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What is Rockstar’s new billion dollar next-gen game?

Wednesday, 14th May 2014 10:48 GMT By Matt Martin

GTA V has passed $1 billion in sales and developer Rockstar is gearing up to reveal a new game for next-gen consoles. What’s next from the creators of Grand Theft Auto?

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Last night Take-Two confirmed that an unannounced game from Rockstar would be released on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 by the end of March 2015. I know, right?

What are the chances of a new Red Dead compared to the return of Midnight Club, and should we stop speculating right now and accept that it’s going to be an upgraded port of Grand Theft Auto V?

We take a look at the potential of Rockstar’s franchises and when we last saw releases from a developer that is notorious for taking its time.

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Grand Theft Auto V

Last seen: Grand Theft Auto V (Xbox 360, PS4) – 8 months ago (Sept 2013).

Why: It’s already made $1 billion in sales and sold-in 33 million copies on Xbox 360 and PS3. It prints money as easily as Michael, Franklin and Trevor rob banks. It’s a brilliant game.

Why not: Rockstar may think it’s a little too early to release on next-gen systems, cannibalising perfectly healthy sales on the old consoles. It may have put all its development resources into the Xbox 360/PS3 versions of the game, and the devs are just not ready to shift the game to Xbox One and PS4. Yet.

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GTA Online stand alone

Last seen: GTA Online – 7 months ago (October 2013).

Why: If the full GTA V experience isn’t ready yet, why not spin-off the online component for the time being? The two launched separately on last-gen systems, so why not take a similar approach to this gen with an effectively smaller, digital download-only launch?

Why not: Digital downloads are the future but are they high enough on the Xbox One and PS4 for Rockstar’s parent Take-Two to make enough money back? This is a publisher that likes money, remember, and is patient enough to wait around to make sure the audience is there.

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Red Dead Rebellion

Last seen: Read Dead Redemption – 4 years ago (May 2010), Undead Nightmare – 3 years, 7 months ago (Oct 2010).

Why: The Red Dead series is second only to Grand Theft Auto in Rockstar’s diamond-encrusted portfolio. Rebellion has already been rumoured. The RAGE technology behind Red Dead Redemption was slick – a passable visual upgrade for a new Red Dead wouldn’t cost as much as building something from scratch. No one else has a Wild West franchise that makes money.

Why not: This analyst who suggested a new Red Dead game would be out by the end of the year was probably drunk when he dreamt it up but his idea has snowballed in our collective unconsciousness even though it’s just not ready yet. There were six years between the release of Red Dead Revolver and Red Dead Redemption.

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Max Payne 4

Last seen: Max Payne 3 – 2 years ago (May 2012).

Why: Max Payne 3 must have cost an absolute fortune to make. It took NINE years. Why not get some of those costs back by tarting up that famously squinting face and throwing it on next-gen for a quick buck?

Why not: Most of the team who made Max Payne 3 have left Take-Two/Rockstar. To reiterate: Max Payne 3 came out NINE years after the original. No one really cares about Max Payne anymore.

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Bully 2

Last seen: Bully – 6 years, 10 months ago (Oct 2006).

Why: It’s a fanboys dream. Bully was funny. And distinctive. And anarchic in a Beano-meets-GTA way. This trademark.

Why not: It’s too niche. The days of niche are over. Can it make $1 billion? Not on your nelly, grandad. Give up the dream.

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Rockstar Table Tennis 2

Last seen: Rockstar Table Tennis – 5 years, 7 months ago (May 2006).

Why: Rockstar famously tested the Xbox 360 and PS3 markets with a gorgeous, slick, fun and simple sports game. It cost relatively little to make compared to big Rockstar franchises. It sold at a lower retail price than normal games. Rockstar could take the same approach and dip its paddle in the next-gen waters again with a little sequel to test the Xbox and PS4 markets.

Why not: Table Tennis is cute but it’s not going to draw a new crowd to Rockstar Games or the home consoles. Maybe it would have worked better if Kinect was still a viable option for developers (oooh, we went there!).

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Agent

Last seen: Logo and a few words at E3 – 4 years, 11 months ago (June 2009).

Why: It was originally announced as a PlayStation exclusive but there’s no reason to stay loyal to a particular format – that thinking just restricts your sales. Originally said to be a 1970s spy and espionage thriller, the project has been quiet enough that maybe all that time has been spent working on a game that takes lessons from GTA and L.A. Noire and adds stealth and retro style on top.

Why not: Maybe the project has been shrouded in secrecy because it no longer exists. One logo, that’s all we ever saw. One. Logo.

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The Warriors 2

Last seen: The Warriors – 7 years, 7 months ago (Oct 2005).

Why: Because we need an ultra violent third-person beat ‘em up based on an iconic gang movie.

Why not: The Warriors was a vanity project for the Houser brothers who wanted to create a game based on one of their favourite films. That’s like me writing about rap music on a video game site just because I like rap music. It’s not going to happen.

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Midnight Club 5

Last seen: Midnight Club: Los Angeles – 5 years, 7 months ago (October 2008).

