Remember back in February when we told you Karen Gravano was trying to sue Rockstar for $40 million over the GTA V character Antonia Bottino? Yep, that’s still going on. Gravano insists they based Bottino on her–and more importantly, that they stole her life story to use in the game without her permission.
Maybe Rockstar is just tired of it. Maybe it thinks the whole case is absurd. Or, on the other side of the spectrum, maybe it isn’t sure how to prove her story false.
Whatever the case may be, Rockstar fired back at her with the retort that Bottino clearly isn’t based on her… because Gravano is much heavier than the character in the game.
We’ll resist the urge to make a thousand puns about the weight of the lawsuit.
There aren’t a lot of video game companies who have received fellowships from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Shigeru Miyamoto is one who has, as is Will Wright, and during this year’s British Academy Game Awards on March 12, Rockstar Games will join them.
Harvey Elliott, the chair of the BAFTA Games Committee, feels that Rockstar has had a huge impact on the gaming industry, particularly with the high success of the Grand Theft Auto series. He feels that Rockstar’s work has really set a new standard for video games.
Sam Houser, Rockstar’s co-founder, said “accepting the BAFTA Fellowship is incredibly humbling.”
If you can get to London on March 12, BAFTA is selling tickets to the British Academy Game Awards. It will also be streamed on Twitch.
Remember when Baird Equity Research predicted that Rockstar would announce a new Red Dead game by the end of 2013? They aren’t the only ones thinking that an announcement is on the horizon.
An unnamed source reported to EMGN.com that a next-gen Red Dead game is definitely in the works. It might not be titled Red Dead Redemption 2, but it will essentially be a sequel to 2010’s open world western, which should please many fans.
Although this is still an unverified rumor, it does have some facts to back it up. Back in 2012, Rockstar indicated some interest in a sequel, and in 2013, a Rockstar developer claimed to be working on an addition to “a famous IP” since June 2010. Rockstar is definitely working on something, and it could very well be this rumored Red Dead sequel.
We’ll keep you updated.
Karen Gravano is attempting to sue Rockstar for $40 million over a character in GTA V.
Gravano is the daughter of Salvatore Gravano (also known as Sammy the Bull) and a former star of “Mob Wives,” a reality TV show about women whose fathers or husbands were linked to the Mafia. She claims Rockstar stole her story without her permission and used it for a character named Antonia Bottino, whom players rescue in the game.
In GTA V, Antonia Bottino is the daughter of Sammy Bottino, who became an informant. Many fans believe his character to be based on Salvatore Gravano, who also was a mobster-turned-informant. Sammy Bottino refuses to allow Antonia to appear on a television show called “Wise Bitches,” which seems to be a parody of “Mob Wives.”
Karen Gravano claims other parts of her story have been used for Antonia Bottino as well, although she did not go into details. Two-Two and Rockster have declined to comment on the issue.
Personally, we don’t see it. Until she reveals the supposed other details Rockstar used for Antonia, the only thing the two have in common is their father and a link to a television show. That’s hardly grounds to say they stole her life story. Still, we’ll keep our eye on this situation and let you know of any future developments.
There is a good deal of controversy amongst fans about microtransactions, which enable you to purchase items and other things for GTA Online with real money, from within the game. Well, it’s certainly working out for Take-Two (Rockstar’s parent company).
Take-Two said GTA Online microtransactions made up almost half of their digital revenue for the quarter. Since their digital sales revenue for that quarter came out to $132.8 million, that means GTA Online brought in approximately $66.4 million.
That’s a pretty impressive number, and it shows the free-to-play/microtransaction model certainly works for a game as popular as Grand Theft Auto. So much for the analysts who predicted GTA Online wouldn’t be a large source of profits.
How do you feel about this? Let us know your thoughts on GTA Online’s success and microtransactions in general.
Rockstar New England is hiring, and the new job postings hint at what its mystery project might be.
One job is for a physics programmer. It requires experience with the Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, and PS4 and mentions that the programmer will use “technology related to ragdolls, cloth fragments, [and] collision.”
