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'Grand Theft Auto' drives to Southern California

SAN FRANCISCO — Unabashedly criminal Grand Theft Auto is heading for the virtual streets of Southern California in a new installment of the blockbuster videogame franchise.
Take-Two Interactive Software publishing label Rockstar Games said Thursday that Grand Theft Auto V is in the works. A trailer providing a glimpse at the videogame was available online atrockstargames.com.
"Grand Theft Auto V is another radical reinvention of the Grand Theft Auto universe," said Rockstar founder Sam Houser. "We are incredibly excited to share our new vision with our fans."
Grand Theft Auto V is set in a fictional city of Los Santos based on real-world Los Angeles and its nearby hills and beaches.
The videogame franchise has won legions of fans and cadres of critics with game play in which triumph depends on acts such as carjacking, gambling and killing.
Play in Grand Theft Auto games has included simulated sex with prostitutes and drunken driving.
The franchise's appeal is fueled by captivating story lines and an open-world format that lets players go whereever they wish in game worlds.
Rockstar said that Grand Theft Auto V "focuses on the pursuit of the almighty dollar" in a re-imagined Southern California and promised "bold new direction in open-world freedom, storytelling, and mission-based game play."
The game will also let people play with or against one another online.
More than 114 million copies of Grand Theft Auto have been sold worldwide since the first version was released in 1997, according to New York City-based Take-Two.
Grand Theft Auto IV blew away videogame and Hollywood records by raking in an unprecedented 500 million dollars in the week after its release in April 2008.
A release date for the new version of the game was not disclosed.