I hate to be the bearer of bad news, especially when it involves an awesome project I know many people were looking forward to. But – alas – today I must inform you that the Rockstar Games three-volume art book, Digital + Analogue: The Art and Science of Rockstar Games is not happening.
Publishers Steidl have confirmed that plans for the three-volume series have been scrapped, just a week after the company’s website was updated with product details. This was, apparently, not meant to have happened, and the page has since been removed.
This ultra-shiny volume was set to be a monster. Retailing for US$450, it was set to coincide with Rockstar‘s tenth anniversary later this year – as a sort of time capsule containing “original illustrations, wireframes, production stills, product shots, ads, inspiration and candids of the company’s games”. An exclusive CD/DVD was also in the works, if you preferred to look at things on-screen.
This enormous compendium celebrates a decade of Rockstar Games with spectacular artwork and detail drawings of stunning environments (the hoods, grand canyons, asylums), death-defying tasks (races, executions, carjacks, drug runs), colorful subjects (bullies, smugglers, prisoners, hit men), and passersby with whom your characters interact, so that even a non-player may understand how exhilarating a Rockstar experience can be. Characters switch perspectives and radio stations, navigate through real time day-to-night changes and weather cycles, and participate in society with total moral freedom – actions that the company’s founder and executive producer describes as an “experiment in narrative.”
But now, it seems this is not to be. It’s not all bad news though! The book’s editor, Eva Prinz, is already hard at work on a completely new project about the game developers – to be distributed by new publishers. At this stage though, there’s no word on quite what will be within those pages – fingers crossed it’s even a fraction of what was promised here.