GTA is an accident
Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity. Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin. Many of life’s great discoveries happened by chance, and Grand Theft Auto is one of them. Back in 1995, DMA design, now known as Rockstar North, began work on an open-world top down driving game called Race’n’Chase. The idea was you could play as a crook escaping a bank robbery or a cop trying to stop them.
Early play testers didn’t actually like the game, apart from a glitch which caused the police cars to violently ram into you instead of pulling you over. Instead of trying to fix the glitch, DMA decided to completely overhaul the game and rebuilt it around the ridiculous car chases. And of course, Race’n’Chase was renamed to Grand Theft Auto.
GTA is made in Scotland
If you already knew this, you’d be surprised at how many people don’t. The aforementioned DMA design was founded in 1988 in Dundee and now they’re based in Edinburgh. Apart from the console GTA games, Rockstar North also made Manhunt and Lemmings. The portable GTA games are mostly made in Leeds, England by the imaginatively named Rockstar Leeds.
It’s surprising what seems to be an introspective satire of American culture is not actually American, but then again, it’s not surprising that the Scots would make a game about violent crime where you can get drunk and murder prostitutes.
GTA IV is the best game of all time…
…according to Metacritic. The review score aggregator has GTA IV as the highest rated game of all time with a score of 98/100 for both the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions. Other games which come close include the likes of Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 and…Grand Theft Auto III, all of which have a score of 97. It’s interesting how many people would disagree with this however, including Josh and Tom here at HSR who aren’t its biggest fans to put it mildly. While I am a huge fan, the insane review scores given to GTA may have been as a result of a press frenzy at the time. It almost seems a given that GTA V will be a much better game than GTA IV but even still, it’ll be hard to beat those review scores.
GTA V’s game world is big…really big
You may have heard that Rockstar North has stated GTA V’s game world is going to be as big as GTA: San Andreas, GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption put together. GTA: San Andreas’ game world is 13.9 square miles, Grand Theft Auto IV’s Liberty City is 6.8 sq. miles and Red Dead Redemption is a sizeable 28 sq miles. So totally that’s just under 50 square miles. Fifty. That’s more than seven times bigger than GTA IV. That’s over twice the size of real-life Manhattan. Gulp.
GTA V has a bigger budget than Hollywood blockbusters
I’m not a game developer so I don’t know how it’s so expensive to make a video game. Surely it’s just a bunch of people working on a computer right? Well GTA V’s rumoured budget is an eye-watering $137 million. That puts it into the same category as huge Vinewood blockbusters like the Bourne Ultimatum ($130m) and even Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man ($139m). Although if the previous instalment is anything to go by, it should make back the money pretty quickly. GTA IV had a budget of $100m but made back $1.35 billion. Compare that to the biggest budget film of all time; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End which cost $300m to make and made back $961m worldwide. Something tells me some folks in Scotland are looking forward to September 17th even more than you are.