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It's funny.  Laugh. United Kingdom Games

Could UK Tax Breaks Pave the Way For GTA London? 137

Posted by Soulskill
from the blow-your-whistle-at-hookers-and-gently-reprimand-them dept.
BanjoTed writes "An interesting — if tongue-in-cheek — bit of speculation is up at MCV about the possibility of a Grand Theft Auto title across the pond. 'Chancellor Alistair Darling's pledge to support the video games development industry with tax breaks could do more than simply protect the future of the UK dev sector,' the site claims. 'It could also have dictated the setting of the next Grand Theft Auto.' Its reasoning? That developers will only be eligible for new UK tax breaks if their games can be proven to be 'culturally British.' Being based in the UK alone is not sufficient for this — instead, the games in question must promote Britishness. Hence MCV's conclusion that Grand Theft Auto V may well be set in London — saving Rockstar an estimated $16m in the process."
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Could UK Tax Breaks Pave the Way For GTA London?

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  • by Stormwatch (703920) <rodrigogirao&hotmail,com> on Friday March 26, 2010 @02:46AM (#31622918) Homepage
    A "GTA: London" is nothing new -- the mission packs for the first GTA [wikipedia.org] were set in London.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sopssa (1498795) *

      Yes, even the article mentions that. It doesn't mean there couldn't be a new GTA London, using the same engine as GTA IV. I'm not sure if they really want to promote "Britishness" with a game series like GTA though, even if its a fun game.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by mdwh2 (535323)

        I think a similar game could be done though - something along the lines of Grand Football Hooligan: London.

        Or how about, G20 Protest: London - you get the choice of playing either the police or a member of the public. You get to experience good old British tactics, such as kettling, or when that fails, a good old beating them to the ground. You'll face dangerous villains such as people trying to make their way home from work, and protestors armed with digital cameras. Be sure to arrest anyone who asks to se

        • by Miseph (979059)

          If it's any consolation, they do that shit in America too. I can't even count how many times I've been called "un-American" during the course of what should be polite political conversation.

      • OTOH, you could be an Irish bastard who gets to kick the shit out of a bunch of chavs.

    • by jandersen (462034) on Friday March 26, 2010 @04:08AM (#31623272)

      And anyway, GTA, with its focus on wanton violence and abuse, is somewhat dated. How about a completely different approach: A game where the objective is to drive in a safe, economical, environmentally responsible and polite way through London City in the rush hour, taking into account the one-way system, the roadworks, the tens of thousands of pedestrians crossing the street in front of you, the fact that the London streetmap looks a bit like a Mandelbrot fractal and that streetnames change on average every 20 meters. Now that WOULD be extreme.

      • by Canazza (1428553) on Friday March 26, 2010 @04:41AM (#31623446)

        GTA's focus on wanton violence and abuse may be dated for London, but it would be highly apt for GTA:Glasgow.

        • by Gordonjcp (186804) on Friday March 26, 2010 @06:29AM (#31624054) Homepage

          GTA's focus on wanton violence and abuse may be dated for London, but it would be highly apt for GTA:Glasgow.

          One of the missions in the upcoming GTA:Paisley mission pack is to steal a jeep, set it on fire then crash it into the front of the airport terminal building. Then you have to avoid the irate locals and police, with three "wanted" stars.

          • Can we get the main characters modeled after the Top Gear crew (the cars should fit the show too!), and have The Doctor somewhere in there?
            I’d play that!
            Having the Monty Pythons in there would be icing on the cake. ^^

            Imagine you live in a flat, and go to eat in the local restaurant, where you can get spam, spam spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, baked beans and spam. Then some weird weird guy at the ministry of silly walks gives you a job where you you have to buy a “British Beetle” at “C

        • Glasgow Inner Ring Road
          and the rest of the Greater Glasgow Transportation Plan.

      • by delinear (991444) on Friday March 26, 2010 @04:49AM (#31623500)

        I'd be keen on seeing how they could implement the congestion charge into the game. Especially in the early parts where you're generally short on cash - somehow beating pedestrians and prostitutes to death for their spare change to pay the fee doesn't seem to promote quite the image of Britishness I would guess the law is aiming at.

        On that note, a game involving binge drinking, violence, knife crime, teenage pregnancy, police brutality and political corruption would definitely promote "Britishness" at the moment, but I can't see Our Glorious Leaders giving it the official stamp of approval...

