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GTA Online player numbers are bigger than ever thanks to casino update

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GTA Online – bigger than ever

The chances of Grand Theft Auto VI being announced anytime soon have just taken another drop and it’s all because GTA V is still too popular.

Street Fighter V - Eddie is back in the fightE. Honda, Lucia, and Poison coming to Street Fighter V this month

Six years after its initial release and GTA V is still rarely out of the top 10 but that only hints at the ongoing level of its success, as the most lucrative part of the game is GTA Online.

Thanks to a renewed marketing campaign, and the fact that the casino’s existence has been teased for years, the recent update has seen GTA Online become more popular than ever.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the casino update led to the biggest single day and week in player numbers since the game first went online in 2013.

Rockstar hasn’t revealed what those numbers are though, and the only official figures anyone has to go off is that the parent game has now sold over 110 million copies and that back in 2014 there were 33 million active players on GTA Online.

That second figure is likely to be much higher now, while GTA V itself is the highest grossing media product of all-time. That means that while titles like Minecraft have sold more copies GTA V has made more money than any game, movie, or music album in history – at around $6 billion.

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The casino update itself is free though, as are all expansions for GTA Online, and it’s microtransactions used for additional clothes and vehicles where Rockstar make their money.

That includes microtransactions to buy gambling chips at the casino, something which has been heavily criticised as it means GTA Online allows you to gamble with real money, even if it doesn’t pay out real cash.

That’s obviously not put off many people but the update’s success also makes it extremely unlikely that Rockstar would announce GTA VI any time soon, lest they kill their cash cow.

What is likely though is the annoucement of a version of GTA V for PlayStation 5, Project Scarlett, and Stadia, as Rockstar will be keen to ensure the game doesn’t lose any players as they move onto next generation formats.

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Bernie Sanders wants to ban police use of facial recognition

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Bernie Sanders has called for a complete ban on the police use of facial recognition.

The Vermont senator’s proposal to “ban the use of facial recognition software for policing” is part of his broader criminal justice reform agenda.

Facial recognition technology has drawn the ire of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, some of whom have called for a “time out” on its development. However, that seems unlikely, since the technology is already being used in some form or another in dozens of U.S. cities — as this interactive map details.

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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., pauses while speaking during a forum on June 21, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., pauses while speaking during a forum on June 21, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The activist group responsible for the map, Fight for the Future, is calling for a total federal ban on the technology. Sanders is the first 2020 presidential candidate to do so.

“The rapid spread of facial recognition surveillance is one of the most urgent threats to our basic freedom and human rights today. Every single 2020 candidate should be calling for a ban on this invasive, biased and dangerous technology,” said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, in a statement shared with Fox News.

Several American cities, including Oakland and San Francisco in California, along with Somverville, Mass., have voted to ban the municipal use of facial recognition technology. Berkeley, Calif. and Cambridge, Mass. are also considering bans on the controversial technology.

Sens. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker expressed strong reservations about the technology’s potential ability to fuel racial bias in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission last September.

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“Banning facial recognition is not a radical idea. It’s common sense. Allowing government agencies to build a face-scanning panopticon with no oversight or accountability is reckless and puts people in danger,” Greer said.

Fight for the Future opposes any attempts by Big Tech to get Congress to pass a “regulatory framework” for facial recognition because the nonprofit believes that would only bolster the technology’s spread in the U.S.

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