Inside the posh New York headquarters of Rockstar Games in a SoHo loft, there's a buzz of round-the-clock activity. It's only weeks before the company releases its much anticipated video game, Grand Theft Auto IV, and employees are scrambling to deliver the finishing touches. "It takes a lot of work to make a crap game," says Dan Houser, Rockstar's co-founder, as he dips into a bowl of candy, "and just a little more to make a great one."
Houser has good reason to debate the difference. Grand Theft Auto will appear on Apr. 29 to high expectations and even higher stakes. Already, game analysts are forecasting that the fourth installment of the go-anywhere, commit-any-crime game, which will be available for Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox 360 and Sony's (SNE) PlayStation 3, will be the biggest seller of 2008, with an anticipated 13 million units sold. The three previous versions of Grand Theft Auto have been huge hits, selling a combined 32 million units and pulling in $1.24 billion, according to market researcher NPD Group.