|Grand Theft Auto|
Series logo, used since Grand Theft Auto III (2001)
|First release|| Grand Theft Auto |
21 October 1997
|Latest release|| Grand Theft Auto V |
17 September 2013
Grand Theft Auto (GTA) is an action-adventure video game series created by David Jones and Mike Dailly;the later titles of which were created by brothers Dan and Sam Houser, Leslie Benzies and Aaron Garbut. It is primarily developed by British development house Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design), and published by its parent company, Rockstar Games. The name of the series references the term "grand theft auto", used in the U.S. for motor vehicle theft.
Action-adventure is a video game genre that combine core elements from both the action game and adventure game genres.
David Scott Jones is a Scottish video game programmer and entrepreneur who co-founded video game developers DMA Design in 1987, Realtime Worlds in 2002, and Cloudgine in 2012. Jones created Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto, which both spawned many successful sequels. He also created the Crackdown franchise for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles, and the open-ended massively multiplayer online game, APB: All Points Bulletin.
Michael "Mike" Dailly is a Scottish video game designer, best known for designing the original prototype of Grand Theft Auto, and being one of the four founders of DMA Design, alongside David Jones, Russell Kay, and Steve Hammond.
Most games in the series are set in fictional locales modelled on cities, usually either Liberty City, Vice City or San Andreas, which are stand-ins for New York City, Miami and the state of California, respectively. The first game encompassed three fictional cities, while subsequent titles tend to emphasise a single setting. Gameplay focuses on an open world where the player can choose missions to progress an overall story, as well as engaging in side activities, all consisting of action-adventure, driving, third-person shooting, carjacking, occasional role-playing, stealth and racing elements. The series focuses on many different protagonists who attempt to rise through the ranks of the criminal underworld, although their motives for doing so vary in each game. The series also has elements of the earlier beat 'em up games from the 16-bit era. The antagonists are commonly characters who have betrayed the protagonist or his organisation, or characters who have the most impact impeding the protagonist's progress. Film and music veterans have voiced characters, including Ray Liotta, Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper, Samuel L. Jackson, James Woods, Debbie Harry, Phil Collins, Axl Rose and Peter Fonda.
Gameplay is the specific way in which players interact with a game, and in particular with video games. Gameplay is the pattern defined through the game rules, connection between player and the game, challenges and overcoming them, plot and player's connection with it. Video game gameplay is distinct from graphics and audio elements.
In video games, an open world is a virtual world in which the player can explore and approach objectives freely, as opposed to a world with more linear gameplay. While games have used open-world designs since the 1980s, the implementation in Grand Theft Auto III (2001) set a standard that has been used since.
Third-person shooter (TPS) is a subgenre of 3D shooter games in which the player character is visible on-screen during gaming, and the gameplay consists primarily of shooting.
DMA Design began the series in 1997, with the release of Grand Theft Auto . As of 2014 [update] , the series has eleven stand-alone games and four expansion packs. The third chronological title, Grand Theft Auto III , is considered a landmark title, as it brought the series to a 3D setting and more immersive experience. Subsequent titles have followed and built upon the concept established in Grand Theft Auto III, and received significant acclaim. They have influenced many other open-world action games, and led to the label Grand Theft Auto clone on similar games.
Grand Theft Auto is an action-adventure video game developed by DMA Design and published by BMG Interactive. It was first released in Europe and North America in October 1997 for MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows. It was later re-released on 12 December 1997 in Europe and 30 June 1998 in North America for the PlayStation. It is the first instalment of the Grand Theft Auto series, to be followed by 1999's Grand Theft Auto 2. The series, which has led to five main entries and several special edition games over 16 years, has sold more than 150 million units as of September 2013. The story follows a group of criminals in three fictionalised versions of US cities as they perform bank robberies, assassinations, and other illegal activities for their respective crime syndicates.
