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Published at 10:43 PM PST

No, you did not ready that title wrong - Leslie Benzies, the president of Rockstar North, is set to buy a church in Stockbridge, Edinburgh, where he has lived for over a decade.

Known as an eastern "gateway" into Stockbridge, the St Stephen's Church is a local landmark, dating from the early 18 hundreds; one which has been looking for a new owner, since a campaign to save it for the community failed earlier this year.

The future of the building was in doubt, with more than 50 potential buyers expressing an interest in the building - some wishing to turned it into "private flats or a bar-
restaurant complex". Benzies though, acknowledging the historical and community importance of the building, ultimately placed a securing bid that is rumored to be in the area of £500,000 (USD$850,000).

Philip Johnston, a spokesman for Benzies, told Edinburgh News that this is "an entirely philanthrophic purchase":

Stockbridge is a busy residential area with a relatively small number of community venues. The preservation of St Stephen’s church as a community centre meets a pressing need as well as protecting an important historical building. We are delighted that we can help bring the church back to its former glory securing its future whilst providing a renovated local and performing arts centre that will benefit the wider community.

According to Edinburgh News, "a charitable trust has been founded to manage the community centre and a board of trustees will include representatives from the local community".

I think Kotaku put it best Leslie - that's a class act.

Published at 8:10 PM PST

Great news for next-gen console owners and PC gamers today, as Rockstar announces that Grand Theft Auto V will be headed their way this fall:

Grand Theft Auto V will take full advantage of the power of the PlayStation®4, Xbox One and PC with across-the-board graphical and technical improvements to deliver a stunning new level of detail. Increased draw distances, finer texture details, denser traffic, and enhanced resolutions all work together to bring new life to the cities, towns, deserts and oceans of Rockstar North’s epic reimagining of Southern California.

The announcement was first made at Sony's E3 event, which an accompanying trailer above.

Rockstar is making the transition as seemless as possible for current players, allowing for Grand Theft Auto Online characters and progression to be transfered to their choice of PlayStation 4, Xbox One or PC upon release. Furthermore, all content added to the GTA Online world since its launch will be available to PS4, Xbox One and PC players from the get-go; this includes all Jobs, weapons, vehicles, properties and player customizations.

PC gamers who enjoyed the video editing features in GTA IV can rejoice also, as it will return with advanced movie-making features in the PC edition of GTA V.

No official release date has been announced yet, but fall starts on September 23rd this year in the US. Rockstar is promising more news and media over the coming weeks and months, so a firm date can be expected soon.

In the mean time though, pre-orders start tomorrow, Tuesday June 10th, with links available then at rockstargames.com/V/order.

Published at 5:39 AM PST

The accolades for Rockstar continue this month, following Leslie Benzies, Dan Houser, and Sam Houser being inducted into AIAS Hall of Fame last month. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) announced today that the company will be presented with the BAFTA Fellowship in a ceremony at the Tobacco Dock, London, next Wednesday, March 12th.

"It is hugely exciting to be able to recognise the amazing contribution made by Rockstar to the games industry over the past 16 years. The creativity and passion exhibited by the Rockstar teams have inspired a generation of game developers to raise the bar in every aspect of game development. From design and mechanics, through to storytelling, cinematics and audio immersion, and in the process creating games that compete so profoundly on a global stage across all entertainment media. Rockstar, this Fellowship is wholly deserved." - Harvey Elliott, Chair of BAFTA’s Games Committee

The award, which is the highest accolade bestowed by the Academy, is presented annually in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, TV or games. The accolade will be accepted on behalf of Rockstar by Sam Houser, Dan Houser, Leslie Benzies and Aaron Garbut, which will attend the event.

"We have long believed in the potential for videogames to become a new form of cultural expression and worked to show that in our games, so for us accepting the BAFTA Fellowship is incredibly humbling. [...] This honour reflects the creative vision and dedication of a huge number of people over many years, and we look forward to accepting the Fellowship on their behalf. - Sam Houser

Mirroring the words of Sam Houser, it is great to see videogames starting to be acknowledged at the same level as other entertainment forms. Rockstar has always been at the forefront of offering gaming experiences that go far beyond what anybody expects from a videogame; to the extent that a Rockstar game feels like a live-action blockbuster movie, which is a far cry from the point-click adventure that gaming started out as. Congradulations to Rockstar and the team on another well-deserved accolade, here's to many more!

