GTAIV trailer irks NYC mayor

Officials in New York City voice disgust with new teaser for Rockstar's game, say similarities between game's setting and Big Apple are only visual.

Late last week, Rockstar Games released the first trailer for its highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto IV. Though bare on gameplay details, the trailer did reveal one of the game's most asked questions--its setting.

Advertisements, store names, and other items in the simulated city read "Liberty City," the very same city featured in the controversial franchise's break-out hit Grand Theft Auto III and debut on the PlayStation Portable. The city's layout and character were influenced by New York City, and modeling each games' setting after a real-world city has become a bit of a tradition. Vice City from GTAIII's follow-up was a nod to Miami, Florida, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was set on turf reminiscent of Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

A familiar-looking building takes up residence in Liberty City.

However, this new look at Liberty City featured some landmarks that look incredibly similar to places only found in New York (which is where Rockstar Games' US headquarters are located), such as the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Empire State Building.

While most gamers were excited about going on a virtual crime spree through a next-generation Liberty City, New York officials are already voicing their disdain for the game and saying the similarities are only cosmetic, reports the Associated Press.

"The mayor does not support any video game where you earn points for injuring or killing police officers," New York mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement.

New York police commissioner Raymond Kelly doesn't care where the game is set. "It's despicable to glamorize violence in games like these, regardless of how far-fetched the setting may be," he told the AP.

Grand Theft Auto IV is scheduled for release this October. For more information, read GameSpot's previous coverage.

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838 comments
mrkame16
mrkame16

smokeisfire say "How Ironic! Bloomberg seems more enflamed by imaginary police officers being killed on videogames, than real NYPD officers killing unarmed men in firing squad style shootings". the S. Bell case is a perfect example.

Vikingman33
Vikingman33

Lame....Bloomberg is sad. And anyone who can't tell the difference between real life and video games and uses games to justify their behavior in real life deserves to be either locked up or killed. Unfortunately other innocent people end up suffering also. Sad.....

smokeisfire
smokeisfire

How Ironic! Bloomberg seems more enflamed by imaginary police officers being killed on videogames, than real NYPD officers killing unarmed men in firing squad style shootings.

SD_Paco
SD_Paco

I agree with you guys about how it doesn't matter if the public plays this type of game but there are a few incidents where people have been caught disobeying the law and claim they did it on GTA and they where very serious. What I mean is that almost all people don't even think of actually doing something that they "did on GTA" but the mayor of NYC is just hoping that there will be less people that "did on GTA" and thought they'd get away with what they did.

domhnall
domhnall

I can't help but laugh every time these old fossils refer to the phenomenon of games rewarding you with "points".

Cloud737
Cloud737

Ok...so, the mayor of New York doesn`t want me going on a killing spree in a virtual look-alike of his city. Maybe he much more prefers for me to do this in real life, rather than in the virtual one, as I see he has more grudges against violent games than against real-life crimes.

skateboad1588
skateboad1588

If anything it would be violent movies and TV. Or Gangsta Rap Lol.

DVDA
DVDA

What ever happend to freedom of speech? Land of the FREE! Come on! There are worse things than video games. So many people blame games, mostly GTA IV, for crimes that happen in the world. But, thanks to morons in the world who play this game and think they can survive over 30 bullets to the chest and head, we have to suffer hearing jerks like Bloomberg and Jack Thompson rant about games causing more crimes and stuff like that. About the police officers, WHO CARES! They are not real police! We are not killing real officers because some people know that you can't kill an officer and get away with it. As what skateboard said, I agree 100% with him. Games are made to let people do what they can't do in real life. Although there is a problem. Stupid people believe that they can do the stuff that happens in a video game. That's why we have these kind of anger from these kind of people. That's why I say let's make the ESRB rating system based on people's IQ rather than thier age. And what about books that are violent or is about a rapist or a serial killer that was a true event? And the T.V. shows? Come on! Games are not the freakin problem here! I've heard commercials and parents saying don't let your kid get this because it's rated M or something. But they will let thier kid watch South Park (which I love), listen to rappers rapping about guns, drugs, and slapping hoes, and read books about violence. We wouldn't have these problem if those two kids didn't go into that school a few years back (forgot the name of the school) and killed many people. They played DOOM 24/7 and were retarded. They beileved that they could storm in like in Doom and start shooting up the place. Now, A SMART PERSON WOULDN'T DO THAT! It's not the video game's fault, its stupid parents who have stupid kids and buy them these games and mix real life with fantasy! So, STFU BLOOMBERG! PISS OFF JACK THOMPSON!

Warghost2k
Warghost2k

Bloomberg is a piece of trash! This jerk needs to be held accountable for the things that happen daily in his city, instead of worrying about video games.

