Grand Theft Auto V was a historic launch for Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games, but some GTA series creators weren’t always too optimistic regarding its future — once regarding it as “most likely not to succeed.”
In an interview with BBC 5, GTA 2 producer Colin Macdonald described the early years of working at DMA Design, now Rockstar North, and how GTA’s first game back in 1997 didn’t have the most favorable outlook. At the time, Macdonald said they were working on seven projects, and a DMA staff survey showed which games the studio felt would be the most and least successful.
“The one voted most likely not to succeed was Grand Theft Auto,” said Macdonald. “That’s because, mid-development, the direction of the game wasn’t clear. It was also quite buggy – you couldn’t play it for more than a couple of minutes without it crashing, so certainly, at the grassroots level, there wasn’t a lot of confidence in it.”
Macdonald went on to explain how a troubled GTA “wasn’t really regarded well for most of the time it was in production” and went through a lot of iterations. The earliest pieces of the series began from an experimental project, where players roamed as a dinosaur destroying buildings. Later on, DMA added cars to the game and changed its focus.
GTA’s messy 90s rise to its current successes are chronicled in the seven-part podcast series from BBC 5, Bugzy Malone’s Grandest Game. Macdonald, and the recording at large, go on to describe a GTA team far removed from today’s vision but still knew they “had something special.”
Despite those early inklings of a failure afoot, GTA has ushered in historic successes for Take-Two Interactive and the games industry as a whole. In 2013, GTA 5 reached a record-breaking $1 billion in retail sales during its first three days of launch—making it the fastest entertainment property to hit that milestone. And earlier this month, Take-Two announced GTA has sold more than 385 million units as a franchise, with GTA 5 responsible for 170 million of those units.
Fans are eagerly anticipating the next Grand Theft Auto game, which Rockstar confirmed is currently in development, though the game has been impacted by high-profile leaks.
Andrea Shearon is a freelance contributor for IGN covering games and entertainment. She’s worn several hats over her seven-year career in the games industry, with bylines over at Fanbyte, USA Today’s FTW, TheGamer, VG247, and RPG Site. Find her on Twitter (@Maajora) or the Materia Possessions podcast chatting about FFXIV, RPGs, and any series involving giant robots.
Source: IGN Video Games All