A brand-new trailer for Grand Theft Auto V has been released featuring a bigger world, more main characters, and the ability to explore underwater, fly planes and the potential to kill more prostitutes. So why is the only thing that everyone seems to be excited about is the ability to play tennis?
For starters, here's the expansive trailer:
What you want to watch out for is around the 3:23-3:26 mark, when this magic happens:
That folks is a real tennis game—notice the power bar and game details. And according to the gaming site The Gameological Society, tennis is what fans have been clamoring for since 2005. It's sort of crazy to the casual observer who may only know the GTA franchise as one of the first games to let you drive around and beat up women of the night. But yes, gamers actually want a tennis game with their Grand Theft Auto experience and yes, there may be some crossover into the GTA franchise from tennis fans who just want a decent tennis game.
"A report in Women’s Wear Daily fueled rumors that Grand Theft Auto IV would feature a Nico Bellic dream-sequence mission in which Nico wins the finals at Wimbledon," Gameological's John Teti writes, explaining what piqued fans interest. Those hopes were dashed, with "the sequence was ultimately cut from the game in favor of a mission where you shoot guys and then drive away really fast—like, REALLY fast."
Since then, Rockstar Games, the company behind the GTA franchise, acknowledged fans' yearning for a tennis component by coming out with Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis, released in May 2006, which was actually a surprisingly good and successful venture. Which ultimately brings us to today, where one of the main characters in GTA V, Michael, is clearly playing tennis.
Ultimately, the eager tennis fans cement the the idea that GTA was never really about senseless violence, though the capability is there. "Grand Theft Auto IV indoctrinated a generation of game players, and the conversation about the series largely shifted from how morally dangerous the games were to whether or not they should be considered works of art," explains Slate's Sharan Shetty, referring to the immersive world Rockstar has created with this franchise. If you recall, The Guardian's Tom Bissell got so addicted to the game in 2010 that he developed a cocaine addiction, as well. A tennis habit, we think, might be less damaging.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.