Almost everyone played video games at least once in their lives. This industry is developing at a fairly rapid pace, every year there are a lot of high-quality games from different studios around the world. But in this article, we want to talk about the company, which is the icon of millions of players around the world, and it became the benchmark of the gaming industry over time. As you probably already guessed, it will be about Rockstar studio.
Rockstar Games was founded in 1998 in New York. The main division of the company is “Rockstar North”, responsible for the development of the well-known GTA (Grand Theft Auto) series. It should be noted that, among other operating studios, this subsidiary company is the main one. It is remarkable that the “Rockstar North” branch was founded 10 years earlier than the parent company, namely in 1988 by David Jones and three other co-founders. They called their studio quite simply – DMA. These three capital letters absolutely did not mean anything, they just caught the eye in the documentation for the AMIGO personal computer to one of the guys. True, later, they came up with the decoding DMA abbreviation – “Direct Mind Access”, but the employees jokingly called the company “Doesn’t mean anything”.
Immediately after the founding, they started developing video games, the first brainchild of the company was the two-dimensional scrolling shooter “Menace”, which was released in 1988, and a year later the project “Blood Money” was released. This game was quite successful, popular game magazines of that time gave it a rating of 94 points.
Being overwhelmed by the success of DMA, they released a crazy popular project “Lemmings” in 1991. It is worth noting that this game was sold about 20 million copies and has acquired many sequels. Initially, the project was released for one platform, namely for “Commodore Amiga”, however, after it gained great popularity on it, it became cross-platform. Over time, this game was even adapted to the PSP system. But after a few sequels, interest in the project began to decline and the company began to think about switching forces to new games. Afterward, the new creations of DMA came out on personal computers with MS-DOS, Commodore 64, and Atari ST.
The birth of a legend – GTA
October 21, 1997 is the very day when the original GTA was represented to the world. The release of this project was a turning point not only for DMA, but for the entire gaming industry as a whole. Despite its two-dimensionality, the new project impressed with its freedom in the game world, with the cruelty that was over the line, in general, it was a breath of fresh air. The game made a lot of noise, which played into the hands of the publisher and developers, and both versions (for PC and Playstation) instantly became bestsellers.
The story of the gangster and auto theft, ruthlessly crushing pedestrians and cracking down on opponents, became a new guide for other game publishers. Many various missions, including the extra earnings of the main character in a taxi, ambulance car or even fire truck, became the main features of GTA. The game was so popular that the sequel did not take long to wait.
DMA experts started to create GTA II, but Rockstar Games was already considered as its creator, which in turn was and remains to this day the property of the company T2. This fact predestined the future of DMA. Top view in the GTA looked very nice at the time, so the sequel was the same as the original, but it had much more freedom of action. For example, multiplayer mode appeared in GTA II. The style of the game has become more aesthetic, together with a cyberpunk and old-fashioned cars. Dangerous criminal adventures constantly awaited for the main character Claude Speed and they were all connected with one of seven groupings in the game. In the original GTA, the player was chased only by the police, but the developers of the second part added SWAT, federal agents, and army forces.
It is worth remarking that the average score of the game was 7 of 10, but, alas, the developers failed to repeat the success of the first part.
The revolution of the early 2000s: three-dimensional games
The studio decided to make a real revolution in the gaming industry, in 2001 the third part of the game became the main bestseller among all the video games of that year. LIberty City, reminiscent of New York, was notable for its incredible detailing. The unnamed protagonist, who broke from prison at the very beginning of the game, eventually becomes a respected criminal authority. The game finally moved to 3D and thus set a new bar for projects of this kind. Gangster fights, racketeering, drugs, car theft – DMA developers have linked all these and more into an interesting story with not boring missions. GTA III is not just a good game – it was a real breakthrough in the industry at the time.
After the success of GTA III, “Rockstar Games” acquires a developer’s studio, making DMA its main division. In 2002, the world forgets about DMA and learns about the new brand “Rockstar North”. This division is responsible for the project Manhunt and Manhunt 2. Before the release of GTA IV, the equally successful Vice City and San Andreas came out. Both projects were highly appreciated by the gaming publishers and gamers themselves.
