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Rockstar: Best console games come at the end of the lifecycle

Writer Dan Houser on why GTA 5 isn't next gen

GTA writer Dan Houser has explained why Rockstar decided against developing the next instalment of its flagship Grand Theft Auto franchise for next gen.

"Rockstar is a content company, not a hardware company," he said in an interview, published by Japanese magazine Famitsu and translated by Polygon.

"We use the technology we have to create content, and we try not to let ourselves get beholden to the hardware. The fact that hardware's so mature right now is exactly why we're able to go on to the next level. GTA 4 was our first attempt at a new platform and HD visuals, so the first part of development was seriously difficult."

Grand Theft Auto 5 is due for release next spring on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

"Now we know what the hardware's capable of, so it's become a lot easier to move things along and a lot more fun, too. GTA: San Andreas came out at the peak of the PlayStation 2's cycle, and we put out a really good game thanks to that. All the best games for a console come out at the end of the lifecycle, right? So now's the best timing of all."

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Latest comments (8)

Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters4 years ago
Edit: Misunderstood his point, originally.

However, I disagree. The games I enjoyed the most in this generation were near the beginning of the cycle. These days they all seem to be tired sequels.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Dave Herod on 14th November 2012 12:44pm

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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.4 years ago
I can see it going either way.

Some studios take their biggest risks at the beginning while others, like Rockstar, perfect their abilities near the end.
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Stephen Woollard Online Infrastructure Specialist, Electronic Arts4 years ago
I think the main point here is that by the end of a console lifecycle, game teams have learned the leverage the full capabilities of a given platform, how to squeeze the most out of it so in that regard the article makes a good point.

I think Dave's point about sequels is more indicative of the industry in general rather than where we are in the console lifecycle. I have no doubt a lot of titles on the next next-gen will be sequels, or at least franchise titles. Personally I don't mind sequels if they're done well - if I enjoy a game then I want more of it, whether it be DLC or a sequel. I don't really see a problem with sequels until they get over done, at which point it's time to move on to somethng else.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 4 years ago
He's absolutely right in terms of Rockstar ad its studios. Hell, all one needs to do is look at their output this generation to see every game has gotten better culminating in Max Payne 3 (which was pretty amazing) and now GTA V, which looks even more impressive.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 4 years ago
Well Halo 4 looks leaps and bounds better than Halo 3 so maybe he has a point.
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Tamir Ibrahim Programmer, Rodeo Games4 years ago
@Greg, you're comment did make me chuckle to myself a little. Technologically you are completely correct of course, but taking the games as a whole package and regarding whether they are "better" or not... I'd have to disagree, although I am going to give GTA V the benefit of the doubt purely because it looks so technologically impressive.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 4 years ago
@Tamir - Hey, you're lucky I think that way about Creative' work as well in some areas. That and in terms of Rockstar, yeah, I do think there's a progression in each game, as the dev teams and writers push forward not sideways or backwards like some studios.
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 4 years ago
I don't mind good sequels either, and the Uncharted series is a shining example of how much even best-of-breed games can improve over the lifespan of a console. The first Uncharted was quite good, graphically, but Uncharted 3 blew me away.
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