        • by Canazza (1428553) on Friday March 26, 2010 @05:27AM (#31623714)

          binge drinking, violence, knife crime, teenage pregnancy, police brutality and political corruption

          So... GTA:Eastenders

        • by xaxa (988988)

          I'd be keen on seeing how they could implement the congestion charge into the game.

          I don't think it's a problem. If you don't pay the charge on the day they write to you a week or two later, long after the car has been written off.

          Failing that, steal a bus. Preferably a bendy bus, so you can kill extra pedestrians on the corners.

          (Or steal a bicycle? Plenty of criminals use bicycles as getaway 'vehicles', they're much faster than cars in central & inner London, and cars can't chase bicycles down narrow streets or steps. Of course, look out for the police on bicycles.)

          • by Canazza (1428553)

            Hah, I'd buy GTA V just to cause bendy bus carnage.

          • by tomtomtom (580791)

            (Or steal a bicycle? Plenty of criminals use bicycles as getaway 'vehicles', they're much faster than cars in central & inner London, and cars can't chase bicycles down narrow streets or steps. Of course, look out for the police on bicycles.)

            Even better, for pure silliness factor, how about a Thames Clipper [tfl.gov.uk]!?

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by jc79 (1683494)

          On that note, a game involving binge drinking, violence, knife crime, teenage pregnancy, police brutality and political corruption would definitely promote "Britishness" at the moment, but I can't see Our Glorious Leaders giving it the official stamp of approval...

          Yes, because let's not forget that Britain Is Broken. You can't even walk down the street without getting drunk then stabbed and made pregnant by a teenage asylum seeking terrorist high on drugs bought with generous handouts from Gordon "Stalin" Brown.

          I wish all the whinging bloody Daily Fail reading UKIP voting morons would fuck off to their villas in Spain (apparently it's only immigration when furriners come here, tax dodging ex-pats polluting someone else's country with their idiocy and refusal to speak

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by grahamlord86 (1603545)

        It would be too difficult.

        In American GTA, I can drive carefully down the pavement past a cop car so long as I don't kill any pedestrians.

        In GTA V: London, the police would randomly start chasing me because one of the following reasons will have been met:

        1. I look like a Geezaaaaah.
        2. My MOT is out of date.
        3. My Tax disc isn't on display because I sold it for the Hot Coffee scene.
        4. I didn't pay the congestion charge.

        Oh, and every street wider than 10ft in London is a car park of traffic...

      • by Xest (935314)

        "the tens of thousands of pedestrians crossing the street in front of you"

        Am I the only one who read this and started thinking about how much score you could earn if you just put your foot down? ...too much Carmageddon, GTA and such over the years I guess ;)

      • by Kitkoan (1719118)

        And anyway, GTA, with its focus on wanton violence and abuse, is somewhat dated. How about a completely different approach: A game where the objective is to drive in a safe, economical, environmentally responsible and polite way through London City in the rush hour, taking into account the one-way system, the roadworks, the tens of thousands of pedestrians crossing the street in front of you, the fact that the London streetmap looks a bit like a Mandelbrot fractal and that streetnames change on average every 20 meters. Now that WOULD be extreme.

        I think that game is called SimCity

    • Yeah-- it had power-ups that were very intuitively obvious and awesome-- but then they abandoned them-- examples were "Instant Gang" and "ElectroFingers".

      I remember when the 3D GTA came out for PC and PS2 I was very disappointed. Sure, the graphics were massively redone-- but it lacked the original feel. The announcers voice was gone, no Hare Krishnas's running around chanting, etc etc.

      If any game brought back that original feel, with powerups like 'Instant Gang', I'm sure it would be a success. At le
    • True, the modern GTA games are very different from the old ones though. The 3D GTA games are focused arround completing missions that tell a story, afaict while there were missions in the 2D GTA games there was no concept of completing a story (the levels were won by scoring sufficiant points)

    • by hattig (47930)

      The problem with doing a new GTA: London is that none of the current generation of consoles has the polygon rendering power to render the current roadworks going on in London. I don't even think Fermi can render each of the millions of cones in London right now. You're not going to get far in your stolen car if you're stuck at gas mains works. Never mind the speed cameras, maybe there could be an in-game achievement for racking up 1 million pounds in speeding tickets.

