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WICHITA, Kansas – It’s the most notorious video game ever made, and its newest installment, the first in five years, hit shelves at midnight Monday with fans celebrating and critics complaining.
Grand Theft Auto V is expected to shatter video game sales records with an expected 6.5 million copies to be sold on its first day of release. Forbes estimates the game will make more than $400 million.
“Its cool. It’s one of my favorite games. Probably is my favorite game,” said John Jenkins after pre-ordering his copy of GTA5 at the GameStop on West Street. “It’s going to be pretty crazy.”
Many GameStop franchises around the nation and here in Kansas are opening late Monday night to give customers the opportunity to buy their copies at midnight. A launch party is scheduled at their West Street location starting at 9 p.m.
Politicians from both parties have singled out the Grand Theft Auto series for being a bad influence on children. The game is violent and allows players to kill police officers and visit prostitutes. It has a “mature” rating, keeping stores from selling the games to children under 18.
The NRA blamed violent video games and movies for creating a culture of violence that leads to mass shootings after the Sandy Hook massacre last year claimed 26 lives.
Fans of the game shrug off the criticism, pointing out violence existed long before TV, movies, and Grand Theft Auto.
“It’s a high profile game and there is a lot of violence and that does attract a lot of attention,” said Jason Love after paying for his copy. “The reality of it is people who have a violent mind are going to be attracted to violent games or any sort of violent media. The games aren’t necessarily causing that.”
The developers of Grand Theft Auto 4 report that games sold over 100 million copies world wide since it’s 2008 release.