Grand Theft Auto V breaks financial records and preoccupies students


Avery Rondinelli

This past Tuesday, the blockbuster video game Grand Theft Auto V was released to critical and financial success, selling over $1 billion in just 3 days, more than any other piece of entertainment in history in that time frame. The game has been very popular among the teenage audience, including Manual students.

Since the series’ creation in 1997, Grand Theft Auto has been the subject of much controversy due to high levels of violence, language, and other suggestive themes. Because Grand Theft Auto V is rated “M for Mature” on the ESRB rating scale, to purchase the game from most retailers, the buyer has to be at least 17 years old. “It took a week to convince my mom to let me get the game,” Ben Eastman (11, HSU) said. “I understand why she was skeptical, but I already own a lot of M-rated games. I guess it’s one of those games that everyone sees as the stereotypical ‘bad game.’”

In addition to financial success, the game has also met critical acclaim, averaging a 97 percent rating on Metacritic. “I got my copy the day it came out,” Sarah Johnson (11, HSU) said. “I’ve always loved Grand Theft Auto, which most people think is weird because I’m a girl.”

The extremely anticipated game has taken up a lot of time for lots of Manual students. “I don’t own the game myself, but I keep going down the street to my friend Derek Dorsey’s house to play it with him,” Mitchell Kahle (12, J&C) said. “It’s one of the best games I’ve ever played.”

Grand Theft Auto V revolves around 3 characters. Michael, a retired criminal, Franklin, an up-and-coming repo man, and Trevor, a lunatic smuggler who was once Michael’s partner and best friend. The three interact in the city of Los Santos, a fictionalized version of modern day Los Angeles and its surrounding areas. The group brushes shoulders with stingy celebrities, biker gangs, and other professional criminals.

The title, developed by Rockstar Games, has been under production since 2008. The previous entry in the series, Grand Theft Auto IV, made $500 million in its first week. The budget for GTAV was over $265 million, more than nearly every movie ever produced. In just a week, the game has made itself into the record books for sales on both the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.