As the GTA 6 trailer is on track to get the most Youtube views ever in one ... trends now
Police chase thugs on dirt bikes, scantily clad women cavort on the top of speeding cars, an alligator is dragged out of a swimming pool and wanders into a convenience store — like everyone else here, looking for trouble.
This is sleazy Vice City, heavily modelled on Miami, where our two heroes, a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde, are about to add to the mayhem as they rob, shoot and burn rubber to their depraved hearts' content. 'Look who's back!,' snarls a menacing woman in a floral dress, clutching a hammer in each hand.
Look indeed, for this is the trailer for the next iteration of a gleefully violent video game that will hardly need much introduction given the notoriety it's already attracted and the multi-billion-pound sales it's racked up.
Grand Theft Auto VI won't be released until 2025 but befitting the sort of Hollywood blockbuster whose producers can only dream of making this game's sort of money, its creators are already whetting the hungry appetites of the millions of punters who will dutifully go out and buy it.
Viewed 50 million times on YouTube in just nine hours, the 91-second-long trailer —launched this week for what is popularly known as GTA — was yesterday on track to become the most watched video in a single day on the platform.
Grand Theft Auto VI won't be released until 2025. Pictured: A woman in a bikini from trailer
The 91-second long trailer to the game was viewed 50 million times on YouTube in just nine hours. Pictured: A scene from the trailer
Sam and Dan Houser - the creators aged 51 and 50 - are the sons of Walter Houser, a wealthy lawyer who co-owned Soho jazz club Ronnie Scott's, and Geraldine Moffat
The official warning at the start of the film — which is clearly meant to evoke the opening credits to 1980s TV series Miami Vice with its soaring aerial shots, flocks of flamingos and copious female flesh — says that it 'may contain content inappropriate for children'.
Well, its legions of young fans will certainly hope so. If it's inappropriate for a lot of adults too, all the better.
Based on the simple but apparently revolutionary premise of allowing players to be the criminals rather than the cops in a grimy, chaotic but intricately developed online urban jungle, GTA hit on a wildly successful formula of enabling nerdy computer gamers to indulge their wildest criminal fantasies from the comfort of their own homes.
And since that has meant graphic sex, violence, rape, torture and casual executions of police officers, it is clear that those who argue this sort of screen brutality has a dangerously desensitising effect have been generally shouting into the wind.
Groups such as Freedom from Torture and Amnesty International complained when GTA V, the previous one in the franchise, sank to a new low by allowing players to torture a man by pulling out his teeth, giving him electric shocks and hitting him with a sledgehammer.
One critic even wrote that 'if the Devil had to invent a game, it would be this one'. But it only provided Grand Theft Auto with more useful publicity.
Elon Musk said this week he could never enjoy a game that involved killing policemen but there were plenty who didn't share his qualms.
On its release in 2013, Grand Theft Auto V made £650 million on its first day on sale. It smashed every industry record and became the fastest selling entertainment product in history.
A decade later, it's still among the most popular games, having sold more than 190 million copies and made more than £6.3 billion. Given the highest ever grossing film, 2009's Avatar, only made £2.3 billion, that tells you something about the jaw-dropping value of the video games market.