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Grand Theft Auto 5 and Rockstar's post-Apocalypse Now | 10 Years Ago This Month

It's time to reflect on the most recent GTA game, and (unrelatedly) whether we should be ashamed of our words and deeds

The games industry moves pretty fast, and there's a tendency for all involved to look constantly to what's next without so much worrying about what came before. That said, even an industry so entrenched in the now can learn from its past. So to refresh our collective memory and perhaps offer some perspective on our field's history, runs this monthly feature highlighting happenings in gaming from exactly a decade ago.

September of 2013 was absolutely packed with industry-shaking news, but there's really no competition for what we're going to talk about here, and that's Grand Theft Auto 5.

Grand Theft Auto 5 launched on the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 on September 17, 2013. People had a couple weeks to tear through the single-player mode before trying out its multiplayer component, Grand Theft Auto Online, when it went live October 1, 2013.

Two console generations of hardware, the game just keeps on giving for Take-Two Interactive. It shipped another five million copies last quarter – as it seems to almost every quarter – bringing its lifetime total to a staggering 185 million.

Obviously everybody expected Grand Theft Auto 5 to be big, but nobody expected this, not even Take-Two chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick.

"When we first launched GTA Online, we didn't know how the title would be received"Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick

"When we first launched GTA Online, we didn't know how the title would be received," Zelnick told us. "And we didn't know how virtual currency sales would pencil out. One of the reasons we haven't released a lot of metrics around that is because we've been learning as we go along…

"When we launched GTA Online, we had virtual currency sales experience with NBA 2K, but we had no experience about what an online offering could look like on an ongoing basis. Even this year, we said we expected GTA Online to moderate its results. Now we're expecting it to have a record year. So clearly we continue to learn about consumer behavior as it occurs."

That quote is from a call we had with Zelnick in 2017, when Grand Theft Auto 5 was nearing its fourth anniversary.

The next year Zelnick was telling us he still expected Grand Theft Auto Online "to moderate its results" as it neared five years on shelves and 100 million copies shipped, having then-recently been declared "the most financially successful media title of all time."

Two years later, Grand Theft Auto Online was posting its best holiday numbers ever.

The original Xbox 360 and PS3 version of Grand Theft Auto Online shut down a couple years ago, but it remains up and running for the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

But you didn't need a historical retrospective column to tell you Grand Theft Auto 5 made loads of money, and I'm confident there will be plenty of anniversary write-ups detailing its overwhelming financial success or the incredible evolution of the game's online component, and all the weird and wonderful things players have done with Rockstar's social sandbox.

There's only so much we can say about the money because companies don't like to get specific about how games sell – Take-Two is an outlier even in reporting copies sold for its biggest titles – and people do cool stuff in every online game that lasts this long because the former is a large part of why the latter happens at all.

So what else is there to say about Grand Theft Auto 5?

It has to hurt more

Franklin, one of GTA 5's player characters, sits on top of a man on the ground, preparing to punch him
This is either a GTA 5 screenshot or a 1-on-1 developer meeting at Rockstar

As has been a bit of a pattern for Rockstar releases, the arrival of Grand Theft Auto 5 meant crunch for the development team and Rockstar glorifying crunch in one of a handful of press interviews conducted to promote the launch.

In talking with The Sunday Times, Rockstar co-founder Sam Houser explained that game development should always be difficult.

"We're definitely in that realm of excitement and misery at the same time," Houser said. "It's not supposed to be easy. Each time, we push everything to its limit. I don't think it's conscious, but it's sort of how it has to be. It has to hurt more. You want to find Kurtz every time."

"Kurtz" could be a reference to the film Apocalypse Now or Heart of Darkness, the novella on which the film is based. We'll assume he meant the movie, partly because Rockstar's whole vibe leans much more cinematic than literary (in that their work seems informed more by movies you would see on the posters adorning college dorm room walls than literature you would be assigned to read in college courses), and partly because the making of Apocalypse Now was notoriously unhinged, with filmmakers showing little regard for health and safety, and even less for basic human decency. (They bought corpses from a grave robber to use as props.)

