Rockstar Games has turned one of "Grand Theft Auto's" best-known fictional sports cars into a real one that gamers can compete to win.
In the latest example of lavish stunts by video game companies promoting their wares, Rockstar Games has turned one of the snazziest cars from the highly anticipated "Grand Theft Auto 5" into a real-world automobile that one lucky "GTA" player can win.
Made in partnership with West Coast Customs (the auto shop best for MTV's "Pimp My Ride"), the one-of-a-kind Bravado Banshee is a "screen-accurate reproduction" of the in-game sports car, assembled by overlaying custom-molded exterior panels onto an unspecified 2013 model of a used car.
Sadly for the legions of "Grand Theft Auto 5" fans that will be lining up to get the game when it comes out on Sept. 17, there's only one version of the real Banshee, and it's only available to GameStop customers who take part in the PowerUp Rewards Epic Reward Giveaway program. GameStop said that all PowerUp Rewards members will get one entry into the car raffle for each purchase they make — either in store or online — during the month of September, while Pro members get two entries per purchase.
The winner will receive the Banshee, which is valued at $180,000, and an additional check for $70,000. That may not be quite as impressive as, say, launching players into space — which is what video game publisher Deep Silver promised it would do for customers who bought the "Super Dangerous Wad Wad" edition of "Saint's Row 4." But then again, the special edition of that game cost $1 million, and how many gamers have that kind of money?
Neither RockStar or GameStop had any word about possible cheat-codes unlocking the real-world Banshee.
Yannick LeJacq is a contributing writer for NBC News who has also covered technology and games for Kill Screen, The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic. You can follow him on Twitter at @YannickLeJacq and reach him by email at: Yannick.LeJacq@nbcuni.com.
First published September 4 2013, 12:22 PM