An expansion pack, expansion set, supplement, or simply expansion is an addition to an existing role-playing game, tabletop game, video game or collectible card game. These add-ons usually add new game areas, weapons, objects, characters, or an extended storyline to an already-released game. While board game expansions are typically designed by the original creator, video game developers sometimes contract out development of the expansion pack to a third-party company, it may choose to develop the expansion itself, or it may do both. Board games and tabletop RPGs may have been marketing expansions since the 1970s, and video games have been releasing expansion packs since the 1980s, early examples being the Dragon Slayer games Xanadu Scenario II and Sorcerian. Other terms for the concept are module and, in certain games' marketing, adventure.
Grand Theft Auto III is an action-adventure video game developed by DMA Design and published by Rockstar Games. It was released in October 2001 for the PlayStation 2, in May 2002 for Microsoft Windows, and in October 2003 for the Xbox. An enhanced version of the game was released on mobile platforms in 2011, for the game's tenth anniversary. It is the fifth title in the Grand Theft Auto series, and the first main entry since 1999's Grand Theft Auto 2.
The series has been critically acclaimed and commercially successful, having shipped more than 280 million units,making it the fourth-highest selling video game franchise of all time, behind Nintendo's Mario and Pokémon franchises, and Tetris . In 2006, Grand Theft Auto was featured in a list of British design icons in the Great British Design Quest organised by the BBC and the Design Museum. In 2013, The Telegraph ranked Grand Theft Auto among Britain's most successful exports. The series has also been controversial for its adult nature and violent themes.
Nintendo Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational consumer electronics and video game company headquartered in Kyoto. Nintendo is one of the world's largest video game companies by market capitalization, creating some of the best-known and top-selling video game franchises, such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon.
The Mario franchise is a media franchise, published and produced by video game company Nintendo, starring the fictional Italian character Mario. It is primarily a video game franchise, with the franchise's other forms of media including several television series and a feature film. It was originally created by game designer Shigeru Miyamoto with the arcade game Donkey Kong, released on July 9, 1981. The games have been developed by a variety of developers including Nintendo, Hudson Soft, and AlphaDream. Most Mario games have been released for Nintendo's various video game consoles and handhelds, from the third generation onward.
Pokémon, also known as Pocket Monsters in Japan, is a media franchise managed by The Pokémon Company, a Japanese consortium between Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures. The franchise copyright is shared by all three companies, but Nintendo is the sole owner of the trademark. The franchise was created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1995, and is centered on fictional creatures called "Pokémon", which humans, known as Pokémon Trainers, catch and train to battle each other for sport. The English slogan for the franchise is "Gotta Catch 'Em All". Works within the franchise are set in the Pokémon universe.
|1997||Grand Theft Auto||DMA Design||PS1||GBC||2D|
|1999||Grand Theft Auto: London 1969||Rockstar Canada||PS1|
|Grand Theft Auto: London 1961|
|Grand Theft Auto 2||DMA Design||Windows||GBC|
|2001||Grand Theft Auto III||3D|
|2002||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||Rockstar North|
|2004||Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas|
|Grand Theft Auto Advance||Digital Eclipse||GBA|
|2005||Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories||Rockstar Leeds||PS2||PSP|
|2006||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories||PS2||PSP|
|2008||Grand Theft Auto IV||Rockstar North||Windows||HD|
|2009||Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned||Windows|
|Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars||Rockstar Leeds|
|Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony||Rockstar North||Windows|
|2013||Grand Theft Auto V||Windows|
|2D era 3D era HD era|
|1997||Grand Theft Auto|
|1999||Grand Theft Auto: London 1969|
|Grand Theft Auto: London 1961|
|Grand Theft Auto 2|
|2001||Grand Theft Auto III|
|2002||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City|
|2004||Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas|
|Grand Theft Auto Advance|
|2005||Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories|
|2006||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories|
|2008||Grand Theft Auto IV|
|2009||Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned|
|Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars|
|Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony|
|2013||Grand Theft Auto V|
The Grand Theft Auto series is split into separate fictional universes, named after the primary level of graphics capability used in each era.The original Grand Theft Auto , its expansions and its sequel are considered the "2D universe". Grand Theft Auto III and its sequels are considered the "3D universe". Grand Theft Auto IV, its expansions and Grand Theft Auto V are considered the "HD universe". Each universe is considered separate with only brands, place names and background characters shared between them.