Why: Because Rockstar make really good specialist racing games but we forget that with all the guns and explosions and drugs and sex in GTA games. Midnight Club has done well across two console generations, what’s stopping it from blazing across Xbox One and PS4?

Why not: The market for racing games is deflating like a worn tyre. EA has given Need for Speed a year off and shit-canned its original Burnout studio. Games like Forza Horizon are the new posterboy racers that a Midnight Club needs to race for pink slips.

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L.A. Noire 2

Last seen: 3 years ago (May 2011).

Why: Rockstar doesn’t give up on flawed games if there’s still potential. For all of L.A. Noire’s faults it’s still a unique, stylish and visually stunning game. With more work around the detective mechanics, there’s no reason why Cole Phelps couldn’t pick up his badge again.

Why not: The whole Team Bondi situation sure turned into a mess didn’t it? Who knows what legal issues are still ongoing with that company and its clusterfuck development process. Rockstar may be wise just to steer clear.

Remember this though: almost all of Rockstar’s games are delayed from their original release date.

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20 Comments

  1. Reddpayn

    It must be an amazing, innovative and the most ambitious game to date. And ofcourse, only available on next gen consoles ;)

    #1 8 months ago
  2. Erthazus

    I want Agent more then Red Dead because Cold War setting could be a big deal and we don’t have enough stealth games and especially good stealth games. Thief was a complete disaster and a failure. SC:Blacklist was mediocre. MGS:GZ is okay and MGSV:TPP is so far off right now and it will be probably good but it’s only one game.

    Red Dead would be great too as the alternative.

    P.S.
    I would not call GTAV a brilliant game. Open world is great but the game is very linear at it’s structure (there is almost no sandbox elements in it except for maybe hunting missions) and the second half of the game is weaker then the first half. But of course glitchy and under developed online. I don’t want Rockstar to continue this path of linear open-worlds. They should embrace the concept of sandbox gameplay that lacks in their games.

    #2 8 months ago
  3. silverstorm

    A new Red Dead is what will make me buy a PS4, if it won’t come to PC ofc.

    #3 8 months ago
  4. mxmassef

    @Reddpayn
    It might come out to pc but I dont think so :) . Well atleast my ps4 is more than ready to swallow rockstars new game in to its core :D .

    #4 8 months ago
  5. Matt Martin

    I’d like a new Read Dead and Midnight Club. Agent would be a great surprise but I think we should give up on the dream.

    #5 8 months ago
  6. Erthazus

    @Matt Martin I’m not giving up on it. In the past they said they had it in development for some time. Cold war setting with stealth from Rockstar can be a start of a sandbox gameplay.

    Red Dead Redemption announcement was also a surprise because no one expected that you can turn bad Red Dead Revolver in to the franchise.

    #6 8 months ago
  7. pukem0n

    i’d love to see LA Noire 2.

    only full price game i ever made 1000G on ^^

    #7 8 months ago
  8. Rockstar Vienna

    My money’s on GTA V for the new console generation. Think they could announce something at E3. If the rumors are true, Rockstar or at least Sony could come out on stage, announcing a PS4-Bundle for example. Who knows…

    But i’d prefer a new Red Dead, that’s for sure. Redemption was one of the best, if not THE best game of the 7th console generation imo. Epic story, great visuals and one of the best main caracters to date. Can’t wait for E3! :D

    #8 8 months ago
  9. Sadismek

    I’ve said it a hundred times on this site and I’ll say it even more: Red Dead Redemption was the second coming of Jesus for me, no kidding, and the ultimate reason I bought a PS3. If the second one comes out only on consoles, I’ll sell a kidney for a PS4 right. now.

    #9 8 months ago
  10. Persia13

    Dear god, I dont ask for much but let it be Midnightclub.

    #10 8 months ago
  11. AmiralPatate

    What about GTA V PC? No one? No? OK.

    #11 8 months ago
  12. ManuOtaku

    Truth be told, with that great list of games, whichever might be, gamers will win. I cannot made my mind which i do prefer the most.

    #12 8 months ago
  13. mistermogul

    A new Red Dead or Agent for me please R*

    #13 8 months ago
  14. tmac2011

    im hoping its read dead 2

    #14 8 months ago
  15. GK

    99% that are not RD2,LA Noire 2 or others.i think that is gonna be remastered GTA 5 or RDR remastered.

    #15 8 months ago
  16. Stephany Nunneley

    New Red Dead or GTFO. :D :D :D :D :D

    #16 8 months ago
  17. Bringit

    T2 predicts maximum revenue of $1.35bn for the next financial year. Rockstar games are expected to account for 45% of that. So it’s new game is not going to be worth $1bn. Unless it’s scheduled to arrive right at the end of the FY. Then it could be Red Dead

    #17 8 months ago
  18. kingy

    No one remember man hunt ??

    #18 8 months ago
  19. Rockstar Vienna

    BTW… The game has passed the $1 billion mark 3 days after the release! GTA V has already generated an estimated $ 1.98 billion in retail sales.

    #19 7 months ago
  20. cityoftreesca

    It will be Agent, Rockstar has kind of hinted at it on social club for a minute now.
    Only other thing it could be is like a standalone PS4 version of GTA and then Agent later in the year or the next

    #20 7 months ago

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