While gamers commit unspeakable and violent acts in the hit video game Grand Theft Auto V, someone is counting the dollar signs.
And every cent is well deserved.
Sales of the title passed the $1 billion dollar mark after just three days on the market and even calls to stores in Squamish over the weekend were met with beleaguered sales associates who sadly said they were sold out and werenít sure when copies of the game would return to shelves.
GTAís creation is proof positive that the public will spend $59.99 on a quality product, even in the face of loads of competition from Angry Birds, Candy Crush or whatever silly $2 game friends on Facebook keep inviting you to play.
Itís not just the marketing, violence and sex that are selling the game, either. Video games nowadays are full of elaborate storylines, excellent voice acting and more realistic graphics than ever before.
And itís a lesson in quality from which Hollywood could stand to learn.
This past yearís crop of summer movies was disappointing, from the barrage of never-ending sequels (Smurfs 2, Grownups 2 and Despicable Me 2) to more comic book movies (Man of Steel, Wolverine and Ironman 3), to just plain poor ideas (RIPD, Elysium and The Lone Ranger).
Hollywood didnít deliver and people are letting it know with their wallets.
GTAís rise to a billion shattered the time it took for the fastest film in history to reach the same mark. The Avengers, released in 2012, took 19 days to reach the magic number ó the exact same length as Avatar and one of the 17 Harry Potter movies that were released.
Sure, the game cost a staggering $260 million to make, but thatís well below some of the bloated costs of movies in Hollywood. Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worldís End (another sequel) set Disney back approximately $300 million and it still hasnít yet passed the $1 billion mark in sales.
Donít think the talent in Tinseltown isnít watching. Beyond Two Souls, an interactive drama action-adventure game coming out in October, stars Academy Award nominees Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe.
The silver-screen experience seems to be dominated by special effects, unnecessary sequels and people wearing those goofy 3D glasses. For the time being, Iíll stick with lying, stealing and cheating (only in the videogame world, of course) of GTA.
Letís hope Squamish retailers get a fresh re-stock of the game so I can stop living vicariously through the violent actions of friends and family and get to experience the pure mayhem myself.
Arenít video games grand?