He's the biggest name in entertainment but you won't find him striding down the red carpet or cavorting with Hollywood starlets under the watchful eye of the paparazzi.
No, Niko Bellic, set to become the most high profile Slav in entertainment since Borat Sagdiyev took the box office by storm 18 months ago.
He is among the new breed of entertainment personalities who, rather than being cast, are built from scratch by a team of programmers and graphic designers.
He's the protagonist in Grand Theft Auto IV and, just days after hitting the streets, is already giving flesh-and-blood Hollywood stars a run for their money.
Launched around the world at midnight on Monday, Grand Theft Auto IV (GTA IV) is on track to become the biggest entertainment launch in history. Analysts have predicted the title, which has inspired near-perfect reviews from most gaming magazines, will sell at least 6 million copies in its first week.
And if the $US400 million ($428 million) first week sales estimates prove correct, GTA IV will earn as much as Pirates Of The Caribbean III earned in its opening weekend in May last year to become Hollywood's record holder.
It would also eclipse Spider-Man 3 and the previous video game king, Halo 3, which raked in $US300 million in its first week in September last year.
Steve Wilson, CEO of EBGames, which held midnight launch events around Australia for GTA IV, said the launch was "almost twice as big as Halo 3".
"It was very, very big, much bigger than we were expecting even, and we were expecting big - particularly for a Tuesday," he said.
The game's developer, Rockstar Games, and EBGames both refused to release first-day sales figures or the number of copies sold.
Bellic is expected to join a growing list of game stars - Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider series and Master Chief from Halo, to name a few - that have become household names among anyone with even a passing interest in videos games.
Unlike the two-dimensional characters in movies, today's games allow players to become the character and completely immerse themselves in their world. And thanks to the power of the latest generation of games consoles, those worlds have become a lot richer, with virtually no limitations on where a player can travel, hundreds of characters to interact with and hundreds of thousands of lines of dialogue.
Bellic inhabits Liberty City, modelled on present-day New York, and has recently arrived in the US from Eastern Europe in search of the American Dream. But instead of the riches promised by his cousin Ramon, the anti-hero quickly becomes wrapped up in crime and warring rival syndicates as he helps Roman clear his hefty debt.
"We wanted someone who felt tough but also like an alien ... On the one hand he's an innocent, on the other hand he's battle hardened and world weary. A modern 'arriving in America' story felt very interesting to us," Rockstar co-founder and creative vice-president Dan Houser told Hollywood industry magazine Variety.
As players guide Bellic through the city's seedy criminal underbelly they can use breaks between missions to visit prostitutes and invite friends out for a drink, a round of pool or a game of darts. Bellic's phone can be used to dial up ambulances if he or friends become injured and players can even use the phone to buy and download tracks heard on the game's radio stations.
GTA IV is the ninth game in the Grand Theft Auto series, which has sold more than 70 million copies since its launch in 1997 and holds three of the top four spots on the list of best-selling games of all time. Unlike a typical movie, GTA IV takes 40 hours or more to get through and can be extended via the online multiplayer mode, making its $120 price tag somewhat easier to digest.
Variety reported that GTA IV's success could detract from film box office takings over the next few months as young males shy away from the cinema in favour of the couch. As far as heroes go, Bellic will be up against Indiana Jones and Batman when their latest outings debut in cinemas this year.
Rockstar is hoping GTA IV will be recognised alongside the great standout gangster movies, saying there hadn't been one over the past few years.
Metacritic, which aggregates reviews from all publications, lists 15 reviews for the PS3 version of GTA IV and 25 reviews for the Xbox 360 version. The average scores are 100 and 99 respectively.
"Grand Theft Auto IV is a violent, intelligent, profane, endearing, obnoxious, sly, richly textured and thoroughly compelling work of cultural satire disguised as fun," read a review in The New York Times.
The game, which rewards players for mass killing, carjacking and gambling and also includes drink driving and simulated sex with prostitutes, has raised the ire of family lobby groups, who say it could influence the real-life behaviour of young players.
In Australia, because there is no R18+ rating for video games, Rockstar Games was forced to tone down some of the more extreme content before it could be sold here under the MA15+ rating.
"While there are some minor differences between the Australian and US/EU versions, they are not significant and we do not believe they take away from the level of scope and detail that make GTA IV such an incredible experience," Rockstar said in a statement.
Game reviewers at IGN were one of the first in Australia to play through the local version of the title and confirmed the censorship changes were minor.
Murderous rampages, picking up prostitutes, visiting strip clubs for private lap dances and drink driving are all present in the Australian release but the act of having sex with hookers in one's car has been toned down.
"While you can spin the camera 360 degrees around the car and see Niko and the hooker bumping and grinding in the US version, during the act of sex the camera remains locked at the rear of the car, focusing on the bumping car itself and the sound effects in the Aussie version," IGN said.
But in a reminder of how meaningless local censorship rulings have become in the internet age, the uncensored Xbox 360 versions of Grand Theft Auto IV for both PAL and NTSC regions were leaked to various BitTorrent file sharing websites days before the midnight launch.