Grand Theft Auto 5 fans in rush for hot new game

It cost £170 million to make and is set to pull in more than £1 billion in sales – so no wonder thousands of game fans queued until midnight to get their hands on Grand Theft Auto 5.

Stores across the UK opened their doors at midnight for the special launch of the game and branches across the Black Country and Staffordshire were besieged by hundreds of game lovers.

Online retailer Amazon has already sold out this morning. Experts estimate it could sell 25 million copies – breaking current records.

It has received rave reviews from reviewers across the board who have labelled it ‘one of the very best video games ever made’, but also attracted criticism for its on screen violence despite its 18 age rating.

Mike Brookes, manager of Game in Walsall, had 500 fans at his door as the clock struck 12 and said staff had been preparing for months. “It’s by far the biggest game launch we’ve ever done.”

“The atmosphere has been fantastic.

“I’d say more than 1,000 people came through the shop during the night. "

The game, which has been criticised in some quarters for its violent and sinister themes which see players stalk the streets of a virtual reality city armed with an arsenal of weapons, was selling for £44.99, or £59.99 for a ‘special edition’.

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However, the launch has not gone as smoothly as planned.

The Scottish creator Rockstar has launched an investigation into whether copies were dispatched ahead of its official release. Some gamers claimed to have received their copies as early as Friday following Amazon deliveries.

The series has sales of 135 million since its 1997 debut – GTA 4 alone sold more than 25 million copies.

Frantic game fans descended on Wolverhampton city centre for the launch.

Customers were waiting to get their copy from Game in the Wulfrun Centre at midnight with some reporting queues stretching out of the centre and along Dudley Street.

Today around 50 customers, who had pre-ordered the game as long as a year ago, were waiting for the latest in the Grand Theft Auto franchise.

Robert Long, 26, from Willenhall said: “I was waiting in the queue for an hour. I don’t get those that were queuing up last night – I wouldn’t because it’s too cold for a start. My brother got me into the GTA games and I’ve played them ever since.”

At Game in Park Street, Walsall, almost 500 fans were waiting when the doors opened at midnight while dozens queued at the Dudley branch.

Among them was Kathleen Love, who was buying the game for her grandson Sam. The family had pre-ordered the game in January and Mrs Love queued for 40 minutes to get the game.

Her husband Charlie, aged 70, said: “It’s crazy, I know some people were queuing up overnight. We weren’t going to do that, but it still took long enough though. I hope he likes it.”

This was the first midnight opening of 2013 for the Walsall store after several special launches last year, including Call Of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, Battlefield and FIFA.

First in the queue was 18-year-old Jake Startin, of Botany Road, Walsall, who headed the line for six hours, beginning his vigil as the shop was closing at the end of normal trading at 6pm.

The Walsall College IT student said: “I wanted to be here. It’s the best game at the moment.

“It’s got a great range of things you can do.

“There’s been a lot of hype around it but I’m expecting it will have been well worth the wait.”

Matthew Horton, 21, of Leamore, said: “This is the first time I’ve queued for a game but it’s a huge release and could possible sell out by midday so I wanted to make sure I’d got it.

“Looking at the queue I’d say I made the right decision.”

Razwan Bashir, aged 27, his brother Arslaan, 18, and their friend Khurram Yousaf, 26, all from Birchills, Walsall, arrived at the shop at 8.30pm, earning themselves a plastic-backed picture of the game’s three main characters, a gift to the first 30 customers.

Khurran, a customer returns officer for Amazon in Rugeley, was back at work today but has booked the next two weeks off to devote himself to the GTA challenge.

“I pre-ordered the game nearly a year ago, on November 5, which was the first possible date you could do it.

“I’m really excited, I’ve been counting down the days to this moment,” he said.

Bilston college student Robert Durnin, 22, was kept company in the queue by his father, Robert Durnin senior, aged 52, of Pinfold Street, Darlaston.

He forked out £120 for the collection, which included the game, book, hat and other paraphernalia.

“I’m just addicted,” said Robert.

Factory worker Shaun McLoughlin, 21, from Nechells, Birmingham, joined friend Christopher Heaton, 19, of Oakwood Road, Blakenall, Walsall, in the queue.

He said: “I’ve come to Walsall because none of my mates back home were prepared to queue. I got here at around 9.30pm. I’m a big fan.”

Christopher said: “The last midnight launch I went to, for Black Ops II, I left at 11pm and didn’t get served until 2.30am, so I’ve saved a bit of waiting time this time round but my legs are aching now and I’ve called my sister to give us a lift home.

“I’m hoping the game’s going to be amazing.”

Gavin Eades, of Walsall Wood, who was with his friend Alex Checkley, 19, of Clayhanger, had booked the day off work at Brownhills-based Pyramid Profiles to spend with his new purchase.

The 26-year-old fabricator, who queued for two hours, said: “We’ve been waiting five years for this.”

Are you spending the day playing Grand Theft Auto 5. Share your first impressions of the game (no spoilers!) in the comments below:

Comments for: "Grand Theft Auto 5 fans in rush for hot new game"

Precious

I must admit, the GTA games are highly amazingly playable. The story lines are brilliant and in a way, it is like directing your own movie whilst sticking to a script. But, I wouldn't que up in the middle of the night for a game I could get next week. I have waited so long, surely another week would do no harm, but fair play to those who did que.. I hope they enjoy their new game......

