THE Scottish company behind the global Grand Theft Auto phenomenon is set to receive two major honours in its home country in the space of a week.
BAFTA Scotland and the Scottish Style Awards will both be paying special tribute to Rockstar North in the wake of the success of the fifth instalment of the hit gaming series, including smashing six world records.
It became the world’s fastest-selling entertainment product when it was released in September, making more than $1 billion within its first three days and notched up 2.25 million in sales in the UK alone in the first five days.
The game’s producers, who operate from a vast office on Edinburgh’s Leith Street, started life in Dundee in the late 1980s as the firm DMA Design, which had a huge hit with the game Lemmings.
The outfit, led by Aberdeen-born Leslie Benzies, has been part of the multinational firm Rockstar Games, which is based in New York. since 1999, two years after the release of the first Grand Theft Auto game, which has been hailed out of Scotland’s most successful cultural exports.
BAFTA Scotland said it would be giving Rockstar North a “special award for excellence” at its event, due to be held on 17 November, for an outstanding contribution over the last few months.
Alan de Pellette, acting director, said: “We are delighted to present a Special Award for 2013 to Rockstar North in recognition of the creative excellence and international success of Grand Theft Auto V.
‘High end work’
“It’s amazing to have such a high end work produced in Scotland and I congratulate all the many talented people involved for their fantastic achievements in making the game a world leader.
“I think this is an indication of how seriously gaming is now treated as an art form. The quality of the storytelling and production are extremely high. The new Grand Theft Auto game has a similar budget to a blockbuster film. Games are also now influencing many top film directors.”
“BAFTA takes any opportunity to recognise and reward excellence within the games industry and BAFTA Scotland is proud to be able to honour Rockstar North and Grand Theft Auto V for their achievements this year.”
Mary McGowne, founder of the Scottish Style Awards, added: “We will be honouring Rockstar North with a Special Achievement accolade at our event on Saturday for outstanding output in their creative field and the profound impact the company has had around the world.”