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GTA V... again

Yes, it's this discussion again. GTA V was supposedly separated from the GTA IV era because that would avoid "a lot of problems"... At this point where we already know a lot about GTA V, I'd like to let us consider putting it back into the GTA IV era. I'd also like to use the content of this very article as evidence:

Within a single era, games generally have a lot in common: Artistic style Obviously, yes. Plus the fact that GTA IV and V use the same engine and are part of the same generation.

Overlapping storyline & characters Though we can't be sure about this so far, there hasn't been any contradiction whatsoever.

Many overlapping brands, products, advertisements etc Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes. Practically every single car brand, for instance, mentioned in GTA IV is also present in GTA V. I can't wrap my head around the fact that we're supposed to put 2 games that have the absolutely-exactly-same-looking vehicles (no less than 26 of them so far) in two different eras. That alone should make anyone reconsider all this.

Locations (whether accessible or just mentioned) No contradictions either, so far.

Vehicles and weapons See above.

Gameplay mechanics & features (such as Wanted Level) Too early to say.

Now eras are creating problems. The concept of "era" was created to refer to several games that have a lot in common. GTA V has in common with GTA IV just as much as GTA San Andreas has with GTA Vice City, or GTA III. Therefore it seems illogical to make them belong to different eras. I hope you understand.--Loadingue (talk|edits) 18:10, 30 April 2013 (BST)

Hi Loadingue. This has been discussed many times, and we did introduce a change because of it. However, we reached a conclusion and that is final for the forseeable future. This is the status:
  • An era is a group of games starting with each new numbered game.
  • Era is based entirely on the number of the game. Nothing else.
  • Helpfully, this groups games by release date, and all the games in each era (except 1) happen to be very closely related
  • For example, a single uniting story arc. There are no story arcs between eras.
  • A universe is where the games are canonically considered to exist in parallel in the same world.
  • There are only 3 universes (2D, 3D, HD) and all GTA games fit into these.
  • Games within the same universe might not be related at all (eg GTA 1 + GTA 2) but still co-exis
We are not saying that two eras cannot be related. In fact, many things appear in multiple eras, like Sprunk, many vehicles and most game features. It is very easy to group eras together, either into a universe or just by saying "the X and Y Eras".
However, if we grouped separate games together into a single era, just because they shared a few vehicles, this would cause many problems. Whilst it might seem simpler for the few things that are shared, the problems appear in the non-shared things. For example, saying Niko Bellic is a character in the GTA IV Era is very straightforward, but saying he appears in only the first half of the "GTA IV and V Era" is much more difficult and less intuitive.
The GTA IV Era has a single uniting storyline, a single location, and almost everything appears either in one game or in all the games. GTA V might be closely related - sharing many vehicles, business and some characters - but this is absolutely fine because they are part of the same universe. You can easily say that the Comet appears in the HD Universe, or give the list of eras, or even a list of games. This gives you a choice and you can pick the most accurate one.
No system is perfect. Each game can change the canon slightly, and there can even be contradictions within the same game. This is considered to be the best-fit solution - it makes everything easy to talk about. However, calling GTA V part of the GTA IV era is wrong.
We have had this discussion thousands of times, and since we introduced Universes as official terminology (alongside Eras) there has been no evidence for any further change.
Yes, there are similarities and overlaps between the IV and V eras. That does not make them in the same era, it makes them part of the same Universe.
Grouping all the HD Universe games into a single era means we have to put TONS of effort to explain which half of the era everything appears in. Because most of it doesn't overlap. We are not "making them belong to different eras" - we are not pretending they have nothing in common - we are listing them in two separate piles but the wiki can easy explain how lots of things appear in both piles. That is easy.
I absolutely respect your opinion, but I don't believe that having two separate Eras damages the wiki in any way, as it is very each to talk about both eras together or the HD universe as a whole. I believe that grouping all existing and future IV and V era games into one package would cause problems. I'm sorry if there's something I'm missing here? gboyers talk 00:06, 1 May 2013 (BST)
No, you're not missing anything, but I still disagree. Your favourite argument is saying that "we'd have to put tons of effort to explain why something only appears in a half of an era". What I don't understand is: in the GTA III Era, some characters appear only in San Andreas. Others only in Vice City, or in Liberty City. The GTA III Era has more games than the GTA IV Era + GTA V. And still, we don't go saying "Lance Vance is a character in the Vice City part of the GTA III Era." You just don't make sense here. Just the same, we would say: "Niko Bellic is a character in the GTA IV Era". Why need to say more? This indicates the reader in which games he may have appeared, and in which games he may appear in the future (DLCs). Whether GTA V is part of GTA IV or not, saying he was a character in the GTA IV Era is not completely accurate, since Chinatown Wars is also part of the GTA IV Era, and he's not featured in it at all. Really, I don't get your logic here at all.
Besides, I think basing an Era on the number of the game's title is completely irrelevant. The number was chosen only for commercial purpose. When they came up with GTA V, they weren't trying to tell "Guys, this is gonna be different from GTA IV", they meant "This is gonna be just as big as GTA IV, if not bigger". A title is just a title, we should not use it as irrefutable evidence for the bases of game classification on the wiki, like you do.
One last thing; I've seen a lot of people disagree with you, but with all due respect: I don't think your opinion here matters more than mine, or anyone's because you're the owner. This is a wiki, a small community; we do and discuss things together. That matters on encyclopedic websites more than anywhere else. Just a small, and as friendly as possible, reminder. I may be wrong though, I may have got the wrong impresion.--Loadingue (talk|edits) 01:35, 1 May 2013 (BST)