I wonder how many of them phoned in sick this morning??

stevewolves

Phone in sick? They've got to have a job first.

Thehoffsleftsock

500 queuing at 45-50 a pop, whatever happened to a decents nite kip and grab it in the morning, what is the wold coming too.

bar-zo

i did not go to school today just so i can go buy gta V from my local store, but it seems i wont be playin it today due to the queue...i need to go and get a doctor letter of absence...

bobwolf101

Whooops. You just posted your skive on here. No need for a doctor's note now!!! And what GP in their right mind would give you one anyways for skiving off school to play a game!! And you are not old enough to play it.

Dave

I booked a week off work as holidays for this game, i had 2 months left to use up those 7 days of paid holidays before they ran out so the release was perfect timing!

Benedictus

Recession ? What recession ?

Mr Anderson

My copy was on the doorstep by the time i woke this morning, so i got a good nights sleep and got the game on release day, bonus

Martacus Redd

The words LIFE GET A comes to mind.

As for "Recession ? What recession ?" I bet that's what the credit card companies & Wonga are thinking also

David

Nicely timed for the start of University terms and all those lovely student loans being deposited into the bank accounts.

Ronnie Allen

Must be puddled.

stjoe

All the mugs paying rip off prices for a the game. They see the sheeple coming don't they LOL!!

Dougal

Fifa 14 next week too!!!!!!!!!!!!

gotalife

And that's the highlight of their year! ? Bless......

Nathan Taylor

I received mine this morning from amazon around 9 o'clock so I enjoyed my sleep, however its now a fulls day work till tonight when I eventually get home to begin another chapter in the GTA world

makemegiggle

I'm loving all these "get a life" type posts. I'm sure most of you posting such things enjoy being glued to a TV watching a bunch of men in shorts chase a round thing around a pitch. Irony at its best.

John

No PC version planned. The bread and butter of this game's development gets shafted again, despite the fact the game would look better on a PC.

John

A 22-year-old student paying £120 for a game.. you should be ashamed. Most people who are working can't afford this - many can't even afford to eat, or keep themselves warm.

FairPlay

I'm not student, but how they spend their money is up to them.

Get a life buddy, just because your down and out doesn't mean everyone else has to be. This country is amazing because people are able to express themselves and buy what ever they want - he shouldn't be made to feel guilty for a splurge he likely saved up for all year.

simon

Seems like they can afford an Internet connection though eh ?.

All work and no play...

Find it amazing some people saying oh it's a waste of money, oh it's a waste of time. My copy came in the post this morning, cost £35, I have enjoyed a few hours playtime, now it's off to work. The one's saying "Get A Life" are the ones having the spare time to comment on here, so I can assume you have a fulfilled life full of good times? This is a game that's being enjoyed as it is a new release and a popular franchise.

jonb

Yes a great game of violence smashing people up, killing people and stealing. Wow!!! I hope you enjoy your intellectual enthralling game.I think most intelligent people enjoy better stimulation than this game, but your not one of those so enjoy!!

GP

I don't usually nitpick but if someone is going to attack the intelligence of others then I should point out that it's 'you're' and not 'your' in this instance. You're welcome ;).

priorybaggie

Give me a Tommy Cooper dvd any day.

John

If you have a PC download MTA (Multi-Theft-Auto). It's a free multi-player mod for GTA: San Andreas on the PC. There's lots you can do: racing, role-play, death-match, zombies.. it's evolving all the time. Just get a decent PC to run it, as GTA: SA wasn't optimised to dual-cores or even multi-player, so naturally there's a huge overhead. There's stuff you see in MTA you won't even see in GTA V (and my guess is Rockstar took a lot of influences from it). If you're good at scripting LUA etc you can do some wonderful stuff in MTA. If you like GTA, then you'll love MTA. Better than suffering a load of yocal louts like the last time I queued for a game here in the Midlands..

Feances

My sons bought this game out of his wages he works hard and needs time to relax it's up to him if he wants to pay £45 for a game.it costs that much for a night out in the clubs and I know what I would rather he spent his money on.

Will

You guys that you saying ''get a life''... please... you go and get a life...!!! In the meantime I'll drive my aston martin to the helipad, do a small air tour around L.A. then landing with my parachute on my jet ski that is left near a tiny island and enjoy the sound of the waves, maybe some scuba diving would be interesting as well....... At least it will be a nice break from the miserable world that you created with your ''get a life'' pathetic cliche ....

s

Think I'll wait for GTA 76

Biskit

I got my game yesterday. Didnt queue or anything, and have put off playing it until today as I had other things to do...

Not sure how anyone can say "get a life" when people are clearly enjoying their lives at their own pace.

I do my stuff, you do yours. I also work for a huge company in a decent role, and I enjoy that too. Now I won't say I love my job incase anyone tells me to get a life...

Oh I also have a house and a pet dog and a partner of 4 years... I enjoy at least 1 holiday a year, and I have an xbox which I play once or twice a week... I think I have a bit of a life....

People say this game will make people take on a violent persona and make them want to smash up cars and rob people....

Games can't do that.

Tracey

Queuing for anything all day, or all night, is very, very sad, but a game unbelievable really need to get a life. Sad.