and other properties that aren't nearly as hot. Bully, their last controversial title, didn't make much of a splash when it finally arrived. It received generally above-average reviews (and is on my personal wishlist still), but the brewing complaints from the usual groups seem to have backed off.

If GTA4 comes out and does poorly then there will be the argument that Rockstar is losing it, but otherwise... well, it's pretty heavily anticipated.

Re:Too soon to call (1)

badasscat (563442) | about 7 years ago | (#18537303)

Since the Hot Coffee controversy they haven't released any really high-end games.

Both Bully and The Warriors were supposed to be "high-end" games. (In fact, everything Rockstar releases is supposed to be "high-end" - they're the label Take 2 slaps on its high-end franchises. What isn't released under the Rockstar label gets the Global Star or 2K labels.) The fact that they didn't make much of a splash is a big part of the problem.

Rockstar basically pays for its existence with GTA, which is what it was founded on to begin with. That's fine when every iteration sells 10 million copies, but as the article points out, sales have been dropping ever since San Andreas (and there have been at least three separate GTA releases since then). True, some of that is down to the user base of the PSP and the fact that the PS2 versions were developed for lesser hardware, but then back in the days of GTA3, it was the game driving sales of the console. That's no longer really the case.

GTA4 is a lot more anticipated than Vice City Stories for the PS2, but then it's also going to be appearing on systems with a lot smaller user bases. The question is whether it can drive system sales like GTA3 did - I doubt it. Too much competition these days; I mean I don't agree with this, but some people think games like Scarface have actually improved upon the GTA formula by now. So I think GTA4 is guaranteed to be the slowest selling full-fledged GTA game since GTA2.

The danger is obviously that a company that's basically a one-hit wonder is eventually going to run out of luck with that one hit. Rockstar has been trying for almost a decade now to build new franchises, but none have ever really caught on. Oni, Smuggler's Run, Midnight Club, Red Dead Revolver, Bully, The Warriors - all these games and more were supposed to be new "tentpoles" for the company and they all ended up at best as minor franchises and at worst as outright bombs.

Rockstar's not on its way out of business, but they definitely have a lot of problems right now.

Re:Too soon to call (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18544523)

Umm... What about Max Payne? I don't really like the GTA series that much, but both Max Payne and Max Payne 2 were easily among the best games I've played. Not to mention how successful the first game was across all platforms. (I know, it was a while ago...) But everything Remedy has made has been great, I'm thinking that Alan Wake will be a far more engaging gaming experience than any GTA game to date.

Re:Too soon to call (1)

Belgand (14099) | about 7 years ago | (#18551791)

While I would definitely agree that GTA is the only series of note from Rockstar, I wouldn't claim that just because their PSP versions (and the PS2 ports of them) of GTA didn't do very well there's any problem with them in the future.

I'll also gladly acknowledge that being tied to one single franchise isn't a good idea for a company. Even among other companies who have blockbuster success with a limited number of titles in a contiguous franchise iD kinda has two or three franchises and Blizzard has three (and have been expanding their market away from just the RTS market with amazing success).

Still, the point I was trying to make is that Rockstar is a company that lives and dies by the success of Grand Theft Auto. If Bully doesn't do so well... eh, no huge deal. The Warriors!?!? Did anyone really expect it to do so well before release that they even bothered with it that much? GTA IV though... well, when the trailer was released the other day sites hosting it were quickly swamped and a number of sites posted their thoughts on the trailer and what it meant for the future of the series.

If GTA IV is a flop then there's a reason to say that Rockstar isn't doing so well, but until then it'll just be business as usual.

Personally I agree that a small user base is going to be the biggest problem with GTA IV selling huge numbers. The difference is that I think the ungodly high price of the PS3 is what's going to keep it down. Even with a killer app the system is priced too high to be sold by a single piece of software. You're going to need a couple of really highly-anticipated AAA titles coming out in a short period of time (and people with a lot of spare cash, of course) in order to drive the sale of the PS3 at it's current price point. If GTA IV, MGS 4, and uh... Devil May Cry 4 all come out in short order then yeah... PS3s will start selling heavily, but I still doubt that they'll ever sell as quickly as the PS2 did.

I just saw the trailer for GTA IV (3, Insightful)

Jeppe Salvesen (101622) | about 7 years ago | (#18536753)

.. and whatever they have done in the past: If the gameplay is as good as the trailer, then they'll become the new Google with unlimited money so that they can buy all the lawfirms and all the judges in the world!!!!

Re:I just saw the trailer for GTA IV (1)

beef623 (998368) | about 7 years ago | (#18537119)

The trailer was pretty good, if it's all in-game stuff like they claim it will be an awsome game. I don't see them going under any time soon.