      However most of the bridges and tunnels

  • The two expansions of the original GTA were set in London.
    • by delinear (991444)
      We already know that, and the first GTA was set in Liberty City, but it was still a massively different gaming experience to see it in full 3D for the first time in GTA III and then overhauled for GTA IV. A lot of us have been waiting for similar treatment for the London version for years, now. If this brings it any closer then that's still a good thing in many eyes.
  • The score system is totally stupid. The only way you can get 16 points is if the game is based in the UK.

    Under that model, those seeking relief must score at least 16 points out of a possible 31 in a ‘culturally British’ test. There are four criteria under which studios can qualify that are as follows:
    a) Cultural Content (16 pts) – Determining whether the film’s narrative is set in the UK, whether its lead characters are British, whether the film is centred on British subject matter,

    • by tomhudson (43916)

      "in the English language"

      Good luck with that.

      Any idea how many different, mutually incompatible, versions of English are out there?

    • Item A is the only one that really matters. It doesn't matter if it is (C) made in the UK, by (D) EEA employees, if the end product is just an imitation of US culture. Item B is meant to prevent it from just being an non-diverse outsiders caricature of British culture, which is what a game about warm beer, bad cooking and drinking tea would be.

      • by Richy_T (111409)

        I think his point is that A is the only one that counts, let alone matters. If you have A, you pass regardless of the other options, if you don't have A, there's no way to make it up from the other options. Not just stupid but actively retarded I think.

        • by Richy_T (111409)

          Unless you are able to score partial points of course. Like maybe 10/16 for A and other amounts for the others.

  • It would help if there were more characters that looked like Kiera Knightley.

    Driving like Jeremy Clarkson in some of his more manic modes would be fun, too.

  • London would be a fantastic setting for a GTA game; its street layout would be more fun and varied than the grid design of the US cities - I remember the carnage that could be had in the Midtown Madness game set in Paris.

    The whole "Geeze, cock'er'ney gangsta, innit" schtick is already very tiresome though (seemingly every single British crime film or TV drama already features it).

  • by billsayswow (1681722) on Friday March 26, 2010 @03:59AM (#31623226)
    Would you have to pay the congestion charge when driving downtown?
    • by idiot900 (166952) *

      Well, in GTA: Chinatown Wars you had to pay bridge toll. Congestion charge would actually be pretty funny.

      • I remember in GTA4 you could just smash through the barrier and not pay the toll. Of course doing so would set the cops on you but a one star is easy enough to lose.

        Have they tightend things up in chinatown wars?

    • No, your cars in GTA are nearly all either stolen and/or repainted by dodgy spray shops so it wouldn't be you getting the congestion charge bill

    • by ubercam (1025540)

      I know this is kind of a running joke in this thread, but they could go three ways with it.

      1) Make it like San Andreas, where you had to eat/work out in order to keep your health up. A lot of people didn't like that because it was too much micromanagement, so they got rid of it in GTA4. They could add the option to pay the charge on to a cashpoint/ATM or something like that. If you didn't pay it within a certain amount of time, you'd get a fine or the cops after you.

      2) Set the game in a time period before t

  • by w0mprat (1317953)
    GTA gets lots of flak for volence. But it's nothing new.

    But no one remembers Carmageddon, obviously.
    • I think with GTA it's not just about the violence it's about the portrayal of gang culture in a rather glorified way along with the relative lack of consequences. Your character can never actually be killed only "wasted" and wake up outside a hospotial.

      Though I have to say GTA 4 if you played all of it had a far more negative ending than most of the previous games, I doubt the complainers got that far though.

      • by mdwh2 (535323)

        But the interesting point is that showing the consequences usually results in more criticism (even though, I agree, it makes more sense your way round). E.g., showing the graphical effects, rather than leaving it off-screen; having people die, rather than magically being okay - these are things which people will claim make it more "violent".

        • Indeed, they are damned if they do damned if they don't. Any game that people want to play (that means the player must to some extent at least succeed in the storyline and people must be able to replay failed missions) and that is set with the player as a criminal gang member will be seen as glorifying gang life.

  • by Bazman (4849) on Friday March 26, 2010 @04:13AM (#31623308) Journal

    We don't have "Grand Theft Auto" in the UK. We have the slightly politer-sounding "Taking without owner's consent".

    TWOC: London

    doesn't seem right.

    • by p0ppe (246551)

      TDA - Taking and Driving Away

      • by damburger (981828)
        Despite the technicality of the issue, I think 'twoc' is the more widely known term, especially in the criminal community.
    • by jlebrech (810586)

      joyriding

    • Oh no, stealing a car is still theft.

