'San Andreas' Poised for Big Sales, Big Debate

Video gaming's most felonious franchise is back, and it's threatening to hijack the holidays. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the latest in a line that has sold 32 million games and sparked protests among anti-violence activists, arrives in stores this week.

The PlayStation 2 (news - web sites) title already is the year's presumptive best seller. Analysts predict San Andreas could sell 5 million copies by year's end at $49.99 retail, planting it in Hollywood blockbuster territory. Eventually, 15 million copies could be sold, topping the all-time best seller: its predecessor, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, with more than 13 million sold.

"San Andreas could well be the biggest-selling game ever," says John Davison, editorial director for Ziff Davis' video game magazine group.

That leaves lots of room for content that drew fire from Congress and parent groups in past GTAs."You can still beat up hookers and steal their money, you can still run over cops and shoot and kill the ambulance drivers as they come in to pick up the dead people. All of the carnage and destruction is still intact," says Tom Ham of Play magazine. Hsu says San Andreas may draw even more heat because of gang-related violence.

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News source: USA Today

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