New 'Social Club' provides online-stat tracking for all future Rockstar games including GTAIV, firm secures Amazon tie-up, too

Rockstar takes a leaf out of Bungie’s playbook

Rockstar Games has unveiled new unified online service that will act a web-based backbone to all its future releases – including GTAIV – providing stat-tracking and performance-based awards.

The Rockstar Social Club opens on April 15th, and pulls stats from GTAIV’s PS3 and 360 iterations, providing a virtual map charting each player’s activity, details of their single-player progress and a number of multiplayer leaderboards.

Rockstar has told its fans that it will run special competitions and challenges on GTA and via all its other upcoming games, which will also be supported by the service.

Halo developer Bungie pioneered a similar online site for its Halo 2 and 3 titles.

Elsewhere, the company has also revealed a new music download business model via a deal with Amazon. The in-game character’s mobile phone can be used to buy MP3s from the game’s soundtrack via the online retailer’s purchasing system. Tracks are DRM free and can be imported to computers or other audio devices.

In a post on Yahoo, Rockstar explains that the decision further blurs the line between the game and the portability of its content, pointing out that such functions aren’t available via the in-game music stores seen in the likes of Rock Band.

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