Week 2

Week 2: Project 1, Part 2 - Organizational Research - Click here to return to Intro to Game Dev.

Project 1 - Organizational Research as per specifications provided by instructor.

My Assignment:

Leonard Rivera


Introduction to Game Development

August 17, 2008

Rockstar Games Inc.


Take Two interactive is a hardware and interactive software publisher, developer, distributor worldwide. “The Rockstar Games label was founded in 1998 to create the most innovative and progressive interactive entertainment. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.”

Since its inception, Rockstar Games Inc has produced many titles for multiple platforms. Originally developing for the Playstation and Personal Computer (PC) Market, Rockstar titles such as Grand Theft Auto (GTA) or ONI can now be seen on the PC, Mac Personal Computers (MAC), Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS (DS), X-Box 360 (360), Playstation 3 (PS3) and Playstation Portable platforms (PSP) as well. Other platforms include the predecessors of today’s consoles including the Nintendo Game Cube (GC), Game Boy Advanced (GBA), Game Boy Color (GBC), Sega Dreamcast (DC), X-Box, Playstation 2 (PS2) and Playstation 1 (PS1). 

Rockstar Games has a plethora of 35 games to date, with more on the way. Their complete game list spans multiple platforms and genres. I compiled a complete list of games from their website (www.rockstargames.com), and the platforms they run on. Here they are in no particular order;  Midnight Club: Los Angeles (X-Boc360 & PS3), Midnight Club 2 (PS2, X-Box, PC), Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition Remix (PS2, X-Box, PSP), Midnight Club Street Racing (PS2), Bully (PS2, 360, Wii), Canis Canem Edit (PS2), GTA (PS1, PC), GTA 2 (PS1, DC, GBC, PC), GTA 3 (PS2, X-Box, PC), GTA IV (PS3, X-box), GTA: Chinatown Wars (DS), GTA: Vice City Stories (PSP, PS2), GTA: Liberty City Stories (PSP, PS2), GTA: San Andreas (PS2, X-Box, PC), GTA Advanced (GBA), GTA: London 1969 (PS1, PC), GTA Collectors’ Edition (PS1), Manhunt I (PS2, Xbox, PC), GTA: Vice City (PS2, X-Box, PC), Manhunt II (PS2, PSP, Wii) , Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis (360, Wii), Beaterator (PSP), The Warriors (PS2, X-Box, PSP), Red Dead Revolver (PS2, X-Box), Max Payne (PS2, X-Box, PC, GBA), Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne (PS2, X-Box, PC), Smuggler’s Run (PS2), Smuggler’s Run Warzones (GC), Smuggler’s Run 2: Hostile Territory (PS2), State of Emergency (PS2, X-Box), The Italian Job (PS1), ONI (PS2, MAC, PC), Thrasher: Skate and Destroy (PS1), and Wild Metal (DC).

Gamespot (www.gamespot.com) has a list of Rockstar’s 14 most recent releases . This gave me a clear indication of the genre for these games. The Majority tend to be Third Person Action games targeted at Mature Audiences.

In recent news, Rockstar Acquires Mad Doc Software and creates Rockstar New England, very few details have been released I regards to the acquisition. In less recent news, Electronic Arts (EA) tried a hostile takeover back in March be appealing directly to Take Two Interactive’s share holders. The Bid has expired, been resubmitted and has expired yet again with Take Two’s executives turning down the offer. The Two Billion dollar offer was strictly targeted at Rockstar Games. CEO of EA, John Riccitiello; praised Rockstar, saying, "I believe the company is fully justified in calling themselves Rockstar because that's what they are in the industry." His attempt at a hostile takeover did not seem to faze investors much as Take Two interactive felt the offer should have been much higher.

 Rockstar’s creativity with making games is also applied to generating new revenue streams. GameSpot referenced a source from EuroGamer in regards to something called “Episodic Gaming”. There wasn’t much here about this new revenue stream for Rockstar so I hit Google and quickly found the following on CNN.Money.com; “Episodic games are still in their infancy, but they got a big boost last week when Rockstar Games, developer of the blockbuster "Grand Theft Auto" series, announced a push into serialized gaming.” “With its announcement, Rockstar became the biggest name in the gaming business to experiment with episodic gaming. Rockstar joins only a a handful of smaller players that have been developing serial games in recent years.” “The games business has been following the same tired model for too long," said Billy Pidgeon, videogame analyst for market research firm IDC. "New revenue streams are necessary to invigorate the industry."

 Rockstar enjoys producing revenue in very traditional manners as well. These include; but are not limited to, Soundtrack CD sales, Mobile Gaming, PC and Console Gaming Software.

 Rockstar competes in the computer software industry, specifically, entertainment and gaming software. This market is flooded with too many companies to list here. However, I can say that Rockstar’s target audience is what sets it aside from everyone else. Rockstar is primarily Generation X game developers, mostly male, and they want to make games that they actually want to play. So they target predominantly Generation X males with adult content video games. No one else in the industry is doing it that specifically and at the level Rockstar is. This would explain the success of their GTA series.

 I cannot find any good information in regards to Rockstar’s marketing strategies that can be based in fact. The following are based upon my opinions and are loosely grounded in the limited experience I’ve have with Rockstar’s marketing. I noticed most of their titles being reviewed on website people trust. There have been few commercials out there. I know they post some edgy posters as well. Their titles are well know, so simply putting up a poster becomes instantly recognizable. So posters, television and the internet appear to be the major mediums they use.

 Regardless ot their marketing strategies, Rockstar continues to face many issues. Most recently, an 18 year old boy murdered a man in his attempt to recreate a scene from the game GTAIV. Asian retailers in Thailand began pulling the game off he shelves. "We are sending out requests today to outlets and shops to pull the games off their shelves and we will replace them with other games," New Era sales and marketing director Sakchai Chotikachinda told the news service. 

Works Cited

Boyer, Brandon. Gamasutra. 2004 April 2008. 2008 <http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=18138>.

Boys, Emma. Gamespot News. 2008. 15 August 2008 <http://www.gamespot.com/news/6187808.html>.

GameSpot. Rockstart Games. 2008. 15 August 2008 <http://www.gamespot.com/pages/tags/index.php?type=game&tags=take+two+interactive%2C+rockstar+games%2C+rockstar>.

Gorig, Carsten. Spiegel OnLine. 30 April 2008. 15 August 2008 <http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,550771-2,00.html>.

Irwin, MAry Jane. CNN Money.com. 3 October 2006. 15 August 2008 <http://money.cnn.com/2006/10/01/magazines/business2/episodic_gaming/index.htm>.

Minkly, Johnny. EuroGamer. 17 October 2006. 15 August 2008 <http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=68768>.

Rockstar. Rockstar Games Inc. 2008. 8 August 2008 <http://www.rockstargames.com/corpinfo/>.

Thorsen-Ink. GameSpot News. 5 August 2008. 15 August 2008 <http://www.gamespot.com/news/show_blog_entry.php?topic_id=26525272>.


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