ONLINE retailer Amazon has delivered copies of the Grand Theft Auto 5 (GTA5) video game ahead of the official launch today breaching a strict embargo set by the game’s maker, it has been reported.
A number of customers who had pre-ordered the eagerly awaited title began receiving it on Saturday with some announcing the news on social media sites.
Rockstar North, the title’s Scottish creator, is reportedly investigating but has not yet commented on the issue. Amazon was yesterday unavailable for comment.
In August, Sony apologised to Rockstar after audio from the forthcoming title was leaked online. Customers who had pre-ordered the game were allowed to download a “locked” version, but some were able to extract audio that revealed some of the plot lines.
The latest version of the best-selling video game reportedly cost around £170 million to make and market – more than the blockbuster film Avatar – and has sparked so much interest that some shops opened their doors at midnight last night.
GTA5 is one of the most expensive video games ever made and experts are tipping the game to smash sales records, estimating it could generate up to £1 billion during its first year on the market.
Tom Butler, social media editor of gaming site IGN.com, said: “Grand Theft Auto 5 is the biggest entertainment launch of the year and possibly all time, with levels of consumer anticipation outstripping Harry Potter and Twilight,” he said.
“There’s no surprise that we’re likely to see an outbreak of GTA flu this September.”
The Grand Theft Auto series – which sees players buy virtual prostitutes – has accumulated sales of 135 million copies since its 1997 debut.
GTA 4 has reportedly sold more than 25 million copies since its 2008 release.