"It has to hurt more. You want to find Kurtz every time"Sam Houser

First off, it's not great for studio management to openly advocate for development to hurt more. And it's not great for management to do so by invoking a movie about a leader who sets himself up as a god king to the people under him as an aspirational goal. It's even less great – and perhaps a little too on-the-nose – when that management runs a studio that employees commonly describe as a cult, and the harrowing stories behind the creation of the studio's work – stories of human suffering and paranoid, manipulative leadership without concern for guardrails – are arguably more interesting than the work itself.

The links in the above paragraph are from three independently reported features from the time of Red Dead Redemption 2's release, when Sam's brother (and fellow Rockstar co-founder) Dan Houser got backlash for bragging about 100+ hour work weeks. Dan responded to the backlash by insisting it was voluntary and "no one is ever forced to work hard" at the studio, and a whole bunch of rank-and-file Rockstar devs suddenly got very interested in speaking anonymously with the press to share, um... "alternative perspectives" on the matter.

But when I criticize Sam for invoking Apocalypse Now as a creative model in 2013, I'm not asking him to have had the foresight to anticipate his studio's failings would become public at one point in the future. They were already quite public thanks to the 2010 Rockstar Spouse blog post about the development of the original Red Dead Redemption and its nearly year-long deathmarch crunch to release.

"Recently, with the amount of stress that has been built up, there have been physical manifestations caused by stress making health a concern," a spouse of a Rockstar San Diego developer wrote. "It is known that some employees have been diagnosed with depression symptoms and at least one among them is acknowledged to have suicidal tendencies."

Sam presumably read that letter and thought, "It has to hurt more."

Red Dead Redemption: Zombie Nightmare screenshot showing the main character in a field at night with his gun drawn. Behind him, a pale white zombie with head and gut wounds shambles toward him
I think it's great when developers sneak their likenesses into games as an easter egg

But that's the price of genius, right? You can't make Great Art without suffering. Any serious artist knows this, and anyone who complains about it is just a simpering child not capable of greatness. That's why the great ones can overcome such adversity, because they know it's going to hurt like hell but it's a price they're willing to pay with an unflappable will and steely determination.

If you're curious what that looks like, we have some idea thanks to fellow Rockstar developer Leslie Benzies and the wonders of legal action. In 2016, Benzies sued Rockstar for $150 million in royalties saying the Houser brothers forced him out of the company and Sam in particular was bitter about Benzies being paid the same as him.

"I am a jabbering wreck right now. I need The Benz!"Sam Houser

The suit was settled a few years back with no public details about who won what. That's usually frustrating to me as a person who wants to know who was in the wrong or right. But in this case, I have to admit the outcome is almost irrelevant to me next to the original suit, which included excerpts of emails Sam had sent Benzies in that final year of Red Dead Redemption development. Those excerpts show Sam pleading for help with the troubled game, so we can get an idea of his behavior and mindset while he was busy burning out employees in the search for Kurtz:

  • "The ups and downs are VERY extreme. We have to fix this. Quickly. Help! I'm freaking!"
  • "This [RDR] is a (recurring) nightmare. But one i/we need to get out of. I have problems with the camera all over the place. So much so, that I can't be rational or specific about it. The darkness!!!'
  • "PLEASE help me/us get rdr [Read Dead Redemption] into shape. I am a jabbering wreck right now. I need The Benz!"

Did Benzies absolutely need to include these humiliating email excerpts to make his case? Probably not.

Does that make their inclusion funnier? Yes, tremendously so.

Do Sam's acquaintances constantly troll him by asking how he's doing and if he needs The Benz? We can only hope and pray.

In fact, it makes that whole Rockstar development process feel like a very different take on Apocalypse Now, specifically the one from the Community episode "Documentary Filmmaking: Redux." In that episode, Greendale Community College's Dean Pelton starts to film a perfunctory basic cable commercial for the school but gets overly excited about it when Greendale alum/Hollywood star/Grand Theft Auto: Vice City voice actor Luis Guzman agrees to appear in it.

It turns out Pelton is deeply insecure about the merits of his institution, so he overcompensates and insists on tormenting his cast and crew in pursuit of making his community college commercial True Art as he himself parts ways with sanity and becomes a jabbering wreck. Also, one of the crew develops a cult-like worship of the abusive Pelton, wholeheartedly insisting he must be a genius because if he isn't, she's given a chunk of her life over to an idiot, and that's unacceptable.