BeanieUK
BeanieUK

There are (on average) around 150 violent crimes committed every single day in NY. Can games really make it any worse?

digimrm2004
digimrm2004

im totally with skateboad1588 on this one. Politicians are crooked bastards themselves anyway. They blame video games but they forget that they themselves lie, cheat, and steal in any way possible.

skateboad1588
skateboad1588

People are stupid. Games don't make people go crazy and shoot people if anything it makes them lazier haha. Games let people do what they can't do in life basically. When I'm playing GTA or Saints Row I'm not thinking to myself hmmm maybe I'll go try this today and see how things roll over. People getting fired, cheated on, beat up, war trauma, people that are insane etc. Those are the people to watch for not gamers and people who listen to Heavy Metal Music. Cause I'm a gamer and I listen to metal music. Government just likes to label people.

nymphauron
nymphauron

Bloomberg is a dee dee dee,i agree with you get penalized like some of u said, bloomberg says "i will not pass any game that u earn points for killing cops'"LOL is he serious.....IF that is so why did he pass true crime ,that game u earn points for killing cops,civilians and the point is u choose over being a bad cop or a good cop and jack tompson,how ever u spell his* name, he cant be serious...how u blame crimes on gta?

Darth_A-skicker
Darth_A-skicker

I personally don't give a damn about Jack Thompson (forgive my rather harsh language). He's just a big, pompous blowhard who keeps bringing pathetic lawsuits trying to bring an entire industry down just so he can get his face on the news. None of his cases have ever actually amounted to anything but waste money, for they are either struck down, or is settled out of court. Do any of you know that the Florida Bar (the lawyer association, not the one in Miami-Dade, :P) Association is trying to get him disbarred (meaning he won't be able to practce law and be a lawyer, for all you peons, jkjk) for the fact that he lied when he brought accusations against a prominant lawyer in the Miam-Dade area. Not only that, but he was further discredited when he almost got the show South park taken off the air when he sued Comedy Central when he claimed a teenager who commited suicide was imitating Kenny, a charecter on the show who dies every episode, although usually by murder of accident, not suicede. The case was thrown out when it turned out the kid never even watched the show. Jack Thompson is nothing more than an egotistical, ppompous blowhard who will never get anything actually done basides waste tax payer dollers and get interviews on CNN and MSNBC when the next violent videogames come out. Just don't pay any attention to him. Worry about the senators (I'm looking at you, Hilllary), who can damage the industry.

gravrdr
gravrdr

let'um cry.This is America after all and their moaning will be nothing but free press for Rockstar. Gotta remember, politicians are mostly ******* :)

AgentMulder320
AgentMulder320

aw man, here we go....Jack Thompson is on FOX news right now blaming the Virginia Tech Massacre on GTA...

Bauer_24
Bauer_24

I agree Nificant.... if they want to stop the development of violent games, they would have to tackle all forms of entertainment, and this is highly unlikely of happening....

Nificant
Nificant

These politicians need to realize that gamers vote too, and I doubt there will be another generation who won't be brought up with gaming as a major form of entertainment.

Bauer_24
Bauer_24

No Doubt out it......... The GTA Franchise is the most controversial in all of gaming history... props to Rockstar Games... this one looks to be the worst yet... and on top of that, the main character seems to be of middle-eastern decent?...

hoodfella45
hoodfella45

when was the last time somone got points in video games, anyway i live in the bronx and it would be great if i got to cause mayhem in my own hood

thebubbleprince
thebubbleprince

OMFG! i live in new york city... yes hes a great mayor! But Earning points for killing cops? YOU GET PENALIZED YOU F*CKING IDIOT!

andrew40
andrew40

I just can't stand that statement saying, "The mayor does not support any video game where you earn points for injuring or killing police officers," they obviously have not seen any of the GTA games. If their so concerned about the game's content they should atleast play it before saying retarded sh*t.

willauqs
willauqs

"The mayor does not support any video game where you earn points for injuring or killing police officers," hahaha. i love it how people always talk about video games having points. and its also kinda amusing that with everything in a GTA game the number one terror is always the fact that you can kill the 5O

truedog80
truedog80

This is no different than the issue of setting a violent movie in a city, and Rockstar isn't using any actual NY names, so they can't do anything but complain :) (I happen to be a new yorker myself, and i think getting upset about this is just silly.)

damntheirlies
damntheirlies

bear in mind, even if the NY Mayor was completely behind GTA, and loved playing it in his private life, he'd have to say he hated it in order to appease the conservatives within his constituency.

rikhan_z
rikhan_z

The point the Mayor is stating, has been debated for 10 long years... he came too late for this boring speech.

bluekatze
bluekatze

Seriously, the mayor needs to get a life. I would be glad if they made a game based upon a city near by where I live. Further more if anyone ever reads the ESRB rating on the back. Rated M, also it states. Suggested themes, drugs, sex, violence, and animated blood. Also if they look on the back, do you see people you know on the box? Be like hey its my Uncle Bob shooting someone up. Lol If you can recognize someone you know, then they are famous.