A fictional universe is a self-consistent setting with events, and often other elements, that differ from the real world. It may also be called an imagined, constructed or fictional realm. Fictional universes may appear in novels, comics, films, television shows, video games, and other creative works.
Grand Theft Auto , the first game in the series, was released for Microsoft Windows and MS-DOS in October 1997, ported to the PlayStation in 1998 and the Game Boy Color in 1999. Grand Theft Auto 2 was released in 1999 for Microsoft Windows, later receiving ports on the PlayStation, Dreamcast and Game Boy Color.
Microsoft Windows is a group of several graphical operating system families, all of which are developed, marketed and sold by Microsoft. Each family caters to a certain sector of the computing industry. Active Microsoft Windows families include Windows NT and Windows IoT; these may encompass subfamilies, e.g. Windows Server or Windows Embedded Compact. Defunct Microsoft Windows families include Windows 9x, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone.
MS-DOS is an operating system for x86-based personal computers mostly developed by Microsoft. Collectively, MS-DOS, its rebranding as IBM PC DOS, and some operating systems attempting to be compatible with MS-DOS, are sometimes referred to as "DOS". MS-DOS was the main operating system for IBM PC compatible personal computers during the 1980s and the early 1990s, when it was gradually superseded by operating systems offering a graphical user interface (GUI), in various generations of the graphical Microsoft Windows operating system.
The PlayStation is a home video game console developed and marketed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was first released on 3 December 1994 in Japan, on 9 September 1995 in North America, on 29 September 1995 in Europe, and on 15 November 1995 in Australia, and was the first of the PlayStation lineup of video game consoles. As a fifth generation console, the PlayStation primarily competed with the Nintendo 64 and the Sega Saturn.
The PlayStation 2 also featured three instalments of the main series, all of which have been re-released on several platforms; a deal between Take-Two Interactive and Sony Computer Entertainment resulted in their timed exclusivity on the PlayStation 2, before receiving ports to Microsoft Windows and the Xbox.The 2001 title Grand Theft Auto III moved away from the two-dimension (2D) graphics used in the first two games to three-dimension (3D) computer graphics Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was published in 2002, and was the first to feature a speaking protagonist, voiced by Ray Liotta. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas , released in 2004, introduced various new elements, including character customisation and a large map encompassing three cities and surrounding rural area.
Two main instalments were published for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The 2008 title Grand Theft Auto IV focused on realism and detail, removing various customisation features, while adding an online multiplayer mode.Grand Theft Auto V , published in 2013, featured three playable protagonists. It was released to massive financial success, breaking multiple records. It was later re-released with various enhancements, in 2014 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and in 2015 for Microsoft Windows.
Grand Theft Auto has spawned numerous additional games and expansion packs. In 1999, the original game received two expansion packs: Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 and Grand Theft Auto: London 1961 .Grand Theft Auto Advance , released in 2004 for the Game Boy Advance, featured a top-down perspective. Three games were released for the PlayStation Portable. The 2005 game Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is a prequel to Grand Theft Auto III, while the 2006 game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories is a prequel to Vice City; both games were later ported to the PlayStation 2. In 2009, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars was released for the Nintendo DS, and later ported to the PlayStation Portable. In 2009, The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony were released for the Xbox 360 as expansion packs to Grand Theft Auto IV; a "strategic alliance" between Rockstar and Microsoft resulted in the timed exclusivity. They were later released on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Windows as part of a compilation, titled Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City.
Numerous titles in the series have received ports to mobile devices. Chinatown Wars was released for iOS in 2010 and for Android and Fire OS in 2014.For their tenth anniversaries, Grand Theft Auto III and Vice City were both re-released for iOS and Android in 2011 and 2012, respectively. In 2013, San Andreas was ported to iOS, Android and Windows Phone and RT; the mobile port was later re-released for Xbox 360 in 2014, the year of the game's tenth anniversary, and the following year for PlayStation 3. In 2015 Liberty City Stories was ported to iOS, Android and Fire OS.
