Fans queued throughout the night just to be in line to buy the computer game Grand Theft Auto V this morning. Some of them took time of work just so they could get their hands on the most expensive game ever made. It was developed by Rockstar North in Edinburgh, Scotland cost £170 million to produce and is expected to have retail sales of £1bn in the first year. The last release was five years ago and the GTA franchise has sold 135 million copies since it was first released in 1997. The figures stack up well when compared to the release of big budget films and the distinction between games and films is increasingly blurred.
Successful big budget console games are still made in the UK by Rockstar and Rocksteady. The UK games industry has had a difficult few years due to competition from Canada and the increase in the use of smart phones by games consumers. There was a modest growth of 4% in 2012 as studios moved away from developing for traditional platforms and embraced web-based digital gaming. It is estimated that over 35 million Britons are regular gamers and that with 30,000 people employed in the industry nationally. Gaming contributes £1bn to the UK GDP
British mobile and social gaming development is rapidly expanding. This opens up the possibility of developing games on smaller budgets and more developers are making games and self publishing and small studios are developing their own projects as well as doing the usual work for the bigger studios on a work for hire basis. Investors are interested once again. There are opportunities in gaming for artists, animators and audio designers, script writers, project managers, distributors, games media, PR, studio management and of course programmers. A variety of programming languages are used with Windows commonly written in C#, Android in Java, and iOS developers using Objective-C.
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