Andy639_basic
Andy639_basic

Bloomberg's an idiot. "Earn points for... killing police officers..."!? Hello, stupid! YOU GET PENALIZED FOR KILLING COPS.

elusionm
elusionm

Wow......they sure are whining about this. Bloomberg and all them......but oh well, maybe it's not their fault. But still.........

superflyonline
superflyonline

I, for one, am just sick of people saying "You earn points for killing police". You can play through the entire game without killing one police officer.....hell, you can play through the game without killing a single person who is not deserving. I agree with the Police Commissioner on this. But GTA is what it is, an amazing.......Rated M game.

Untainted
Untainted

We could never expect the NYC mayor to come out in support of a game like GTA4, which does for the most part glamourise violence and criminal activity, then sets it in a city very very similar to new york, but then so do the works of Quentin Tarantino and Francis Ford Coppola. I'd be interested in learning about how this came to his attention however, was it passed to him by one of the God Squad, was he asked by a member of the press or did this come directly from the Mayors office without any warning? If it's the first then that's understandable the mayor cannot seen to be supporting any form of criminal behaviour, te same goes if he was asked by a member of the press. If this came direct from the mayors office however then I fear we are yet again to have the social responsibility in video games theme round for dinner.Again. Video games are like books and television, a medium for telling stories, as well as diversions, unfortunately I think what we're facing here is a question of what becomes appropriate in videogames. If a GTA game encourages a person to murder someone is the price for our fun too high? The difference between movies and games is that one is a psssive medium and the other is interacive. Unfortunately as games are so new (relatively speaking) theres a lot of ignorance about what effects gaming might have. Let me make it quite clear, I am no prude and will be picking up a copy of GTA4 just like everyone else- what worries me is the number of 10-17 year olds playing this game. Remember not everyones parents care what there kids play and there are more than a few retailers who will sell adult oreientated games to underage kids not out of greed but simply out of lack of care. I was horrified when I heard one of my co-workers planned on getting her ten year old son Liberty City stories for xmas last year, when I talked to her about it she admitted that she didn't really klnow what it was about. (Yes I ruined a ten year olds christmas. I AM THAT EVIL) On one final note it should be noted that rarely have games companies been able to get their own way on these issues remember Manhunt getting banned? What about Hitman 2's now lost Golden Temple level? Perhaps before we get to see gta 4 rockstar are going to have to amke some changes that define the game world as Liberty City rather than New York.. However I would also like to say that 'The Getaway' series of games is actually set IN modern london has similary gameplay elements to gta, including shooting police officers. The reaction form Ken Livingstone? (Mayor of London) Nada. Though it will be interesting to see if you still have to pay a congestion charge as you blast down piccadilly circus in a stolen black cab.

phoenix2005x
phoenix2005x

Oh, Well about time NY grew up and stopped acting like little bratty kids

freestyleXI
freestyleXI

You don't get points for killing cops, you get killed or arrested. And if you don't want a video game based on crime to be set in your city then do something about the huge f***ing crime rates in your city.

gazzad
gazzad

Hah... people that blame real life problems on video games are sad.. I bet that lawyer Jack Thompson will lap this up..

jordan1
jordan1

its a bloody game, meaning fiction unless you stupid enough to think its real... its a game... boo hoo... cry some more mayor of new york This is the problem with people these days, they always have to scapegoat something, what the hell is a game going to do to new york, hell its not even the real new york, yes its based off it but hey... what about driver 4? you can shoot cops in a very realistic depictation of new york? why not base all your problems on that game? I stick to my point, its a game, its not real, people have to get this through there heads... its there a petition we can sign so people can stop blaming violence on music, tv, movies and video games?

draiko_91
draiko_91

MAAAAN!! WHAT THE HELL IS IT WITH THESE GUYS? OK... Saints Row, The Warriors (Very bad game), True Crime (NY & LA), Red Dead Revolver, The Godfather (IN NY) Scarface (IN MIAMI)... All of these games are pretty bad. And there's another four-million games that are VERY bad. In terms of every aspect. Violence, Locations, whatever. Nobody whines. Yet, every single Grand Theft Auto game that's hit the shelf since GTA III has had people complaining about it. Seems kinda wierd. These attention-seeking wierdos need to GET A LIFE! GTA is a game. So act like it, and we can all live with GTA peacefully. It's just because it's a GTA game.