Grand Theft Auto Double Pack was released in 2003 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. It includes Grand Theft Auto III and Vice City.Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy is a compilation of III, Vice City, and San Andreas. The compilation was first released in 2005 for the Xbox. Later it was released for the PlayStation 2, Windows, Mac OS X, and PlayStation 4. The Trilogy also served as the revised package for San Andreas, which had to be pulled from shelves due to the controversial Hot Coffee mod.
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City is a standalone compilation of the episodes for Grand Theft Auto IV. It contains both The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony on one disc. It was released on 29 October 2009 for the Xbox 360 and on 13 April 2010 for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 3. Microsoft added Episodes from Liberty City to its backwards compatibility list for Xbox One platforms in February 2017.
The series has been expanded into various other formats. Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto, a book written by David Kushner chronicling the development of the series, was published in 2012.In March 2015, BBC Two announced The Gamechangers , a 90-minute docudrama based on the creation of Grand Theft Auto, Directed by Owen Harris and written by James Wood, the drama stars Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar president Sam Houser and Bill Paxton as disbarred attorney Jack Thompson. In May 2015, Rockstar filed a lawsuit against the BBC for trademark infringement, stating that they had no involvement with the development of the film and had unsuccessfully tried to contact the BBC to resolve the matter. It first aired on 15 September 2015 on BBC Two.
In 2006, McFarland & Company published The Meaning and Culture of Grand Theft Auto.Compiled by Nate Garrelts, the 264-page book is a collection of essays regarding the Grand Theft Auto series, to help audiences better understand the games and to make a point about due diligence of game criticism. The book is divided into two parts: the first part discusses the controversies surrounding the series, while the second half takes a theoretical look at the games absent of the controversy.
A planned film adaptation of the series is unable to proceed because of a lawsuit by Roger Corman, who produced the 1977 film Grand Theft Auto. In 2017, Corman said "I actually sued the video game manufacturer who flat-out stole the idea. We settled out of court and they gave me some money. I retain the right to remake it, but the way it was actually written in the contract is a little bit cloudy. My lawyers are actually studying that contract to make certain that I have a clear title to remake my picture, and I will remake Grand Theft Auto."
Each game in this series allows the player to take on the role of a criminal in the big city, typically an individual who plans to rise through the ranks of organised crime through the course of the game. The player is given various missions by kingpins and major idols in the city underworld which must be completed to progress through the storyline. Assassinations and other violent crimes are featured regularly. Occasionally taxi driving, firefighting, street racing, bus driving, or learning to fly helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft are also involved in the game.
In later titles, notably those released after Grand Theft Auto 2 , the player is given a more developed storyline in which they are forced to overcome an unfortunate event (e.g., being betrayed and left for dead), which serves as motivation for the character to advance up the criminal ladder and ultimately leads to the triumph of the character by the end of the storyline.
The Grand Theft Auto series belongs to a genre of free-roaming role-playing video games called open world games, and grants a large amount of freedom to the player. Traditional action games are structured as a single track series of levels with linear gameplay, but in Grand Theft Auto the player can determine the missions that they want to undertake, and their relationship with various characters are changed based on these choices. Influenced by the earlier game Turbo Esprit ,the cities of the games can be roamed freely at any point in the game, and are examples of open world video game environments which offer accessible buildings with minor missions in addition to the main storyline. There are exceptions: missions follow a linear, overarching plot. These missions are required to complete in order to unlock new areas in the game.
Grand Theft Auto III and subsequent games have more voice acting and radio stations, which simulate driving to music with disc jockeys, radio personalities, commercials, talk radio, pop music, and American culture.
The use of vehicles in an explorable urban environment provides a basic simulation of a working city, complete with pedestrians who generally obey traffic signals. Further details are used to flesh out an open-ended atmosphere that has been used in several other games, such as The Simpsons: Hit & Run , which has less emphasis on crime or violence, and Lego City Undercover , which reverses the roles of police officer and criminal, although the player goes undercover in gangs for a portion of the game.
