The GTAIV Effect

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So you’ve stumbled upon today to see what’s new and you find yourself wondering, what is the GTAIV Effect?

In my honest opinion, I feel that that GTA3 was the reason why the Playstation 2 pretty much dominated last generation. Also you can’t deny that the PS2 arrived during the DVD revolution which also helped it alot. Sony secured GTA3 for an entire year exclusively on the Playstation 2. They also had timed exclusivity for all of the GTA3 sequels. Rockstar created an incredible franchise and GTA3 was the reason many people bought the PS2 and later Xbox consoles.

GTAIV had just as much of an impact as GTA3. This time however, it was a multiplatform release for both the PS3 and 360. So far the game has sold 4.23m on the PS3 and 5.74m on X360. It was a huge success on both platforms. Do you think if it was PS3 or 360 exclusive it still would have sold nearly 10m copies?

Other 3rd party developers and publishers have taken notice of the success that one game can have on multiple platforms. Even Capcom has seen it with DMC4, just not as much. With the success of GTAIV, it’s almost guaranteed that a AAA title like…hmmmm…Final Fantasy XIII would sell well on both platforms. So far the combined installed base of the PS3 and X360 is 34 million. That’s 20 million for X360 and 14 million for PS3. So why WOULDN’T more 3rd parties start going multiplatform?

I’ve stated many times in different articles why 3rd party games should always be multiplatform. It’s the 1st party games that define a system, not the 3rd party. It’s true that many GREAT franchises started out as exclusives on the PS2, but you have to remember that PS2 completely dominated last generation. The Gamecube was smothered in Nintendo 1st party games and the Xbox was a year too late to threaten the PS2. Many gamers, particularly Playstation gamers, think that games like Final Fantasy, GTA and Devil May Cry are Playstation franchises that should stay on the Playstation. Might I remind you folks that are nodding your head in agreement that the Final Fantasy franchise started on the NES and the GTA franchise started on the PC.

Things change with time. You’d have to be blind not to see that this generation is the most healthiest we’ve had since the Sega Genesis/SNES days. As gamers, we win! We have a choice and aren’t left out in the cold. We get the best 3rd party games and the best 1st party exclusives of each system. So if we are bathing ourselves in great games, what’s wrong with a company like Squarenix getting a big payoff with their largest franchise? I think I mentioned on the Warzone that the hold up with FFXIII was the fact that they were making a 360 version. So before I end this article, think to yourself…where’s Tekken 6? Yes, Tekken 6, that game that is already finished on the PS3 hardware will be multiplatform. Don’t forget that Namco is seeing huge numbers from the multiplatform fighting opus called Soul Calibur IV. Why not maximize profits with Tekken 6? Mark my words on this one folks.

So what’s the GTAIV Effect? It’s the ability to see that there is success in both next generation platforms. Game development is an art form, but there’s also a business side to it too. It’s the business part of the industry that has companies like Capcom, Namco and Squarenix putting their best IP’s on both systems. This isn’t wrong, it’s right. It’s business and the only ones that lose are the ones who don’t own a next gen console.


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