I know this is just a rumor right now, but it would be cool if it was a launch game!
We posted news earlier today that Rockstar are currently looking for Environment Artists “to get the most from next-gen consoles.”
While the majority of the gaming community immediately jumped to the prospect of this new project being part of Microsoft’s or Sony’s next gen console offerings, the Wii U has for the most part been entirely overlooked. This being said, evidence is mounting that these vacancies could well be tied into a Wii U release of the highly anticipated GTA V.
In an interview with Forbes last June, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick was questioned about whether Take-Two and 2K would be producing titles for the Wii U.
Zelnick responded that the team “are looking at it seriously and at the relationship with Nintendo” and that they “support the platform and they were pretty excited about what they have seen”.
“At the end of the day, we are interested in creating economic value, and what we intend to do is make something and sell it to millions and millions of people, and sell it at a high price. You don’t want to spend lots and lots of money to make something you are going to sell to a small amount of people at a low price.”
With this in mind, it’s widely known that the Wii’s sales were astronomical at launch and in the proceedings months after, with mass shortages worldwide. As of September 30, 2011, Nintendo has sold 89.36 million Wii consoles, exceeding both the Xbox 360′s and PS3′s global total sales to date and with the hype around the Wii U, the market for a AAA title, like GTA V, on the console is definitely economically sound.
The next piece of evidence is based around some insider info we received today from a source stating that a Wii U console is currently residing in the Rockstar North offices, amongst discussions of how and whether GTA V should and would be released on Nintendo’s next console.
If the developers are looking for Environmental Artists to be based in the Rockstar North offices to work on a next-gen console, with this information, the Wii U is certainly a likely candidate for being that console.
This would also tie in with rumours around the Project Cafe period that Rockstar were among the first third-party developers to receive a software development kit for Project Cafe and were planning on developing a title for the consoles launch.
This theory was further propelled with today’s announcement from Zelnick that Rockstar title, Max Payne 3, is being pushed by 2 months to a May release date, citing that the reason for this is to ensure the highest quality possible for the title on release.
It’s widely recognised that we are to be expecting the release of the Wii U around May this year so could this delay be tied into a decision to release a version of Max Payne 3 on the console, giving further reasoning to also do this with GTA V?
“With Max Payne 3 now slated for May, our robust lineup of upcoming releases for fiscal 2013 is even stronger, including BioShock Infinite, Borderlands 2, Spec Ops: The Line, XCOM, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and other titles yet to be announced for release that year.”
Rockstar Games plans to announce further details relating to the delay later today. If this is that the title is getting a Wii U release, is yet to be seen.
Finally, looking at the tech specs of the Wii U, it would certainly be capable of handling anything that GTA V could throw at it and the tablet controller could add some interesting gameplay functions to the title, possibly by utilising the map, weapon inventory and cell phone options.
The team here at StickTwiddlers would not be surprised if this increasing amount of evidence pointed towards a Wii U release of what is arguably one of the most popular game franchises of all time. The hardware is there and it’s an economically viable decision, appealing to both the developers and the publishers.
GTA V would be a fantastic launch title for a next-gen console to boost sales but with no word of a release date for Microsoft of Sony’s contributions, the Wii U would be their best bet.