It seems that Grand Theft Auto VI might face some stiff competition in the sandbox genre at long last, as Everywhere, a rival game being developed by the ex-Rockstar North employees at Build a Rocket Boy Games, has received a financial injection of over $40 million from various investors. While it’s about time that the Grand Theft Auto franchise is challenged by a modern AAA effort, having outgrown its older competitors Driver and Saints Row years ago, the source of that (obviously legal) cash is somewhat of a concern.
Deny as Rockstar and company might, Grand Theft Auto VI is obviously happening at some point – most likely during the upcoming ninth console generation. Grand Theft Auto V and, more importantly, GTA Online are cash cows that have allowed the developer-publisher to milk the past two console generations for all that they’re worth, and they’ve been worth a lot. Next-gen ports of Grand Theft Auto V for the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S point to the latest installment not being ready until a year or two into the new consoles’ lifetimes, but publisher Take-Two is no doubt itching to add the short-term revenue explosion that shareholder daydreams are made of to its slightly more slowly accumulating GTA Online cash piles. This time, though, it seems it’s not vying for players’ attention unopposed.
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Publicly ousted by Take-Two executives and embroiled in a bitter legal dispute back in 2016, ex-Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies remains on the warpath. Having founded Build a Rocket Boy Games alongside a team of other former Rockstar veterans and announced the Grand Theft Auto-like Everywhere in the interim, Telegraph (thanks, VGC) now reports that the new studio has coaxed a sizable sum of £32 million (approximately $41 million USD) from investors for its Everywhere project, with the lion’s share of the money coming from powerful Chinese firm Netease.
Building this type of mixed story-focused vehicular mayhem with multiplayer functionality is not cheap or fast, especially not for a new studio whose game has only existed as design documents and concept art up to only recently. While some studios like Star Citizen‘s Cloud Imperium Games really know how to put it away without results, very few development studios worth their salt could so easily blow the advantage of a sudden $40 million windfall that Build a Rocket Boy now enjoys. That said, players’ eyebrows should go up when learning that the studio’s benefactor is Netease, a Chinese conglomerate that (like Tencent) operates as an arm of the totalitarian Chinese government and already has its hands wrist-deep in the games industry cookie jar, buying influence and power over companies the world over.
While the ever-bloated Grand Theft Auto franchise and brand continue to insist that they’ve not grown too big for their straining breeches, Rockstar’s hegemony over the sandbox genre and players’ wallets may come toppling down if Build a Rocket Boy gets its way with Everywhere. Regardless of which game comes on top in the coming console generation(s), it’s not a hard guess that consumers will lose the worst.
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About The Author
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Phillip Tinner is a Game News Editor at Screen Rant, and he has written about all things gaming, film, and TV for the site since 2018. Phillip has a B.A. in History from Texas A&M University and is fascinated by the many areas where the virtual and real worlds meet. A Texas native, he’s likely to be found enjoying a Shiner Bock or devouring Tex-Mex – often both at the same time! Mostly, though, he just plays and writes about video games.
He hopes readers enjoy his content as much as he does researching and producing it. Publishers, creators, and readers alike can reach him anytime on Twitter @PhilKimTin, or they can do so in a slightly less fun capacity via LinkedIn.