Tagged: rockstar games

Rockstar Doesn't Like Parody

I was always under the impression that the people at Rockstar were ones to embrace parody, as their games have always had bits of satire and parodies of products thrown in. Apparently, they don’t like it when someone parodies them. The upcoming Simpsons game makes fun of Grand Theft Auto and, as it turns out, people at Rockstar weren’t happy.

“I was always under the impression that when you do parody, it’s a sign of respect… If we make fun of Grand Theft Auto, we’re not going to hurt the sales of Grand Theft Auto… But yeah, we’ve definitely had some reactions – we’ve had to pull stuff from the game”, revealed Greg Rizzer, lead designer of The Simpsons.

However, not all companies are like that, and it appears the dudes (and dudettes) at Harmonix are cool. “I don’t know if you’ve seen Sitar Hero? We did Apu playing this 60-button controller and songs like Pour Some Curry On Me – we made this wonderful parody poster and the guys from Harmonix loved it and we sent them 20 copies of the poster. They just loved it so much.”

ESRB Under Fire for Giving Manhunt 2 "M" Rating

Some people just aren’t happy. Gamespot reports that the recently rerated Manhunt 2 has come under fire, specifically ESRB, who are now asked to reveal details as to what has changed since the game got the AO (Adults Only) rating. California senator Leland Yee has asked the advisory board to explain why the game has received a new rating of M (Mature); similar calls have been made by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.

ESRB president Patricia Vance has responded. She said, “Publishers submit game content to the ESRB on a confidential basis. It is simply not our place to reveal specific details about the content we have reviewed, particularly when it involves a product yet to be released. What can be said is that the changes that were made to the game, including the depictions themselves and the context in which those depictions were presented, were sufficient to warrant the assignment of an M (Mature 17+) rating by our raters.”

She also suggested that instead of making such complaints, one should work with parents to educate them about the ratings system and ask them to buy games accordingly for their children. She added, “It is a parent’s rightful place to make choices for their own children. The ESRB and console manufacturers provide families with the tools and information to help them do so.”

Politicians are tough people to please though. When contacted by Gamespot, Senator Lee responded with “What are they trying to hide?” He went on to say that the ESRB cannot be trusted for their “culture of secrecy” and blames the board for not “protecting children” from ultra-violent games.

GTA 4 Delayed

Take-Two Interactive has revealed through its conference call that Grand Theft Auto IV has been delayed to 2008. Originally scheduled for release this October, the game now has no exact release date except that it is expected sometime during February and April 2008.

The guys at Kotaku have more on the issue. Apparently, company executives Strauss Zelnick and Ben Feder were there fielding questions. When asked if any specific platform was the culprit behind the delay, Zelnick responded: “I know there have been rumors in the marketplace about frame rate and some other issues. We don’t think it’s helpful or beneficial to go into exact details of what the technological issues are. We’re pushing the envelope on both the platforms.”

He also said that the decision to delay the game wasn’t something that “Rockstar took lightly;” he goes on to mention that they reviewed a build prior to this announcement and they didn’t feel that the October release date could be met.

As for the Xbox 360-exclusive episodic content, Zelnick stated that the deal with Microsoft wasn’t affected by the delay, telling analysts that “We’re not gonna send money back to Microsoft. That’s not part of the deal.”

Take-Two Appeals BBFC Manhunt 2 Decision

Following Manhunt 2‘s rejection from BBFC over its rating, Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive have appealed the decision with the Video Game Appeals Committee. A date has now been set for the hearing, which will take into account both the BBFC and Rockstar’s position; they will also view demonstrations from the game to back up their views.

The decision of releasing the game now lies with the chairman of the VAC John Woods. BBFC originally rejected the game, effectively banning it from release, for its “unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone.”

Rockstar Making Exclusive Franchise for PS3

According to this post on the PlayStation Blog by Michael Shorrock, director of third party relations at SCEA, Rockstar is going to develop a franchise exclusive to the PS3. Though the post does not go into any detail on the project itself, it does mention Sony’s relationship with Rockstar Games, which is very good, to say the least.

Rockstar is hoping to make a game that will truly make use of the PS3’s resources, exploit the power of CELL and Blu-ray. The franchise is not LA Noire, but something all new that will be detailed soon, according to the post.

Develop Industry Awards Winners Announced

phil_harrison.jpgThe fifth annual Develop Industry Excellence Awards was held to honor the visionaries behind the greatest games in the gaming industry. Voted for by an independent panel of industry experts, this year’s winners include Motorstorm (PS3), Crush (PSP), Crackdown (Xbox 360) and many other titles. In all, there were 17 different companies and individuals claiming the 18 awards.

Evolution Studio’s PS3-exclusive racer and Zoe Mode’s Crush picked up the best new IP awards, while Traveller’s Tales picked up best indie developer and best use of a license for Lego Star Wars II. Test Drive Unlimited by Eden Games picked up the best use of online award, while Rare’s Viva Pinata grabbed the award for visual arts. Other winners include Sega, Ubisoft, NCSoft and many more. Below is the full winners list:

New Console IP
MotorStorm (Evolution/SCEE External Development)

New Handheld IP
Crush (Zoe Mode)

Best Use of a Licence
Lego Star Wars II (Traveller’s Tales)

Visual Arts
Rare (Viva Pinata)

Audio Accomplishment
FreeStyle (B-Boy)

Publishing Hero
Sega

Innovation
Real Time Worlds (Crackdown)

Tools Provider
Havok

Best Use of Online
Eden Studios (Test Drive Unlimited)

Services & Outsourcing
Babel Media

Recruitment Company
Datascope

New UK Studio
Realtime Worlds

Handheld Studio
Rockstar Leeds

Business Development
Blitz

Independent Developer
Traveller’s Tales

In-house Developer
Ubisoft France

Development Legend
Ian Hetherington

Grand Prix
Sony

Bully Gets Scholarship on Wii and Xbox 360

Rockstar Games has announced that it will release Bully: Scholarship Edition on Wii and Xbox 360 this Winter. The game will retain the gameplay of the PS2 original, but will boast additional new content, though the nature of the content was not disclosed.

Bully, before its release, had its fair share of controversy, with Jack Thompson going as far as to have a gameplay session in front of a judge to ban the game. His attempt failed, thankfully. The game has since then gone on to garner awards and achievements, putting players in the role of a 15-year old as he experiences Bullworth Academy, a boarding school.

No further details or media were revealed.