Anyway, in the end, a student with his own interest in filmmaking bails out Pelton at the last minute by making the "good enough" version of the commercial everyone expected in the first place, and everyone goes home happy, except for the whole "enduring traumatic abuse for the glorification of a jabbering wreck" thing.

A screenshot of Bully with a boy in a science lab startled and scared when the concoction on his bunsen burner bursts into flames. A teacher in a lab coat looks on sternly with his hands on his hips.
Sometimes you have a hit despite crunching. Sometimes it just blows up in your face

Anyway, to hear former Rockstar Lincoln studio head Mark Lloyd tell it, crunch was just part of the Rockstar way of life. Lloyd oversaw multiple crunch periods at the studio going back to Grand Theft Auto 3 and ending with Red Dead Redemption, and while he knew the toll it took on his health, home life, and happiness (and that of his team), he thought at the time that the camaraderie, learning and growth of the team outweighed the damage done.

"I think there was more human cost than we and I ever acknowledged," Lloyd wrote in 2019, years after he had left the company. "Our families, our lives, our time.

"It's hard to see that cost when you are in amongst it. You do what needs to be done. But afterwards, you have time to think, to reflect. I believe that when I left Lincoln some team members understood, but others felt like I had abandoned ship. (I felt like that.)

"I didn't fully express these feelings then, the guilt especially. Onwards and upwards and all that. But I had an overwhelming sense of moving towards some kind of destruction if things didn't change. It didn't feel like that change could be made in that role."

"I think there was more human cost than we and I ever acknowledged"Former Rockstar Lincoln studio head Mark Lloyd

And as for bringing the team so close together, Lloyd said he'd largely disconnected from them in the years since he left the studio, apart from the occasional social media interaction.

Dan Houser is gone from Rockstar now. So too is Benzies. Sam Houser remains, but there's been some suggestion that he, like Lloyd, has come to view the deterioration of his employees' health and happiness as a thing that may be better avoided instead of valorized.

Last year, Bloomberg's Jason Schreier (who also wrote one of the Rockstar tell-all features linked above) checked in with 20 then-current or former Rockstar developers who had described positive changes at the company, including changes to scheduling and greater investment in producers to keep things on track, as well as the jettisoning of some abusive managers.

It sounds like a good start, and I honestly wish them luck in getting the next Grand Theft Auto to release in a professional fashion. Because finding Kurtz is the sort of thing that can happen by accident in this industry, even if management has good intentions. And changing a culture that spent so long explicitly geared toward finding Kurtz takes a hell of a lot more than good intentions.

Ashamed of words and deeds

A Metal Gear Solid 5 screenshot showing Snake in a cardboard box that he has pasted a cutout of a bikini model to the side of as he sneaks into an enemy camp. An enemy soldier is standing right next to the cutout, slightly hunched over and pointing a gun at it.
It's a complete mystery why some people didn't give Kojima the benefit of the doubt when he was accused of objectifying women in his game. Scientists are baffled.

Gaming culture has a long history of being very weird about women, and September of 2013 had its share of examples, from the incredibly hostile reaction to GameSpot reviewer Carolyn Petit briefly mentioning Grand Theft Auto 5's misogyny in her extensive and wide-ranging review or a woman working at Sony Online Entertainment explaining that she chose her EverQuest character by min-maxing for what would get the fewest sexist overtures.

The EverQuest story was being given as an example of the work SOE had done to clean up its community, and how far the industry had come when it came to treatment of women in the previous 15 years or so. But the reaction to Petit daring to talk about something that wasn't a bullet point feature in her review showed how much further there was to go.

And in the midst of this, celebrated Metal Gear Solid director Hideo Kojima was getting horny on main.

Kojima tweeted about how he'd asked designer Yoji Shinkawa to make some Metal Gear Solid 5 characters "more erotic" to encourage cosplayers and merchandise sales. He then posted a picture of the game's sniper Quiet (or her butt, at any rate) to show what he meant. [Cue the Metal Gear Solid alarm sound and exclamation point above the head.]

