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Making Grand Theft Auto pay

An advertisement for the new Grand Theft Auto is viewed at a gaming store on January 11, 2013 in New York City. Gamers are a determined bunch. That's a hint for one of the answers to this week's Silicon Tally quiz!

If you're a hardcore video gamer, you've probably been up all night playing Grand Theft Auto V on your Playstation or Xbox.  

The latest version of GTA feels like a gritty, interactive film.  And it’s as expensive as a blockbuster movie, too. The game cost around $265 million to make. 

Like so much coming out of Hollywood, this is a "tentpole" property that producers can count on.  Greg Miller is a host at the video game news site, IGN. He says dedicated gamers have been waiting for a new GTA ever since the last edition, released in 2008.

"Grand Theft Auto is that game where everyone who plays video games, it seems, has that memory," says Miller. "This game is going to do insane numbers."

Only the top video game companies, like Rockstar or Electronic Arts, have giant franchises on the scale of Grand Theft Auto. Dan Hsu is editor-in-chief of Gamesbeat. He says these titles give companies freedom to do other things.
 
"Those (blockbuster games) will make up some of the other higher risk properties that may cost several million to produce, but may not necessarily meet sales expectations," says Hsu. 
 
GTA 5 is forecasted to pull in around 1 billion dollars, leaving quite a bit of room for creative experimentation.

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