Just a few short days after celebrating the 10th anniversary of Grand Theft Auto III, Rockstar Games has announced the next stage of evolution for their iconic crime franchise. The developer’s official website has been taken over by a simple, stark title — Grand Theft Auto V — with a tiny promise at the bottom: “Trailer 11.02.11.” So, for the next eight days, with no other information from the famously secretive Rockstar, we’ll have to simply ponder the implications of the fact that the “V” is illustrated like a dollar bill. (Could the series be shifting focus to white collar crime? So, in this case, “Grand Theft Auto” refers to the decimation of the American automobile industry by the preying mantises of Wall Street? Hey, my dad would totally play that game.)
There have been assorted rumors that the next GTA would be set in Vinewood, the version of Hollywood featured prominently in GTA: San Andreas, which makes a certain amount of sense — the series has always satirized Hollywood visions of criminality. When I recently talked to Dan Houser — Rockstar’s VP of Creative and a key creative voice behind the series — he kept mum about the future of the franchise, but he did make it somewhat explicit that Rockstar viewed GTA as an essentially American story, which means the occasional rumors about a foreign-metropolis sequel are probably untrue. (Sayonara, GTA: Tokyo! Do svidaniya, GTA: Moscow!)
It’s not unusual for big games to be announced a long, long time before the release date, so there are plenty of other intangibles at work here. (Since there’s still no official word on the long-rumored XBox 720 or the PlayStation 4, it seems like this new GTA will be a send-off for the current generation, rather than a pioneer for the next one.)
We should know more next Wednesday, so let’s start the conversation: What would you like to see in the next Grand Theft Auto? A return to past locations, like Vice City or San Andreas? A new Rockstar-ized version of an American metropolis? Or would you like to see another historical game? Post-war Detroit? Depression-era D.C.? Silicon Valley in the mid-00s?
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