Excitement ahead of GTA V game launch

It cost more to make then many Hollywood blockbusters and, in certain circles, it has generated a similar hype.

Now the gaming world is preparing for what it has dubbed the 'most exciting' event in the entertainment calendar - Grand Theft Auto V will finally go on sale.

The video game reportedly cost around STG170 million ($A292.15 million) to make and market - more than films such as Avatar - and has sparked so much interest that stores will open their doors at midnight on Monday for special launch events.

Experts are tipping the game to smash sales records and estimates suggest it could generate one billion during its first year on sale when gamers are predicted to snap up some 25 million copies.

Tom Butler, social media editor of gaming site IGN.com, said thousands of workers have taken the day off for the launch or plan on calling in sick.

'Grand Theft Auto V will be the biggest entertainment launch of the year and possibly all-time with levels of consumer anticipation outstripping Harry Potter and Twilight,' he said.

'With gamers queuing at midnight to be among the first to play and the developer boasting thousands of hours of game play, there's no surprise that we're likely to see an outbreak of GTA flu this September.'

The gaming site polled 10,995 readers to ask whether they would take time off work on Tuesday when the GTA V goes on sale.

According to its findings, 5,059 readers said they booked the day off as holiday.

Another 2012 (19 per cent) said they would phone in claiming to be unwell while 3,884 (35 per cent) said they would wait to get their hands on the game.

Fans are expected to start queuing outside stores stocking the game tomorrow when a handful of shops will open their doors for night-time launches.

The Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series - which sees players buy virtual prostitutes - has accumulated sales of 135 million copies since its 1997 debut. GTA IV has reportedly sold more than 25 million copies since its 2008 release.

source: bigpondnews.com