      The trouble is that some folk would say "Oh, but I was going to return it! Honest, Gov'!" and because they were not going to permanently deprive the owner of their property, it was a (very, VERY unlikely, yet still possible) defense to a charge of Theft. Especially in cases when cars were taken from family members and reported stolen, only for a son or daughter to be found joyriding later.

      TWOC was brought in to address this loophole.
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      Bah, the cars in the UK are too small to rack up a decent body count with. On the upside, the cops don't carry guns--so imagine the mayhem if you were well-armed and on a rampage.
  • Sony has already done a couple of London based GTA-clones in The Getaway series. The Getaway wasn't very good and the series got worse with every release until it got canned. Still it proves the setting is viable especially if any GTA London riffed on some classic gangster flicks and made good use of the setting. I wonder if they'd use London though or a pastiche of London much like Liberty City is to New York.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RMH101 (636144)
      It wasn't a great game, but what they did do pretty well was the first model of the centre of London, with accurate-ish streetmaps. I spent a lot of time playing that game, having not driven around London much, and was a bit freaked out to realise that when I drove up to see a Londoner mate a few months later that I actually knew my way around some of it!
  • Bad idea (Score:5, Funny)

    by martin-boundary (547041) on Friday March 26, 2010 @04:25AM (#31623368)
    They'll never make their money back. Everyone knows that the Knowledge takes about 34 months to prepare, they'll never get enough gamers to pass the exam!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by EdgeyEdgey (1172665)
      Imagine if it got to the stage where people tested their knowledge of The Knowledge by taking taxi missions in GTA-London
  • GTA Moscow? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by myowntrueself (607117)

    How about it?

    GTA Moscow?

  • Rockstar get most of the way there already since the GTA series is produced in the UK by Brits, and is in English.

    If the main character was British, or even maybe just several subsidiary characters, then that should push them over the edge and qualify them.

  • Get Guy Ritchie to write the story, maybe even direct mo-cap/dialogue. In GTA 4 I just wanted to skip all the cutscenes.

    • by mjwalshe (1680392)
      or get the top gear guys to do the comentry and you sould definatly have a "Stig" level of dificulty
      • or better yet, just have the top gear guys as the main characters, switching off between the 3 of them.

        Hammond for Motorcycle missions,
        Clarkson for mindless destruction,
        May for... well.. anything slow.
    • that's the first thing i though of too...
      "why do they call him 'bullet dodger'?"
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      Why settle for a Danny Boyle wannabe, when you could get Danny Boyle himself?
  • MM I can just see the chaved up hot hatches in this game and the daily mails outrage.

    and it definatly needs this Renault Clio as one of the rides

    http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3282687 [somethingawful.com]

    TWOCKING is an abreviation of "Taking Without Owners Consent" what car theft is normaly refered to by the Police in the UK
  • Rockstar North (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ma8thew (861741) on Friday March 26, 2010 @08:59AM (#31625494)
    For those unaware, most of the GTA series is already developed in the UK, specifically at the Rockstar North offices in Edinburgh. Of course, as the summary points out, they need some more Britishness in the game to get the tax break (although, frankly, the government would do better to give them a tax break for not setting it in the UK).
  • ...he [wikipedia.org] was the star in the game!!!
  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Friday March 26, 2010 @09:26AM (#31625888) Homepage Journal

    Bonus points for putting an indestructible blue phone booth somewhere.

  • Shouldn't it be set in Dundee since that's where it's written. :-)
  • PS2 had a game called "The Getaway" that was a GTA3 type of open world crime shooter game, the map and landmarks/buildings were accurate to the real streets of London, (at least, that's what I remember) and it was actually quite a fun game....

    It hink the possibilities for a London GTA storyline would be endless. They could have the typical london mob boss, like in Guy Ritchie movies, or, they could make it contemporary or set it in the days of the Krays.

    I mean, they've done LA, Miami, and New York...London

  • Fire Up The Quattro! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DocMAME (933222)
    GTA Meets DCI Gene Hunt... Fire up the Quattro... I am there!
  • I've been to the US many times but never to Washington DC, so I don't know how "authentic" Fallout 3 was in terms of locations in the game and in real-life Washington DC - but I should say that the post-nuclear wreckage in the game was absolutely superb, especially around The Mall and Washington Monument areas where you *REALLY* got the impression of a once huge city now completely destroyed.

    So London, with it's wealth of historical locations and landmarks would be a great setting for Fallout also...

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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