Sony Talking To Rockstar About More ‘GTA’ PSP Games

Sony’s not taking the “Grand Theft Auto” series’ move from PSP to DS as a permanent shift, the company’s head of PSP marketing in America told me in an interview.


After two successful “Grand Theft Auto” games on the PSP, the world’s most notorious gaming franchise is making its next portable outing — “Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars” — on Nintendo’s DS.

But Sony isn’t ready to let portable “GTA” out of its grasp.

“No one should sleep on that franchise,” John Koller, Sony’s head of PSP hardware marketing in North America, told me in a phone interview yesterday. “That’s a tremendous franchise for PlayStation in general. We’ve had two that are the top two sellers on PSP right now. So, there’s definitely continued conversations with [’GTA’ development studio] Rockstar on all their brands. That’s nothing that’s left the PlayStation family.”

Koller said he couldn’t recall when he found out that “GTA” was going to the DS after the PSP “Liberty City Stories” and “Vice City Stories,” but was composed about it. “To be honest, Rockstar has to manage their business as they see fit. We’re very good partners with them. They just launched ’The Lost and the Damned’ for 360, so, they need to make their own business decisions. But we certainly have a tremendous relationship with them and always have.”

Regarding “Chinatown Wars,” Koller doesn’t see it squarely matching with the DS fanbase, which the classifies as predominantly under 12 years of age. “It’s an interesting launch on DS,” Koller said. It raises some eyebrows in a lot of areas. It’ll be interesting to see how that sells.”

“Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars” ships on March 17. No new PSP “GTA” s are announced.

Rockstar Games declined to comment for this story.

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