"It wasn't really supposed to be erotic, but sexy"Hideo Kojima

Polygon had a Q&A session with Kojima, Shinkawa, and Stefanie Joosten, the woman whose likeness and movements were captured for Quiet, and asked about the tweets, at which point Kojima offered some clarification that suggested the thing that got lost in translation wasn't his original Japanese sentiment being expressed in English so much as it was the English reaction being conveyed back into Japanese.

"Maybe the phrase 'erotic' wasn't really [the correct word for] what I was trying to say," Kojima said through a translator. "What I'm really trying to do is create unique characters. One of those is, of course, Quiet. She's a really unique character, I wanted to add that sexiness to her. It wasn't really supposed to be erotic, but sexy."

Shinkawa added to the head-scratching quotefest, explaining, "From my perspective, it's not just the characters, but often I look at a weapon or a vehicle and think 'That's really sexy.' It's not just the characters, but the mechs and weapons [as well.]"

So if I'm understanding this right, Kojima didn't want Quiet to just evoke ideas of sexual desire or gesture in the general direction of such a thing; he wanted her to just be explicitly signalling "sex" to anyone who saw her. And Shinkawa heard this and thought the woman should be sexy like inanimate objects are sexy. Specifically like an inanimate object that kills people is sexy.

You know what? Fine. Games are an artistic medium like any other and there's no reason they shouldn't be free to wallow in cheesecake like anything else. At least the developers were being upfront and honest about their horndog motivations and weren't pretending there was something deeper going on.

At least, they weren't pretending that until the very next day, when Kojima tweeted in defense of Quiet's uh… "minimalist" attire, saying, "Once you recognize the secret reason for her exposure, you will feel ashamed of your words & deeds."

Metal Gear Solid 5's sniper Quiet crouches to take a shot as Venom Snake stands behind her
Quiet is one of four buddies you can get in Metal Gear Solid 5. She is interchangeable with a dog, a horse, and a robot.

I like to think I'm mindful of spoilers even in this, a column about things that are at least a decade old (Community plot synopses aside). But I refuse to acknowledge the "secret reason" as a spoiler because it honestly doesn't deserve the respect.

Quiet wears next to nothing because a parasite that infected a bunch of characters in the game makes it so she breathes through her skin, so wearing clothes would suffocate her. (Her parasites have been modified, of course, which is why none of the other parasite carriers strut around in a thong and fishnets.)

And for Kojima fans worried the criticism he received would cause him to "censor his artistic vision" or "dial down the creepiness about women," Metal Gear Solid 5: Gound Zeroes would release the next year and put any such fears to bed.

I'd understand perfectly if some people looked back at their words and deeds around this stuff and felt shame, but I'd be more than a little surprised if it was the people pointing out that all this skeezy stuff was coming off pretty skeezy.

What else happened in September of 2013

Andrew Wilson was named CEO of EA. The company's stocks were trading around $27 the day his appointment was announced. This week they're trading above $121.

Sega acquired Atlus out of bankruptcy, paying $140 million for the studio behind the Shin Megam Tensei, Persona, and Etrian Odyssey games.

The deal has turned out well for Sega, which would find itself citing Atlus games like Persona 5 and Persona 4: Golden as driving some of its stronger financial results and leaning into PC ports more as a result, while Persona 5 Royal was the jewel of a 2020 lineup that saw Sega named Metacritic's publisher of the year.

● Blizzard killed the Diablo 3 real-money auction house because "it became increasingly clear that despite the benefits of the AH system and the fact that many players around the world use it, it ultimately undermines Diablo's core game play: kill monsters to get cool loot."

The essential nature of Diablo had apparently undergone a drastic change from a couple years earlier when Blizzard was trying to justify the real-money auction house in the first place and lead designer Jay Wilson said, "Trading is not very good in Diablo, and yet it's a game about trading."

● Former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi died at the age of 85. Yamauchi oversaw the company from 1949 – when it was still just making playing cards – through its transformations into a toy maker and then a video game giant, stepping down in 2002 as Satoru Iwata took over as just the fourth president in the company's history.

● Valve moved into the hardware market, formally announcing the Steam Machines set-top boxes (running its Linux-based SteamOS) as well as its own Steam Controller. It would be two years before the things actually hit the market and neither would set the world on fire – although Steam Controller had its advocates – but it's safe to say their struggles significantly informed Valve's SteamDeck, which has met with significantly more success.

