Business - Written by Brendan Peat on Monday, May 12, 2008 16:42 - 3 Comments
The GTA IV Hood, a google powered wiki mashup
The latest addition to the Grand Theft Auto series hit store shelves just about 2 weeks ago and has enjoyed enormous success. The game smashed previous sales records set only a few months ago by Halo 3 and has recorded well over half a billion dollars revenue. “Official figures released yesterday by publisher Take-Two Interactive show the game blew past already-high industry analyst expectations, bringing in some $500 million dollars in first-week sales.”
In the GTA game players navigate around a ‘fictional’ city (based on NY in the latest edition) and complete a variety of tasks. In the past the one of the challenges of GTA, outside of the traditional story line, has been discovering all of the little tricks and secret missions in the game. For GTA IV however the latter has become infinitely easier. The reason being there has been an an explosion of activity on the GTA IV “google powered wiki mashup” or Grand Theft Auto Hood. IGN has created a site that allows gamers to do a number of things which include navigate Liberty City using google maps, tag points of interest, missions, vehicles, secrets etc…, collaboratively develop a gaming guide in a wiki and interact with other gamers in the forums. Top contributers are identified by the number of edits the make to the site and the number of things they ‘discover’ in the game.
The discoveries range in value and can be anything from critical information you need to complete a mission to my personal favourite, where to find the “Little cart that pulls the luggage carts”. It’s a model that could easily be leveraged by other games in the future and is great way to create both excitement and a sense of community around a video game. Had the game developer come up with the idea (instead of IGN) they probably could have got some great customer feedback and ideas for improvements and future games.
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