The Bulletin is a roundup of a few game-related news stories from the previous week.
Grand Theft Auto V, a game about taking money from people, has taken all the money
We don’t cover financial stuff at The Gameological Society often, but this is the sort of feel-good underdog story that everybody loves to hear about. Remember Grand Theft Auto V? According to Polygon, it made $800 million worldwide on the first day it was in stores, setting a new launch-day record for the series. Unless you’re reading this on a solid gold MacBook, it’s probably hard to imagine just how much money that really is. Let’s lay out some examples to help visualize it. With $800 million, you could buy 125,000,000 delicious chicken burritos from Qdoba. You could buy 800 copies of the million-dollar Saints Row IV special edition (giving you 800 trips into space, 800 Lamborghini Gallardos, and so on). According to Wikipedia, $800 million is more than the nominal GDP of Grenada. The point is, $800 million is a ridiculous amount of money for Grand Theft Auto V to have raked in after only one day.
Even more ridiculous is the news, as reported by Joystiq, that the game’s sales crossed the $1 billion mark on Thursday, breaking a record set by Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2, which took 12 days longer to reach $1 billion. If the game continues to sell at the rate of about $1 billion a week—and there’s no reason to think it won’t—it will pass the GDP of Iceland by the end of the year and make the developers at Rockstar enough money to build a house out of Lamborghini Gallardos. We can put any doubts about the possibility of Grand Theft Auto VI to rest.
Wii Sports coming to Wii U, but it’s not Wii Sports U
Since its launch, the Wii U has struggled to replicate the cultural ubiquity of its predecessor. Some observers have attributed this to its lack of a Wii Sports-like experience—a game that is approachable and conveys what makes the system special to anyone who plays it. Now, Nintendo is set to bring the Wii U its very own Wii Sports-like experience, which is to say, Wii Sports is coming to the Wii U. The same Wii Sports. The one that was free with every Wii console. It wouldn’t be a Nintendo game if the company weren’t charging you for something old, so this new version of Wii Sports, dubbed Wii Sports Club, will not be free. As reported by Kotaku, each sport will be available separately as a $10 download, or you can rent 24 hours of access to all of them for $2. Wii Sports Club will also introduce online multiplayer to the series with a “club system” that allows you to register by “state or region” to compete in events and chat with other nearby players. The Wii Sports Club games will start coming to the Nintendo eShop on November 7 with tennis and bowling—aka, the best ones—arriving first. Boxing, baseball, and golf will be available at some point in the future.
Blizzard announces plan to shut down Diablo III auction house
It looks like some Diablo III players are going to need to get a real job. Last week, the developers at Blizzard announced they will be shutting down the game’s auction house, a system that allows users to sell in-game items for in-game gold and real out-of-game money. As explained on the company’s official site, Blizzard felt that the auction houses “undermines Diablo’s core gameplay: Kill monsters to get cool loot.” To that, I say: Duh. Diablo has always been about going into a dungeon and hacking at monsters until they spit out a better sword or a fancier pair of pants. When you give people the opportunity to bypass that monster-killing and buy that fancy pair of pants with real money, it defeats the purpose of killing virtual monsters in the first place. The auction houses won’t be closed down until March 18, 2014, so there’s still plenty of time to trick some poor sucker into paying way over market price for your level 45 Vengeful Skull Hammer (or some actual Diablo III item).
EA announces new expansion to take SimCity…TO THE FUTURE
Life hasn’t been easy for EA’s SimCity reboot. The internet connection-dependent game ran into crippling issues early on and endured mixed reviews. The best way to solve your problems is by using a time machine, which is why SimCity’s next big expansion pack is taking the urban-management sim into the future with Cities Of Tomorrow. As seen on Rock, Paper, Shotgun, the expansion will allow you to turn your metropolis into a gleaming wonderland of idealism, full of shining white towers and probably a lot of chrome, or you can pack it full of bleak industrialism and neon-lined everything like the smog-filled hellhole from Blade Runner. You can also build super-tall skyscrapers called MegaTowers, in case you want to be the mayor of the sort of town where crime runs rampant on the streets and the only thing standing between your citizens and anarchy is a man named Judge Dredd. Cities Of Tomorrow will be available Nov. 12 for $30.