● China lifted its ban on game consoles, a little bit. Foreign companies were allowed to sell consoles throughout China so long as they were manufactured within the Shanghai free-trade zone, and otherwise met Ministry of Culture approval. That free-trade zone requirement was later dropped in 2015, but it hasn't exactly signaled a new golden age of gaming in China as cultural controls over the industry have grown stricter in recent years.

PlayStation Vita TV was announced, as Sony hitched its star to the can't-miss-combo of a PlayStation Vita and an Ouya-like microconsole with this chimera of a product that could play some fantastic games, but incorporated weaknesses from both its inspirations. (Sony's bafflingly expensive proprietary memory cards and games that wouldn't really measure up to what standard consoles were doing on a big screen.)

Vita TV also added a few more drawbacks unique to itself, like a cludgy work-around for the lack of Vita's touch pads that required pushing in analog sticks while using the PS4 DualShock touch panel. It was discontinued in the US and Europe two years later, but clung to life in Japan for a few months longer than that.

● Blitz Games shut its doors after 23 years. It worked on a wide swath of games in that span, but I'll always have a soft spot for the studio thanks to the Xbox launch title Fuzion Frenzy and the trilogy of Burger King Xbox games (most notably the stealth game Sneak King).

Good Call, Bad Call

BAD CALL: As Microsoft bought Nokia for $7.2 billion, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer proclaimed, "Bringing these great teams together will accelerate Microsoft's share and profits in phones, and strengthen the overall opportunities for both Microsoft and our partners across our entire family of devices and services."

That didn't happen, Microsoft gutted its mobile operations in 2015, taking a $7.6 billion impairment charge on its Nokia assets that had somehow increased in value in two years even as the operation itself became an obvious failure.

Microsoft cut the mobile team even deeper in 2016, and put Windows Phone out of its misery in 2017.

This outcome could actually work out better for Microsoft in the long run if the Activision Blizzard deal closes; I can imagine regulators would have given the acquisition of the Candy Crush company even more scrutiny if Microsoft had more of a presence in mobile right now.

And then you also have to account for the value of the IP acquired; Microsoft owns the N-gage, so if it ever wanted to get into handheld market properly, it already has a brand even bigger than Gizmondo so it wouldn't be starting from scratch. (Keep an eye out for teasers in the form of Phil Spencer T-shirt choices at upcoming Xbox events.)

Even so, I think I have to say it was a Bad Call to buy Nokia. And also probably a Bad Call to let a CEO who just announced his retirement plans oversee a major multibillion dollar deal like this.

BAD CALL: While Microsoft had abandoned its planned Xbox One restrictions, Xbox senior director Albert Penello said it would still deliver on one of the planned perks of that system: the ability to loan digitally distributed games to other users.

"I believe, in retrospect that people have calmed down and gone back and actually looked at what we said, people are starting to understand, 'Wow, they did want actually to allow me to loan and trade' which other digital ecosystems don't want to do," Panello said. "And so, yeah, I think we need to do that. That has to be part of the experience."

That is still not part of the experience.

GOOD CALL: Kojima Productions designer Jordan Amaro responds to some negativity around Japanese developers – it was a bit of a trend for a few years – by insisting that the Japanese development scene is on the upswing.

There are a bunch of ways to assess that, but let's use the boring Western-centric view embraced by a lot of the people talking about how Japanese developers were in a rut. The NPD Group's annual US Top 20 sales chart had no titles from Japanese studios in either 2012 or 2013. The next two years were also light for Japanese representation, but Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart 8 for Wii U made it in 2014, and Dragon Ball: Xenoverse showed up in 2015.

2016 saw Dark Souls 3 and Final Fantasy 15 in the Top 20 alongside Pokémon Sun and Moon. Things really picked up in 2017 with Resident Evil 7 and the beginning of a run of Switch first-party titles that would ensure the charts have been well-populated with Japanese-made games since. Beyond Nintendo's games, we've also seen Monster Hunter World, more Dragon Ball, more Final Fantasy, more Resident Evil, Kingdom Hearts 3, Elden Ring, and Sonic Frontiers hit the Top 20 since then.