j0eyb
j0eyb

Hold on wasn't the crime rate in New York far far far worse before we had video games? when gangs actualy went around killing each other and controlled the streets? Atleaste its only a stupid game not real people getting killed. They want kids off the streets and now they are and still they don't like it!

hombreloboking
hombreloboking

The Soccer Mom's will surely protest.. DAM THOSE SOCCER MOMS

Zoomer30
Zoomer30

Seems like everyone is getting on the "Bash R*" bandwagon that good old Jacque Thompson is driving. I dont seem anyone bashing the Godfather game, which was set in (GASP! REALLY?!) NYC as well. I dont see anyone bashing Scarface tha game which was set in Miami. I personnly wish they would just make a "fictious" NYC and make it unique. I kinda like that from the other GTA games. Using the real landmarks just makes it look like they were to lazy to come up with somehting fresh.

Ebisch
Ebisch

the cops in "liberty city" probably do a better job than those in NYC

hollis93
hollis93

the NYC mayor can go cry on Bush's shoulder.

tatu2004
tatu2004

he more likey to be thinking about GTA 2 he kinda gone out of date and not seen the other GTA games

RaC3rFr3Ak
RaC3rFr3Ak

Wow, did he say you earn points for killing cops, ( YOU EARN STARS FOR MORE COPS TO COME AFTER YOUR CHARACTER AND KILL YOUR CHARACTER) Michael Bloombreg, all I have to say to you is to learn more about the game before pointing the finger at it.

jynx320
jynx320

Commissioner Raymond Kelly stated, "It's despicable to glamorize violence in games like these, regardless of how far-fetched the setting may be," Meanwhile, NYPD put 50 bullets into a minority male and some of his friends because the believed there was gun present and there was not. Further, this type of violence is being supported. But they are concerned about the negative effects of a video game that has produced very little violent activity. Which is more despicable?

guillaume
guillaume

LEFTOVERS: that is what these sound "bites" from these politicians should be called. Haven't we all heard the same things over and over again? "oh this will cause shooting sprees" "Our kids are too violent" yadda yadda yadda. No one really can sit back and honestly analyze a video game and see that its quite a work of art, with scripted plots and developed by talented highly educated, tax paying people. Its all just too reactionary, and don't we all live off of our emotions? Getting parents riled up, and conservatives riled up tends to make one feel like they have a posse that will be down for them and what ever they stand for. As I see it, they are all snapping woof-cookies, GTA doesn't cause violence, that easy to get store bought gun and the pissed off individual with no social skills, causes violence. I would rather have my kid playing GTA with his/her friends than them idle plotting to get into mischief. Bloomy.. your city's image will not be tarnished. Hell, after seeing "COCAINE COWBOYS", the city of Miami was VIOLENT even before GTA: Liberty City Stories, or even before Rockstar. Hopefully people wont be so reactionary and get swept up into all of this new hype about GTA IV...

careyahr
careyahr

Once, just once, I'd like to see one of these useless politicians just say something honest and intelligent. In my perfect world, the chief of police would have said, "I can't wait to play it. It's an awesome series. No one with HALF A BRAIN would object to people playing around in a fantasy world - that's why it's a fantasy world." Instead, he was a big baby and whined about how a game might hurt his wittle feelings. Awwwww. Maybe police work isn't your thing, Ray. And maybe Bloomberg should worry more about how much of his constituent's money he's wasting on whatever pet project he has going right now, rather than a story that depicts New York in a bad light. Worthless wastes of oxygen, the lot of them.

buffalobill
buffalobill

*sigh* Ok folks, here's what's going to happen: Jack Thompson will view the trailer and get a massive hemorrhoid. There will be a very few POed "me-generation" neocon soccer moms who will get very loud for a few weeks. The game will come out. It will make astronomical sales and totally kick ass. There will be a local news channel special on video game violence. In one year, the hype will die and things will go back to normal, "pre GTA IV" conditions. (Either that or there will be a massive blood orgy throughout the entire country, I really dunno.)

trust_nobody
trust_nobody

Politicians cannot accept virtual reality. Every video game has an objective and in Grand Theft Auto, mindless violence is NOT an objective. It's simply virtual reality. You don't recieve points for it; it doesn't cause you to progress through the game. In fact, the only real outcome from murder in GTA is going to jail in which you LOSE points inadvertantly. Granted, there are missions scripted to have you kill a polygonal animated character, but look at The Godfather movies for example. We didn't piss all over Brando for making irrefusable offers did we? We didn't condemn Pacino every time he popped a chazzer did we? This sh*t peeves me...