Criminal activities in Grand Theft Auto games do not go unnoticed by the police. As the player engages in these in-game illegal activities, they may gain a "wanted level", represented by a maximum of five or six stars. A small crime, such as running over a non-player character, may create a one star wanted level situation, while shooting an officer may earn more stars. As the number of stars increase, the amount and strength of the response will increase; a single star might have a few police cars chase after the player, while at 5 or 6 stars, tanks and attack helicopters will chase down the player. Many in-game missions will automatically give the player a wanted level after completing a certain event which they must then get rid of before the mission is complete. Often, trying to keep away from the police while wanted will cause the player to gain even higher wanted levels. The player can remove their character's wanted level by avoiding detection or spending in-game money at specific locations to elude the police (such as a mod shop to repaint their car). Alternatively, if the player-character dies, they will respawn at a hospital and the wanted level will be removed, though the player may lose money, guns, and other benefits they had before being chased. The "wanted level" gameplay concept has become common in other GTA Clones and similar open world games.
The Grand Theft Auto series is set in a fictional version of the world, in a number of different time periods. The original Grand Theft Auto introduced three main cities: Liberty City, based upon New York City, Vice City, based upon Miami, and San Andreas, based upon mostly parts of California. In the first Grand Theft Auto game, San Andreas was based on San Francisco and parts of Las Vegas. Expansion packs later set the game in London.
The second entry in the franchise, Grand Theft Auto 2 , set the game in the future in a locale named "Anywhere City".
Subsequent games in the series have re-imagined and expanded upon the original locales. Grand Theft Auto III is set in a different rendition of Liberty City only loosely based on New York City.A revised Vice City and San Andreas are depicted in Vice City and San Andreas , respectively, the latter of which takes the form of an entire state, instead of a single city. The state of San Andreas is based on the states of California and Nevada, and consists of three major cities: Los Santos (Los Angeles), San Fierro (San Francisco), and Las Venturas (Las Vegas). Surrounding towns and areas of desert, water, woodland, and countryside lie between the three cities. The GTA III rendition of Liberty City is also briefly featured during one mission.
Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories , originally released for PlayStation Portable handheld console and later re-issued for other consoles, are set few years before their previous depictions of their respective eponymous cities. The maps for the two cities remain the same, with some differences in terms of buildings and geography to reflect the different time periods.
Grand Theft Auto IV and its subsequent expansion packs The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony are set in a third revision of Liberty City, set in 2008, which is a closer analogue to New York City and its boroughs than the GTA III version.Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is also set in this version of Liberty City, although the Alderney portion of the map is not present.
Grand Theft Auto V , released in 2013, is set in a revised depiction of southern San Andreas that only features Los Santos (Los Angeles) to the south and the rural Blaine County to the north. 's Sam Sweet notes that, with sales of game reaching thirteen million copies, "there will be more people living in the imaginary state of Los Santos than in the real city on which it was modelled."It includes revised landmarks such as the "Vinewood" sign (instead of Hollywood), Rockford Hills (instead of Beverly Hills), Del Perro Pier (instead of Santa Monica Pier), Los Santos International Airport (LSX) (instead of LAX), Los Santos Golf Club (instead of Los Angeles Country Club), and Galileo Observatory (instead of Griffith Observatory). The game also features the town of Ludendorff in the fictional state of North Yankton. Los Angeles was extensively researched for Grand Theft Auto V. The team organised field research trips with tour guides and architectural historians and captured around 250,000 photos and hours of video footage during these visits. Since the release of the game, hundreds of in-game buildings have been identified as being based on real-world landmarks. The New Yorker
In both Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto V, Los Santos and the state of San Andreas are depicted as being on an island an undetermined distance from the US mainland. In both games it is possible to circumnavigate the state by boat. Similarly, the versions of Liberty City and Alderney in Grand Theft Auto IV and expansion packs are also completely located on islands, as is Vice City. The GTA III rendition of Liberty City however, while mostly island, is connected to mainland on its Northwest corner (a region the player cannot navigate).[ citation needed ]
Only the expansion packs for the original Grand Theft Auto, London 1969 and London 1961 , set in London , have featured a location outside the United States and used a real-life location.