The next revolution came with the release of GTA IV. The mechanic of shootings and melee fights has been created anew for this game. For example, a system of shelters appeared, that is, the game character was able to hide behind the closest possible obstacle and fire from there. The scene was the fictional city LIberty City, the prototype of New York.
The story tells about the charismatic Niko Belik who helps his brother Roman to make the American dream come true. Over six million copies of the game were sold in the first week of sales, totaling $500 million ($310 million on the first sales day), with production costs of $100 million. GTA IV was included in the Guinness World Records for a record sales results for the first day and the first week in the media industry.
Other Popular Games of Studio Rockstar
Another game from Rockstar excited the community of gamers with its originality and fresh idea, it happened even before the triumph of the fourth part of the Grand Theft Auto. Many players might know about the project “Bully”, which was created by Canadian developers. The game tells the story of a teenager Jimmy Hopkins, an avid bully who was kicked out of several educational institutions. New school year for Jimmy begins at the boarding school with a very bad reputation, which is located in the small American town of Bullworth. The game was met with positive reviews and received high marks on the largest gaming sites. According to rumors, the developers are currently working on the creation of the second part.
The same Canadian studio was working on the “Max Payne 3” project – the game that won the “Inside Gaming Awards” in the “Best animation” category in 2012. However, Rockstar Vancouver is not the only Canadian studio – another one studio Rockstar Toronto is located in the city of Oakville.
The second most important studio after Rockstar North is Rockstar San Diego. It was founded in 1984 and until 2002 it was called “Angel Studios”. Among the projects developed by them, special attention should be paid to “Midtown Madness”, “Midtown Madness 2” and “Midnight Club: Street Racing”. After the guys became part of the Rockstar team, such projects as “Midnight Club II”, “Red Dead Revolver”, “Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition”, “Midnight Club: Los Angeles” and a truly grand western of 2010 “Red Dead Redemption” were born. The game received very warm feedback from critics, experts noted a well-developed open world, an interesting story and a quality soundtrack. In fact, this is the same GTA, but actions take place in the XIX century in the wild west. This game was sold in the amount of 5 million copies during May and June 2010. By the way, “Red Dead Redemption” received a sequel, which was released in 2019.
GTA V – the best game of the studio ever
It is worth noting that for the success of GTA IV and Max Payne III games, a significant role was played by the San Diego division, which, together with Rockstar North, developed the branded graphic engine “RAGE”, which is intended exclusively for internal use. For the first time, its capabilities could be seen in the game “Rockstar presents table tennis”, later in GTA IV and a more advanced version in Max Payne III. Wide opportunities, continuous improvement, and refinement of the engine allow to use it to this day. The game that beat more than one sales record was created based on “RAGE”, so it’s time to talk about the company’s pearl – GTA V. It is another proof that Rockstar does not make bad games. Though they make them for a very long time, they make them qualitatively.
The developers of Rockstar Games said that GTA V was their biggest and most ambitious project with the largest open game world at the moment of its release. For the first time in the history of the series, there are three main characters at once in the game, and it is possible to switch between them almost at any time. In total, the game has 62 main missions and a lot of minor ones, also GTA V has three different ending versions.
Rockstar experts have created not only a giant world – they drew it so colorful that every pixel is pleasing to the eye. In October 2012, being still at the development stage, the fifth part of the cult game was awarded the thirtieth annual British “Golden Joystick Awards” 2012. The game also won the nomination “Game of the Year 2013” from the magazine “Igromania.” In February 2019, sales of GTA V exceeded 100 million copies worldwide.
Perhaps the story of one of the most successful gaming studios and publishers can be finished on this note. Of course, Rockstar Games is a leading company in the gaming industry. They provide freedom, open, thoughtful and colorful game worlds in their games. Their products bring not only profit, but also enthusiastic reviews of gamers and critics around the world. According to unconfirmed rumors, in 2021 we should wait for the sixth part of the cult game GTA, which is likely to break even more records and give us an unforgettable gaming experience.
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