Grand Theft Auto IV is a 2008 open world action-adventure video game published by Rockstar Games, and developed by UK game developer Rockstar North. It has been released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 video game consoles, and for the Windows operating system. The game involves a separate timeline and world than its predecessors, starting the fourth "era" in the Grand Theft Auto series, and is set in fictional Liberty City, based heavily on modern day New York City.[a] The game follows Niko Bellic, a veteran of an unnamed war in Eastern Europe, who comes to the United States in search of the American Dream, but quickly becomes entangled in a world of gangs, crime, and corruption. Like other games in the series, GTA IV is composed of elements from driving games and third-person shooters, and features open world gameplay, in which players can interact with the game world at their leisure. Grand Theft Auto IV also features several online multiplayer modes.
Two expansion packs have been developed for the game, originally released as downloadable content for the Xbox 360 version throughout 2009. Both The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony feature new plots that are interconnected with the main GTA IV storyline, and follow new protagonists. The two episodes have been released together for all platforms as a stand-alone game called Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City. A bundle that contained both the original GTA IV game and the Episodes was also released, titled Grand Theft Auto IV: The Complete Edition. The 2009 handheld game Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars revisited the Liberty City of GTA IV.
As the first game of the critically acclaimed series to appear on seventh generation consoles, Grand Theft Auto IV was widely anticipated. A major commercial and critical success, it broke industry records with sales of around 3.6 million units on its first day of release and grossing more than $500 million in revenue in the first week, selling an estimated 6 million units worldwide. As of September 2011, the game had shipped over 22 million copies. Grand Theft Auto IV won numerous awards from both gaming and mainstream press, including several recognitions as Game of the Year, and is in the highest ranks on several professional game critic review-aggregating websites. In late 2011, Rockstar Games announced that Grand Theft Auto V was in full development. A trailer of Grand Theft Auto V was later released.