GTA Was Almost Cancelled?

2 min read


Many of you are eagerly awaiting the expected announcement of GTA V this year, and imagining where the prolific sandbox title could be set this time around. Imagine instead a world without GTA; because that was almost a reality.

According to Gary Penn, once a developer for DMA Designs (now Rockstar North) who worked on the original GTA, the game came close to being binned.

“[The original GTA] was a real mess for years, it never moved on, it never went anywhere," said Penn of the game. "It was almost canned," he added. "The publisher, BMG Interactive, wanted to can it, as it didn’t seem to be going anywhere." I’m pretty sure we’re all glad that didn’t happen. I’d never have been able to live my lifelong dream of beating virtual hookers with a baseball bat.

The original had a ton of issues. "There are probably two key things it fell down on. Two critical things. One of them is stability, which is a really boring one but it crashed all the fucking time. So even if you did get something in the game, you couldn’t really test it." He continued: "Now the other thing that was a problem was the handling — the car handling was appalling," which, for a game that revolved around riving, meant it was "fundamentally broken".

In a stroke of serendipity, the game ended up being saved, by a bug. "One day, I think it was a bug, the police suddenly became mental and aggressive," said Penn. "Their route finding was screwed I think and that was an awesome moment because suddenly the real drama where, ‘Oh my God, the police are psycho — they’re trying to ram me off the road.’"

"That was awesome, so that stayed in," he said.

15 years later, it’s one of the largest – and most controversial – gaming franchises in the world.

Source : Gamasutra

Last Updated: February 1, 2011

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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