You're absolutely right that nobody's opinion weighs more than any other. We try to do everything by consensus. That is why we have all of these discussions, and this is how everything is decided on the wiki. If no consensus can be reached, we can either continue repeating the discussion, continue without any decision being made (and having two conflicting styles), or a decision is taken by the staff. There have only ever been one or two occasions where that has needed to happen, and I hope that this is not one of them.

Yes, no system is perfect. I'm not suggesting everything appears in all of & exactly one era, and I'm not suggesting that eras be used in every sentence. You can still list games or use Universes. Merging the GTA IV and V eras would not prevent that, but keeping them separate gives us another option.

The actual policy is to use the lowest common denominator:

  • If something appears in one game only, mention the game
  • If something appears in several games within an era, mention the era (the games can be listed further in)
  • If something appears in more than one era, mention the universe
  • If something appears in more than one universe, you can list the universes or the eras (whichever is more appropriate)

The purpose of using Eras and Universes is to avoid having to manually list every single game. We can just say that Patrick McReary is a character in the GTA IV Era, and that is a nice simple explanation. It does not say he appears in every game, but it is more precise than saying he appears in the HD Universe.

The policy is that we use an Era where it fits, or we use Universes where it doesn't. Every situation is covered. If (as you suggest) most things in GTA IV will also appear in GTA V,

I genuinely believe that in a couple of years' time, we will look back and see two separate groups of games. The GTA IV era has IV+TLAD+BOGT+CW (all set in LC) and the GTA V Era will have V plus a couple more games (all set in San Andreas). There will be huge numbers of things that fit neatly into one of those two groups - characters, storylines, features etc. I genuinely think calling all of those games the "GTA IV Era" would seem silly to us then, and would not give us an easy option to specify which of the two groups something appears in. Yes, there will be crossovers, but these are easy to call the HD Universe.

With the GTA III Era, you're right that the games could be divided up into three sets, but there is no way for us to do that. The GTA IV Era is very clean and straightforward to identify, and it fits perfectly within our existing naming structure for Eras (IE based on number). The fact that GTA V seems to share some vehicles does not ruin that.

This is my main point: I can see that 4+5 are more closely related than 3+4, but that is acceptable because they are within the same universe. Sharing some weapons and vehicles does not automatically make them the same Era, we still group the IV-era games together, and the V-era games will be grouped. Anything that spans both of those eras can be said to be part of the HD universe. gboyers talk 23:28, 1 May 2013 (BST)