Monday, October 29, 2007

Game check: What can $50 million buy? Ask Rockstar*

Though the Microsoft/Rockstar* deal for extra downloadable content for the upcoming 360/PS3 GTAIV video game wasn't a big surprise, the whopping $50 million price tag was. Cha-ching!

This is not the first time Rockstar* considered an exclusive deal with Microsoft. The video game maker had originally offered Microsoft their video game series, Grand Theft Auto, as an original Xbox exclusive first, and Microsoft turned them down, according to Dean Takahashi's new book, "The Xbox 360 Uncloaked." Microsoft? PWN3D!

Not such a smart move, it turns out, as Grand Theft Auto 3 went on to become a PlayStation 2 exclusive and make Sony hundreds of millions of dollars.

Now, Microsoft, known for making mistakes and learning from them with deadly precision, knew they couldn't get the next installment to be an exclusive title without giving up Bill Gate's birthright and vital organs, decided to do the next best thing - lay down a ton of cash to secure exclusive content that will never see the light of day on a PS3. I do wonder how much it would have cost Microsoft to secure the game for just the 360 - maybe a 51 percent controlling stake in the company?

The two episodes will be available on Xbox Live after the game is released. Release dates for the content isn't known, but trust me ... after laying down $50 million for extra content, Microsoft won't let anyone forget.


Xbox fumble reference

Mad Skillz's take: While some gamers condemn this move by Microsoft, people forget one important fact - businesses are in business to make money. MS is doing that by laying down $50 million for extra content. Sure, it's a lot of money, but when gamers are thinking about what next-generation system they want, and both the PS3 and 360 versions look similar, MS is betting lightning strikes twice and that having extra content to a wildly popular game series will give them the edge. Anyone who hearts this series will die for the extra content. In the unlikelihood this title flops, well, MS will be out a lot of clams, but based on previous Rockstar* efforts with GTA, this one will be totally awesome.

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