In an ironic twist, fans of Grand Theft Auto V are committing actual crimes to get their hands on a copy of the video game. That could be more expensive than the game itself.
Online content (and multiplayer action) launches Oct. 1, two weeks after the video game hit store shelves. The game has already broken sales records, earning more than $1 billion in the first three days it was available. Others sought more nefarious means for a copy of the notorious game.
"Just broken into someone's car to steal their copy of GTA 5. I hope they appreciate the irony," wrote one prankster in a post that has since been removed.
The characters in GTA V are similarly unscrupulous. And they commit crimes that could have seriously expensive consequences in the real world.
How much would legal help cost in reality? Let's start with the prologue, which is the first mission you encounter.
In order to complete the mission and move on, you must rob the vault of a bank, kill a guard and flee the scene. In the process, you blow up a few remote devices with your cell phone and shoot several cops fatally. Should you get caught, you're going to need a criminal defense attorney. Plan to set aside $5,000-$25,000 just to cover the retainer. After that, expect to be charged $100-$300 per hour for services. Costs add up quickly.
One of the three main characters in GTA V -- Trevor Philips -- is a drug kingpin with a meth-filled empire. It would not take long for a guy like him to be in deep trouble with the DEA, if he were living in the real world. Defending drug felonies can cost $20,000-$30,000 or more.
Many of the GTA missions feature driving across the virtual city of Los Santos, a close approximation to the grittiness of LA. Yet despite the rampant moving vehicle violations, nary a traffic ticket is to be seen -- a stark contrast to the real world. A basic run-of-the-mill speeding ticket costs about $200-$500. Hiring a traffic attorney to help starts at $60-$150 for simple representation and can cost $2,000-$5,000 or more for a complex court case.
In the end, if you're the kind of person who enjoys an over-the-top virtual crime spree, Grand Theft Auto V will only set you back about $60.That's a whole lot cheaper than acting out crimes in real life.