OK, this rant is NOT about the game. I’m loving GTAV.
This rant is about the obscene marketing budget that has been claimed for GTAV. And the obscene shortchanging of the GTAV development budget. I’m hyperventilating with outrage!!!
We have heard from multiple sources that the budget for GTAV was $265 million. Wow!! It should be a hell of a game!
But instead of spending most of that dough on game development, it went to marketing! Wasted on f*cking NYC f*cking marketing!!!! Wasted!!!
In this Business Week article, as well as other publications, the marketing budget is listed as $150 million (!!!!) and the game development budget is only $115 million. So we really have a $115 million dollar game in our hands.
Well, the game looks pretty good, and it’s probably a decent game for $115 million.
But what did the world get for $150 million in marketing? Here’s my breakdown of the marketing budget:
$ 1.0M: Actual marketing for 4.75 years
$ 19.0M: Actual marketing in the last 3 months before GTAV release
$ 42.4M: 5 years x 100 nights x NYC exec staff of 8 x $10,000 per night hookers
$ 87.6M: 5 years x 365 days x NYC staff of 32 x $1,500 daily coke habit
$150.0M: Total GTAV marketing budget
This is an opening to the kind of discussions we have had here on the forum, about how very different our mindset is while playing violent games, versus the kind of utterly psychotic mindset a person would have to be in, to do these things in real life.
Since I have often been on the Venice Beach walk, I was so thrilled to see it modeled well in GTAV, I was looking forward to hanging out there in GTAV, just chilling and comparing the virtual feeling to the real feeling.
And, in the fun and detached mindset of ultraviolence that is the trademark of GTA games, I knew it would not be long before I would be compelled to drive one of those hot cars down the Venice Beach strand at full speed, scattering NPC pedestrians right and left.
However, tonight some f*cking asshole actually did it ... for real. See the stories in the links. I could instantly empahize with the people who were hurt and almost hurt by this instant exampe of real-world violence. My reaction was visceral, overwhelmed, as happens to people when something really bad happens in real life. All of a sudden, those people were no long in control of their life and their health and their future -- some random madman took that away.
I could understand the kind of outrage that we have when we hear about things like this. I thought it is relevant here because it is so close to the literal behavior we will be doing in GTAV, and yet the mindset we have in the game situation versus a real world situation are a universe apart. This is why I think it's OK to play video games and a perfect example of why and how they do not desensitize us.
OK, I did a fair amount of searching in the GTAV forum to find out if there was ever a dedicated topic where people discussed their ideas for an ideal protagonist. The term "ideal protagonist" turned up a few places, but not as a major theme.
Meanwhile, during the horrible dark days of 2012, before Rockstar deigned to eventually enlighten us with the reveal of the three protags with whom we are now so familiar, there was endless speculation and a lot of dissatisfaction with the possibilities ambiguously presented to us in GTAV Trailer #1.
For example, nobody liked the "old guy" Michael as a possible protag. "Why so much hate on Ned Luke?", started Wednesday, Feb 1 2012, 19:41 by KanapkaPoland.
Then there was a lot of discussion that people might be happy if the protag was the "red car guy." But when greenrock recently made a protag popularity poll "AT THE MOMENT, favorite protag", Franklin came in at the bottom and Michael at the top. How things change.
This made me think, you know, we are gonna get what we get, but what did we really want? It actually was not articulated by us in one place in the forum.
So, in a thread today, I made a purposely inflammatory comment, "nobody likes any of the protags Rockstar has thrown at us" harking back to the idea that we didn't really get what we expected. Of course now we are all satisfied, because Rockstar did it and Rockstar is cool. greenrock reminded me that people are quite happy now with the choices we have been given.
Nonetheless, the purpose of this topic is to fill in the void, to ask people to get in their "wayback machines" set to late 2012 after we had discussed GTAV Trailer #1 with a million words or so, and describe their expectations for an ideal protagonist in a modern Los Santos and surrounding beaches and countryside, i.e, what Rockstar should have given us for GTAV, so we have on record what we really expected. What was your ideal protagonist for GTAV?
I'll put my thoughts for an ideal protag in a post in this topic soon. I just have to get it composed well.
It's been more than 18 months, since the original announcement of GTAV on 25 October 2011, and the incredible GTAV Trailer #1, changed the world. For most of those 18 months, the fans have wondered what is going on with GTAV marketing; why did it not continue from that original Trailer release? Or alternatively, why was the Trailer released so early, relative to the game development timeline?
I'm going to put forth a simple hypothesis for consideration and discussion, just to see what people think. It's not that I believe this, but it's a topic to discuss while we are waiting for info.
I suggest that before GTAV Trailer #1, it is possible that the greenlighting of GTAV was not a sure thing within TTWO.
In any given big video game publishing empire, there surely are multiple projects in early development. Who knows what other game ideas may have been competing with GTAV for scarce development dollars within Rockstar and TTWO. We are in a worldwide recession, after all. Dev money really is scarce.
The TTWO corporate beancounters may have had to decide, given the huge development budget that GTAV would need, should we put all our eggs in the GTAV basket, or should we continue work on 4 or 5 other games to diversify our risk?
So, simply for your consideration, I suggest that Rockstar went rogue and put out their early development ideas for GTAV in the form of the GTAV announcement and GTAV Trailer #1, in order to force the greenlighting of GTAV.
The incredible worldwide positive response was enough to get TTWO corporate commitment to put all the money into GTAV, and drop the other smaller game ideas around the company.
So shortly after November 2011, GTAV got the go-ahead and went into actual full development. This would explain the long delay between GTAV Trailer #1 and subsequent marketing timeline. And it could also explain why the full force of development for GTAV was not started years earlier. Maybe GTAV really is a 2 year development project rather than a 5 year project.
What do you think?
If other people brought up this idea in the past year or so, feel free to claim credit. It's hard to search for a concept like this in the forum.