Original Grand Theft Auto Was "Almost Canned"

Grand Theft Auto III was the game that catapulted the series towards the mainstream, but plenty of folks seem to forget that the original game, created by DMA Design, was also massively successful in its day. But according to Gary Penn, a member of the original development team, the original GTA was almost canceled.

According to Penn, GTA had multiple difficulties early in development.

"It never really felt like it was going anywhere," he claimed. "It was almost canned. The publisher, BMG Interactive, wanted to can it, as it didn't seem to be going anywhere."

Apparently one of the most crucial elements of the game - the behaviour of the cops and the fun that came from avoiding them - emerged late in development, and by mistake.

"One day, I think it was a bug, the police suddenly became mental and aggressive. It was because they were trying to drive through you."

"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."

You can read the full interview at Gamasutra here.

Penn: First Grand Theft Auto Was 'Almost Canned' [Gamasutra]


    Splendid! A hypothetical.
    How very intriguing.
    One can only imagine a tangent
    universe, an alternate reality if you will, where
    Grand Theft Auto did not exist.
    Perhaps one imagines a place not too different
    from the world we live in today . . .
    Perhaps one imagines me married to
    Miranda Kerr & Megan Fox.
    Perhaps one imagines me having bubble
    baths with my two delightful and aforementioned
    wives on a Sunday evening before we embark on magical
    tour across the universe with Ray Wilson.
    Like Ray said:
    It's like a fantasy; only it's real!

      have you been spending too much time with Mordin in ME2 Plainview?

        An interesting question and one
        I am keen to pursue. Mordin? ME2? Consider
        them both googled, old chap. Now I live
        with an anticipation and curiosity
        as to what I will find. I see a great many people
        in my line of work; there is no expectations
        for me to remember everyone by name.
        But a face, a face stays with me forever
        like a photo.
        Jolly good and thanks for the heads up.

    I bought the original the day it came out simply because I saw it on the late night news a few nights before in some segent about whether video games were becoming too realist and violent. Was instantly a must buy for me.

    Still have it with it's box, map and all. To be honest, it's still probably my favorite GTA. Had many good times in multiplayer. Also looked awesome back in the day with the OpenGL patch installed.

      I was the same, still have the original Playstation version pristine. It had sold out everywhere in my home town of Newcastle and I remember trekking down to Sydney on the train and eventualy finding a rogue copy at some store down near centrepoint tower.

      Got it home and the intro song by Da Shootaz started up and I was hooked from that moment on.

      The series has introduced me to so many different forms of music as well as being a great series that gets better and better.
      Except for GTA London which was waaaay to short.

    GTA 1 was awesome :D

    I must be the only person who didn't like the original GTA.

    I hated the top down style.

    I preferred Driver for my criminal video game.
    The 3D sandbox world looked beautiful compared to GTA and was so much more fun to play.

    However I do have a fond memory of GTA in which a bystander woman watching my massacring would call me a, and I quote "Piece of sh*t!".


    I played the demo for fucking hours as a kid. I was soooooo excited when I got the full version on a cd-r full of other games. Hurrah for piracy in 1998!

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