Ten years ago, the U.S. was reeling in the devastating aftermath of September 11th. A month afterwards, with the U.S. still in the midst of this chaos, Rockstar Games made the highly controversial decision to release Grand Theft Auto 3. Their decision is considered to be the moment when the argument about violence in video games actually took center stage as a mainstream issue. For players the world over, however, it marked a complete reinvention and redefinition of the phrase “open world game.”
Today, Rockstar announced via a press release that they will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the groundbreaking title that reinvigorated the Grand Theft Auto franchise with a re-release of GTA3 now planned for iOS and Android devices. GTA3 for iOS and Android is also going to be playable for attendees of the New York Comic Con this year. Attendees will further have the the opportunity to take a look at a gallery of original artwork from the game, and win some cool anniversary related merchandise. What kind of merchandise is Rockstar offering? Well we’re glad you asked!
Rockstar Warehouse, the official store for the developer, has been updated to include three pieces of new merchandise. The first two items are special edition posters of the original box art for GTA3. And make no mistake people, Rockstar isn’t playing favorites. For the reasonable price of $15 one can get either the US or EU box art rendered in poster form. As a quick aside, the posters are a testament to the fact that even as far back as a decade, the EU versions of games had an edge over US editions in terms of box art.
But the highlight of the set of new items is the special, limited edition Claude action figure. Many who are old enough to remember GTA3 probably also remember the game’s silent protagonist, Claude. The action figure sports 30 different points of articulation, several iconic weapons from the game, realistic clothing, and display stand all for $149.99. The price for the figure is a bit steep for sure, but the collectible is being produced as a limited set of 1500. Alternatively, if you don’t want to pay upwards of $150 for one Rockstar is also having a contest via the Rockstar Social Club where three lucky winners will get an action figure to call their own.
As a brief bit of history, Grand Theft Auto 3 was originally released back in 2001 and was the first Grand Theft Auto game to take place in a 3D open world. The game was widely praised for its amazing story, level of immersion, and pop-culture references. It also set forth many of the guiding principles for Rockstar’s development of further iterations within the franchise. According to NPD Group estimates, the game is the highest rated PS2 game of all time, and was the best selling console game the year it was released.
There is no word yet on when the iOS or Android versions will hit the App Store or Market, respectively, but we’ll keep our ears and eyes open for anything.
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