The second job is for a graphics programmer to work on the visuals for “Rockstar’s next big title.”
Speculation is rampant about what this new game could be. Many fans are hoping for a sequel to Bully or Red Dead Redemption 2. What do you think it could be? We’ll keep you updated as we learn new details.
You can check out the job listings for yourself here and here.
Rockstar has received a lot of press lately, thanks to the huge success of GTA V, and they’ve crossed yet another milestone. In an earnings conference call, their parent company Take-Two reported that Rockstar has shipped a total of 250 million games.
It’s not surprising that the GTA franchise accounts for at least 157.5 million of those shipments. It is by far their most successful series. They view it as a “permanent” franchise, and it’s so far holding up to their expectations.
The rest of the 250 million shipped games come from Rockstar’s other titles, such as Max Payne, Red Dead, L.A. Noire, Bully, etc.
It’s great to see that Rockstar is doing so well, although we’re a little disappointed that when asked about a PC version of GTA V, Take-Two’s president gave another non-answer by claiming “there is really nothing for us to say.”
Rockstar’s Social Club Crews, which for a long time were capped at 300 members per Crew, will now have the capacity for 1,000 members. When you play with Crew members, you earn 10% more RP than when you play alone, so if you haven’t already joined a Crew, you might consider doing so now.
In celebration of the new cap, Rockstar is offering an incentive to get together the best Crew you can—although we expect most Crews would have started recruiting when they heard the announcement anyway—by also announcing the first GTA Online Crew vs. Crew live battle stream, which will be broadcast on Twitch and Youtube on February 7 at 2 PM ET.
If you’re interested in participating, you can email Rockstar at email@example.com. Not everyone will get to be involved, but you have a chance if you tell them the name of your Crew, give them the link to your Crew’s profile, tell them which platform you play on, and explain why you think your Crew should be featured during the stream. They also mentioned two things that might improve your chances: 1. A video showing your Crew’s skills in competitive modes, and 2. A particular Crew you want to face off against.
Grand Theft Auto V was released on September 17 2013, but its online component, GTA Online, was delayed until October 1. Just three days later on October 4, Bruce McMahon and Christopher Bengtson filed a class action lawsuit against Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games, claiming that since GTA Online was not available at the same time the game launched, but was still sold at a “premium” price, the companies were guilty of false advertising with GTA V.
The case moved to federal court in November, and this Wednesday, the court passed its ruling. U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips dismissed the case against Take-Two and Rockstar, because nothing on the game’s packaging promised that GTA Online would be available immediately, and it in fact warned people that some players might not have access to certain features, including the online gameplay.
We find it difficult to believe that someone would feel cheated when GTA Online was only delayed by two weeks, but a few players still seem to feel McMahon and Bengtson were justified. Nevertheless, the case has been dismissed, and Take-Two and Rockstar are in the clear.
Nice to see the justice system working like it should!
We promised we’d let you know when GTA Online was back up online so here we are – it’s back! And this time Rockstar has a message too: it’s going to be taking aim at GTA Online cheaters.
As a result of today’s maintenance, all counterfeit (as Rockstar call it) or exploited/glitched (as we call it) GTA$ has apparently been removed from the game (whether this is in fact the case we have some more info on below…). This must have been quite a technical feat for Rockstar to achieve, so kudos on that. Rockstar also confirmed that if you purchased an item (like an apartment or vehicle) with some glitched GTA$ then you will get to keep that item – they are only removing the bad GTA$ from the game…
However, if you were one of the people who was actively glitching, exploiting or cheating (as opposed to simply being the innocent recipient of some GTA$) then Rockstar has said it will punish you at its discretion. This could mean putting you in a specific GTA Online cheater’s pool, or outright banning you from the GTA Online game.
In terms of how effect this GTA$ sweep as been so far, we’ve already received reports that some people have been putting GTA$99 million bounties on one another, so there is clearly some countereit GTA$ still lying around, or new glitches/exploits/cheats have already been found.
If you’ve been affected by the recent patches or the maintenance in any way then please let us know in the comments section below – we’d love to hear from you.