Rockstar and the team join Gabe Newell of Valve, Will Wright of Maxis and EA, Shigeru Miyamoto of Nintendo, and Peter Molyneux of Bullfrog and Lionhead Studios, as those presented with the prestigious award.

Interested in watching the ceremony? It'll be streaming live online at Twitch.tv; be sure to tune in.

Published at 5:27 PM PST

The PlayStation Store announced an impressive range of sales this week, including one based solely around Rockstar's catalogue, with some pretty hefty savings. If for, whatever strange reason, your Rockstar catalogue on PlayStation is lacking, this'd be the perfect time to rectify that problem!

Bully for $2.49, from $9.99

L.A. Noire for $7.49, from $29.99

L.A. Noire: Rockstar Pass for $2.99, from $11.99

Manhunt for $2.49, from $9.99

Max Payne for $2.49, from $9.99

Max Payne 3 for $4.99, from $19.99

Max Payne 3 Ultimate Edition for $5.99, from $29.99

Max Payne 3: Rockstar Pass for $3.49, from $14.99

Midnight Club for $2.49, from $9.99

Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition Remix for $2.49, from $9.99

Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition for PSP for $4.99, from $9.99

Midnight Club II for $2.49, from $9.99

Midnight Club Los Angeles: Complete Edition for $4.99, from $19.99

Midnight Club: L.A. Remix for $4.99, from $19.99

Red Dead Redemption for $7.49, from $29.99

Red Dead Redemption: Red Dead Redemption And Undead Nightmare Collection for $9.99, from $39.99

Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare for $4.99, from $19.99

Red Dead Revolver PS2 Classic for $2.49, from $9.99

The Warriors for $3.49, from $14.99

No mention on when the sale ends, so don't wait around, hit up the PlayStation Store now!

Published at 1:33 AM PST

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) inducted Rockstar’s Leslie Benzies, Dan Houser, and Sam Houser into the Hall of Fame last night at the 17th D.I.C.E. Awards in Las Vegas.

It is rare to see Rockstar attend an awards show; and even rarer to see several of the most prominent members of the Rockstar team at a single event. This is a special case though, as rather than crediting a single person for Rockstar's success - something that is inherently against the company's foundations - AIAS has honored the founders and president that built, and continue to push, the company.

You'd be hard pressed to find three more important people in the gaming world; especially all working for the same creative, talented and unique company. As VentureBeat notes, only 20 people have received this honor in the history of gaming - so for three people from the same company to receive it at the same time is pretty special. The creative flare that Leslie, Dan and Sam have has to be appreciated, if not just for their efforts, for the environment they've built at Rockstar that has made it such a powerhouse.

Upon accepting the award, Dan said that Rockstar as a whole was touched and that "it made us feel like we were 105 [years old]". He also had some words to say about the Rockstar as a family:

“Rockstar is a family, an occasionally dysfunctional family."
“We all belong and have found a home together. We love games and we love the maniacs who make them.”

Congratulations Leslie, Dan and Sam, this is an an honor truly well deserved.

Photo thanks to VentureBeat.

Published at 2:44 AM PST

With Grand Theft Auto V still chart-topping and players battling it our Online in the modern day Los Santos, it seems only fitting that Rockstar take us back to the 90s rendition that broke records in the PS2 era. That's right, Rockstar has announced today that GTA San Andreas will be making its' way to mobile devices next month, following in the footsteps of GTA III in 2011 and GTA Vice City in 2012.

Encompassing Los Santos, San Fierro, Las Venturas and everything in between, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has been upgraded for its mobile release. Newly remastered graphics including dynamic and detailed shadows, greater draw distance, an enriched color palette, plus enhanced character and car models make this the best-looking version of San Andreas yet.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas also features brand new touch controls including contextual control options to display buttons only when you need them and three different control schemes for driving and maneuvering, as well as a reworked checkpoint system for easier progression. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for mobile also comes equipped with full controller support, including Made for iOS controller capability on iOS7. It will be available for select iOS, Android, Amazon Kindle and Windows Mobile devices. Stay tuned for more details in the weeks ahead.

While III and VC were huge games in their own rights, they don't quite hold a candle to the sheer size of San Andreas; this is a major undertaking by Rockstar, and will be, not just a trip down memory lane for all of us hardcore fans, but quite a technical achievement. A game, which 9 years ago changed what gamers looked for in an open-world game, and required thousands of PC gamers to upgrade their PCs just to play, will now be available in the palm of your hand. Nice work Rockstar!

