What we heard: When Electronic Arts bought Criterion Games in July 2004, it did more than add the Burnout extreme-racing franchise to its game garage. The Guildford, UK-based developer is also the creator of the RenderWare engine, which powers many games published by EA rivals--games such as Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Take-Two Interactive, owner of Rockstar, must have been less than thrilled when EA bought Criterion, as the purchase meant it would have to pay royalties to its archrival for each GTA game sold.
Given the royalty conundrum and the desire for cutting-edge graphics, many assumed that the next GTA would be based on an all-new engine. So when word began to spread that MTV was saying GTA IV would be based on RAGE, industry watchers nodded approvingly. After all, the technology--which stands for Rockstar Advanced Game Engine--was developed in-house at Rockstar, meaning no royalty payments to third parties would be necessary. Furthermore, Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis shows that RAGE is capable of both impressive graphics and physics, two areas that drew fire from GTA detractors.
But as logical as the TVG story sounded, it could not be verified as of press time. Neither of the game sections on the US or UK MTV Web sites had any visible stories about GTA IV, and inquiries to Rockstar reps had gone unanswered as of press time.
[UPDATE] GameSpot News got in contact with MTV, and the article is still up--it's just slightly over a month old. Rockstar voluntarily admitted that the RAGE engine would be used in all upcoming Rockstar Games, including the next GTA.
Bogus or not bogus?: Given the positive feedback on Table Tennis and the huge potential savings, this smells legit.