Hot Cofee "Scandal"? (4, Insightful)

nog_lorp (896553) | about 7 years ago | (#18537985)

I wouldn't call it the Hot Coffee "Scandal" so much as the Hot Coffee Farse. Disregarding that fact that ILLEGAL reverse engineering is required to view the Hot Coffee minigame, the original minigame itself contains NO NUDITY. If clothed people bumping into eachother should be marked 18+, kids won't be able to buy many videogames anymore. Nudity is acheived by editing the models as well as enabling the minigame in the first place. Saying RockStar is somehow at fault here means every software/game publisher ever is just as liabe - you can add pornography to anything. The whole deal is stupid for so many other reasons as well - horrific violence is ok but small amounts of sex isn't? What the fuck. How many people do you expect to beat to death with a baseball bat in your life? Now compare that to how many people you expect to have sex with. Point made. Also, no "concerned parent" can whine about this. "Oh my god, with GTA:SA and unrestricted internet axis, my children can see porn!". The internet has porn, RockStar is not at fault for that either, in case you wanted to claim it was. ~nog_lorp

Re:Hot Cofee "Scandal"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18538899)

Now compare that to how many people you expect to have sex with.
Um, this is /. ...

Decent mirror for the trailer (1)

CelticLo (575344) | about 7 years ago | (#18538267)

Microsoft should least survive a slashdotting:
http://assets.xbox.com/en-us/games/g/grandtheftaut oiv/grandtheftautoiv.zip [xbox.com]

Rockstar, well their website doesn't usually:
http://media.rockstargames.com/flies/1280x720.zip [rockstargames.com]

Streaming the 720p trailer to an xbox360 looks really good, here's some more HD wmv files:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/musi candvideo/hdvideo/contentshowcase.aspx [microsoft.com]

well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18540587)

But, others argue, the tirades were part of the Housers' overarching obsession with quality.

Probably more due to their overarching obsession with cocaine, I would have thought.

Let's check the mainstream media (2, Interesting)

sesshomaru (173381) | about 7 years ago | (#18541221)

Ah, for an unbiased view (I kid, of course), let's check the mainstream media:

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A feisty shareholder revolt at Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. this week offed nearly as many executives as virtual characters in the video game company's violent titles.

Financial analysts and child advocates said only a thorough purging at the top would reverse the accounting and ethical lapses at the publisher of the popular, murder-your-way-to-victory video game "Grand Theft Auto." With a new CEO and several new board members now leading the company, that's what they got.

"If you look at the content of what these guys have distributed, it's so offensive and inappropriate. It's not surprising to learn they had committed massive acts of fraud at the board and CEO level," said James Steyer, CEO and founder of San Francisco-based multimedia ratings group Common Sense Media Inc., a nonprofit that rates video games and other content for violence and other factors. "The chickens have come home to roost for this company _ and I say good riddance to these guys."


Financial analysts have criticized Take-Two for relying too heavily on relatively uncreative sequels, sports games and bloodthirsty "first-person shooters." While so-called hardcore games remain popular with teens and young men, new online genres _ trivia quizzes, word games and multiplayer role-playing games _ are catching on with women, older players and millions of mobile phone users.

Child advocacy groups and legislators are Take-Two's biggest foes, complaining that the company produces the industry's most violent, mean-spirited games.

In "Grand Theft Auto," players shoot pedestrians and police with reckless abandon. Another hit is "Bully," about a slingshot-wielding 15-year-old at Bullworth Academy boarding school, whose motto is "Canis Canem Edit," Latin for "dog eat dog."

Take-Two is best known for a version of "Grand Theft Auto" that included a hidden, lewd scene that sparked a 2005 congressional uproar. -- Investors Laud Video Game Co.'s Upheaval [att.net]

Let's see, this AP article could have been written by Jack Thompson. It is extremely poor journalism. Has Rockstar ever even published an FPS? These are the people (AP) who many people rely on for information on world affairs, and in helping to determine who to elect into office, and their "facts" resemble the ones that used to be put forth by Cotton Mather [wikipedia.org] at the average Salem witch-trial.

Prediction, when Grand Theft Auto 4 comes out, expect these same "child advocacy" censorship groups to be saying, "Looks like Take Two didn't learn their lesson."

I forget, what video games did Enron make?

Not completely their fault (0, Troll)

darCness (151868) | about 7 years ago | (#18542123)

The Hot Coffee "scandal"? Please, it was only a problem because of the Puritans that still infect offices like the FCC in this country.
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