Stay tuned for more information soon.

UPDATE: GTA San Andreas is now available for download on mobile devices.

Published at 12:45 AM PST

The first additional content for GTA Online - Beach Bum - will hit next Tuesday, November 19th, through the next title update (v1.06). Included in the Beach Bum pack will be two new weapons, new land and sea vehicles, more action-packed Jobs, plus a wide variety of new apparel, hairstyle and tattoo customization options.

New Jobs

  • "Grass Route II" (Race): In this sequel to the original popular Grass Route Race, go off-road in an epic heat starting on the North bank of the Zancudo River through the treacherous wetlands with a triumphant finish on the beach in North Chumash.
  • Survival on Del Perro Pier" (Survival): Skip the ferris wheel for a deadlier kind of thrill ride as you take on waves of relentless enemies at this beachfront attraction.
  • "View of Vespucci" (Parachuting): This leap sends you from 2,980 feet, down towards Vespucci Beach, weaving through palm trees to land on the basketball courts of the rec center. If you've got skills, it's possible to freefall through the first few checkpoints before even opening your chute.
  • "Paleto Beach" (Team Deathmatch): The locals complain that not a lot happens in this sleepy town, so do them a favor and wake 'em up with a barrage of gunfire exchanged between you and a rival team. This Team Deathmatch takes place right on the romantic shoreline for 4-8 players.
  • "Sundae Driving" (Bike Race): Sure to be a new fan-favorite motorbike race, menace Vespucci Beach on your two-wheel rocket, taking breakneck corners as you try and best the competition.

New Vehicles

  • BF Bifta dune buggy
  • Canis Kalahari off-road truck
  • Bravado Paradise beach camper van
  • fast, stylish Speeder speedboat (making a special return to the GTA series)

All four vehicles will be available at no in-game cost, with the land-based vehicles accessible from the southernsanandreassuperautos.com website and the Speeder available via docktease.com on your in-game phone (call Pegasus for delivery). These vehicles are also available in Story Mode for Michael, Trevor and Franklin to enjoy - to access them, visit your garage property and the Marina property for the vehicles and the boat respectively.

New Weapons

  • SNS Pistol
  • Broken Bottle melee weapon

Each weapon will be available gratis from any Ammu-Nation location in GTA Online and will be added straight into each of the three characters' inventory in Story Mode.

New Customization Options

You'll be able to deck out your GTA Online character with all new beach-ready customization options including stylish board shorts, neon surfer attire, wild tribal tattoos, shaggy hair for that West Coast laissez-faire vibe and more...

This is just the beginning of new content updates for GTA Online, and Rockstar is promising much more in the coming weeks, including the Content Creator, full on cooperative Heists, and GTA Online's take on Capture the Flag. Also interesting is that "info on some exciting new Story Mode updates" is also on the horizon... could that mean the first Story Mode DLC for Grand Theft Auto V isn't far away? Don't be concerned with not having much to do over the holiday season, Rockstar has us covered!

Published at 1:26 AM PST

Still enjoying Grand Theft Auto V? We are. Battling it out in GTA Online yet? The servers are under some seirous strain, but the wait times are well worth it!

Anyway, take a step away from the biggest game of the year for a second and consider just how HUGE of an entertainment release it has been. Guinness today officially announced that GTAV had smashed seven of it's World Records, and once again overtaken the Call of Duty series in sales figures, ratings and, of course, records.

According to Guinness, who's worked closely with Rockstar for accurate figures, the game sold a mammoth 11.21 million copies in the first 24 hours of its release - generating a revenue of US$815.7 million.

"GTA totally deserves to be recognized as an icon of modern British culture, and we're thrilled to be able to feature the game in the record books. Gaming is no longer a niche hobby, as GTA 5 has proved, and how exciting that it's taken on the might of Hollywood and won! I'm also doubly proud as a Dundonian to welcome this home-grown series back into the Guinness World Records book.” - Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief, Craig Glenday

Full list of Grand Theft Auto V record-breaking achievements:

  1. Best-selling action-adventure videogame in 24 hours
  2. Best-selling videogame in 24 hours
  3. Fastest entertainment property to gross $1 billion
  4. Fastest videogame to gross $1 billion
  5. Highest grossing videogame in 24 hours
  6. Highest revenue generated by an entertainment product in 24 hours
  7. Most viewed trailer for an action-adventure videogame

Call of Duty, The Avengers and Avatar previously held records in this list.

