Software development is set to become easier in the near future with Adobe’s plans to get it’s flash player installed on as many mobiles and set-top boxes as possible. Lifting restrictions on how the software development can be used, getting rid of licensing fees for mobile versions of Flash and publishing information about how the code works means that those involved in software development will only have to write code the once.
This whole solution will mean that it is much easier for film and TV makers to send their content to mobiles and other devices with the creation of one flexible player technology. This is the technology that is already in millions of handhelds and desk top computers, in fact an estimated 98% of them.
One producer of software development who can truly claim a success is Rockstar, makers of the Grand Theft Auto video games. This week saw the release of their latest addition: Grand Theft Auto IV and sales peaked at a record 609,000 copies. This brought in a staggering total revenue of $ 48.5 million. The game itself cost producers $ 100 million but at this rate, they will soon recoup that money.
Some people have been reporting problems with the software development of this game, where it keeps freezing and although it was originally thought to be a problem with those playing on a 60GB version of Play Station 3 sold in the US, Xbox 360 users have also reported difficulties.
This problem has been acknowledged by Rockstar who saying they are working on a solution and despite these difficulties the game itself scores 98.7% on the rankings of those surveys that count.
However popular this software development may be, it raises serious issues on the effect these violent games have on people. One man was stabbed whilst waiting in the queue to buy the game. At first, nobody came to his assistance because they thought it was a promotional stunt, given the game content, but when police turned up they realised it was a genuine attack.
Many people claim these violent games have no effect on the users but elsewhere an eighteen year old boy had his nose and jaw shattered by muggers who stole his game thirty minutes after he bought it. The games graphics are said to be ‘next generation’ in their clarity but surely this brings extreme violence into the players world, where they become immune to the effects of it?
The purpose of the game is to kill people to order, rob banks and deal drugs. You are provided with an inexhaustible supply of armoury and can even pick up prostitutes. Although the game comes with a certificate rating of 18, it is feared that younger people will access the game. This then has the effect of not only instilling violence in young people but brings them to the point where they accept it as normal.
The first GTA game was sold in 1997, so far selling 70 million copies, although it has been surrounded by controversy. In view of this fact, it is not surprising that the victim in the original stabbing not only survived his attack but went home to arm himself for revenge. This speaks volumes about the levels of violence we are willing to accept and what we see as justice also.
This is an issue that software development people should be aware of when coming up with this type of game.