Last year, Square Enix even sold off the Western studios it acquired to offset the supposed malaise in Japanese development of the mid-2000s, and it sold them because they were not doing as much for the company as its home-grown efforts which had managed to find bountiful success in the West.

Amaro was right.

BAD CALL: Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg wasn't happy with the company's reputation, saying in an interview, "I think there is a false narrative that all Activision wants to do is put out a Call of Duty every year, when in fact we've shown some real innovation and appetite for risk."

The quote made sense at the time because Activision had created the toys-to-life genre with the unexpected hit Skylanders. But these days, Activision basically just wants to put out three Call of Duty games every year (Mobile, Warzone, and the mainline console/PC installment).

And while it does technically dabble in Crash and Spyro titles, I had to look up Crash Team Rumble because I couldn't remember the name, wasn't sure it came out this year (it did, although I don't blame you if you missed the marketing push), and thought there was a non-zero chance the live service multiplayer game had already been shut down. (As of this writing, it had not been.)

BAD CALL: EA Games Label executive vice president Patrick Söderlund hyped up the then-upcoming launches of Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts – which were going to release within a week of one another – saying that Battlefield 3 had put a dent in Activision's stranglehold on first-person shooters and EA wasn't going to stop there.

"We are spending a ton of money on this, our teams are killing themselves every year to make great games," Söderlund said. "I want to give our consumers the best I can. We will strive to be number one."

A decade later, Battlefield is being rebooted again and EA is confident it'll go better this time. Surely this will be the ton of money that does it. Surely this team will be the team that makes our IP mean as much as Call of Duty by killing itself. If not, I suppose there's always more money, and other teams.

GOOD CALL: Former International Game Developers Association director Darius Kazemi posted an explanation for his resignation on his blog, saying developers would be better off if the IGDA didn't exist in large part because the board was primarily concerned with the continued existence of the IGDA.

As Kazemi said, "This means that any action we could take as an organization that carried any sort of significant risk of us losing a chunk of members (or god forbid, our corporate sponsorships) would be immediately shot down by a majority of board members with some variation of the refrain, 'My fiduciary responsibility to the organization prevents me from supporting this.' What this translated to: anyone with an agenda that promoted anything but the status quo would be heavily challenged."

He added, "I believe that it is in the interest of game studios and publishers for an association of workers like the IGDA to exist in an ineffective state in order to drain the energy of people who could otherwise do effective pro-developer activism and to provide a straw man that can be pointed to in order to show that organizing will get us nowhere."

This became more clear in 2018 when the IGDA named Jen MacLean its executive director. MacLean was an industry veteran who may have been best remembered as the CEO of 38 Studios, the preeminent cautionary tale of how studio management can screw over employees as it collapses.

MacLean was on maternity leave for the studio's final two months, so her culpability in some of the most egregious problems at 38 Studios is debateable. Either way, her proximity to such a trash fire and her position as the person in charge of the dumpster, matches, and lighter fuel shortly before said fire raises some questions.

Those questions became a bit more pressing when MacLean's first round of press interviews mostly featured her throwing water on the idea of unionization and she defended the harm of the 38 Studios fallout by saying that founder Curt Schilling truly believed until the very last moment that he was going to get more funding, which I'm sure is a great comfort to employees who weren't paid, who were stuck with multiple mortgages because the company lied to them, or who found out their wife needing a bone marrow transplant couldn't see the doctor because the company stopped paying for employee health insurance and didn't tell them.

The IGDA can't even advocate for its own people well, as our own Marie Dealessandri detailed last year in a story about how it mishandled complaints of harassment and conduct violations even as it was publicly encouraging studios to bravely stamp out such poor behavior in their own ranks.

There are plenty of great people who have been (or currently are) associated with the IGDA, people who I think can do a world of good for this industry. But it's 2023 and we're still having to publicly shame studios just to get people on the credits roll, much less give them fair pay, job security, a standardized career path, and basic respect.

The IGDA is excellently positioned to be a networking and knowledge-sharing organization, to build local development scenes through meet-and-greets and various events. But it runs on a shoestring budget that is still entirely too dependent on corporate sponsorship from companies with an interest in keeping their labor cheap and unempowered. It has no leverage, no teeth, and that's what the people who make games have been sorely lacking.

Developers (still) need a better advocate.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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