Congratulations Rockstar, Take2, and everybody who's had a part in the masterpiece production of Grand Theft Auto V!

Published at 12:18 AM PST

Hopefully you've been fully immersed with Grand Theft Auto V and the world of Los Santos up until now, but today you can start to experience the next part of the adventure - GTA Online. Launching today, around 7 AM EDT depending on when Sony and Microsoft push the update out to the game, you'll jump into the multiplayer world of GTAV and beyond...

We were lucky enough to be invited along to New York last week for an early demo of GTA Online. What we played went far beyond what we've come to experience from the multiplayer component offered with most modern games. GTA Online isn't so much an addition to the game; it is an entire game in its own right. The premise itself is elegantly simple: take what everybody loves about Grand Theft Auto and open it up to more than a single player at a time. GTA Online, in that respect, feels very much like an entirely separate Grand Theft Auto title, set in Los Santos, yes, but with an entirely different approach and the constant presence of multiple protagonists.

In many ways, Grand Theft Auto V has prepared you for how GTA Online plays-out. Take a heist, for example; in the game you'd switch between Michael, Trevor and Franklin, performing different roles to complete the heist successfully. In GTA Online, the core objective may be the same, only now you'll be working with a crew of friends and will need to work together to complete the heist in an individual role - coming together as a unified team. Online is packed full of content, just like the game, so you'll have plenty of time to improve the efficiency of your team and prepare for more daring missions.

The most important point to remember about GTA Online is that it is just starting out, and its future sits with you. Rockstar has built, and will continue to extend Online, for the community - so ensure you leave your mark; be it creating additional content and missions, giving Rockstar feedback, or just enjoying the experience and inviting your friends along for the mayhem.

We were blown away by what Rockstar has done with GTA Online, and we are sure you will be too. This is a whole different take of the multiplayer genre, and it's amazing to ponder what the future holds. Jump in, put the pedel to the floor and pump some lead!

We'd like to thank Rockstar for the opportunity to see GTA Online in New York - it was an amazing experience and well worth the trip!

Published at 8:59 AM PST

The day is here; Grand Theft Auto V is launching around the world as you read this. Australia and New Zealand already have the game, with Europe and North America set to have it within the next 6-12 hours. Whether you're taking a break from playing, or waiting to start, we hope you enjoy every minute of this masterpiece.

If you haven't already, download the iFruit app for iOS - this app compliments the game in many ways and will be immediately useful. Customize your vehicle, train Chop, and even order custom licence plates for GTAOnline before they've been taken! The app is rather heafty at 444 MB, but it packs a hell of a punch content wise.

iFruit hooks directly into your experience of Grand Theft Auto V with some fun activities to further postpone the need for real social interaction. Keep up-to-date on the latest Grand Theft Auto V news, log into the Rockstar Games Social Club, stay connected on LifeInvader and launch other Rockstar Games apps.

Also, be sure to check out the perfect-score reviews the game has been receiving all day from the press. Rockstar has compiled a great article on all the reviews from today, and all of them give a perfect-score.

Grand Theft Auto V is not only a preposterously enjoyable video game, but also an intelligent and sharp-tongued satire of contemporary America. It represents a refinement of everything that GTAIV brought to the table five years ago. It’s technically more accomplished in every conceivable way, but it’s also tremendously ambitious in its own right. No other world in video games comes close to this in size or scope, and there is sharp intelligence behind its sense of humour and gift for mayhem. It tells a compelling, unpredictable, and provocative story without ever letting it get in the way of your own self-directed adventures through San Andreas. It is one of the very best video games ever made. - IGN

Grand Theft Auto V already has a 98 and 97 Metacritic score for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions respectively.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @RockstarWatch for up-to-the-moment updates on all the happenings around the Grand Theft Auto V release, and ensure you enjoy your experience. Like us, sit back and let it unfold.

That's it from us here at RockstarWatch for the moment, we'll be busying ourselves with GTAV for a some time now, so don't wait up - join in!

A special thanks as always to Rockstar for not only a truly amazing game, but also for their on-going support. This is your best work yet Rockstar, and the hard work really shows - congrats!

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