The series has included a wide variety of voice actors. The original Grand Theft Auto , its mission packs and its sequel, as well as Grand Theft Auto Advance and Chinatown Wars did not feature any voice credited to specific roles. [ citation needed ]The first game in the series to do so was Grand Theft Auto III which, despite a limited budget and the series' low profile at the time, featured several notable actors from film and television. These included Frank Vincent, Michael Madsen and Kyle MacLachlan, who all had prominent roles. At the time it was rare for a video game to use such high-profile actors, and Grand Theft Auto III is considered a pioneer in doing so. The next game, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City , featured more film actors, including Ray Liotta as the player character. Although the following title, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas , also featured many notable film actors—such as Samuel L. Jackson, Peter Fonda and James Woods—it had been decided that the use of such actors should be reduced, particularly for leading roles. As a result, many of the prominent roles in San Andreas were voiced by lower profile actors or rappers.
From Liberty City Stories through to Grand Theft Auto V , the series has continued using lesser known actors to voice main characters, but still uses celebrities and real-life radio personalities to voice the DJs of the many radio stations featured in each game. Some games also feature celebrities portraying themselves, such as Lazlow Jones, Phil Collins, [ citation needed ]Ricky Gervais and Katt Williams.
According to The Guinness World Records 2008 and 2009 Gamer's Edition, it is the most controversial video game series in history, with over 4,000 articles published about it, which include accusations of glamorising violence, corrupting gamers, and connection to real life crimes.
The game was controversial from the very first incarnation of the series.Grand Theft Auto was condemned in Britain, Germany, and France due to its "extreme violence", and Brazil banned it outright. Publicist Max Clifford planted sensational stories in tabloids in order to help sell the first game.
The controversies flared up again with Grand Theft Auto III , since the 3D graphics made the violence more realistic, and players could pay for the services of prostitutes to restore their health, and if they wished, kill them to get some of their money back.
There is also criticism from the focus on illegal activities in comparison with traditional "heroic" roles that other games offer. The main character can commit a wide variety of crimes and violent acts while dealing with only temporary consequences, including the killing of policemen and military personnel.
The sixth game in the series, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City , also came under criticism. One mission in particular, in which the player must instigate a gang war between Haitian and Cuban gangs, has been controversial. Haitian and Cuban anti-defamation groups criticised the game.
Jean-Robert Lafortune of the Haitian American Grassroots Coalition is quoted as saying that "The game shouldn't be designed to destroy human life, it shouldn't be designed to destroy an ethnic group," for this and similar scenarios, including lines in the game's script such as "kill the Haitian dickheads" said by character "Diaz" during an altercation between the player and a Haitian gang. After the threat of a lawsuit by the Haitian-American Grassroots Coalition, Rockstar removed the word "Haitians" from this phrase in the game's subtitles.
San Andreas was criticised initially due to its "gangster" elements, which include drugs, prostitution, and murder. Later it received additional criticism after the discovery of an interactive sex minigame, nicknamed Hot Coffee; initially cut from the game, it remained in the game code, and was discovered in both the console and Windows versions of the game.
After the release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas , modders managed to find the unused code in the game and released unofficial patches for the Windows and Xbox (with a modchip) versions as well as a PlayStation 2 version through the use of an Action Replay code enabling the player to engage in these sexual mini-games (dubbed "Hot Coffee" in reference to a euphemism for sex used in the game). These mini-games were left partially intact in the game's code. This prompted application of an AO (Adults Only) ESRB rating to the version of the game containing the leftover code. Take-Two Interactive was forced to re-release the game in order to restore the M (Mature) rating. A class action lawsuit against Take-Two was also filed as a result of the "Hot Coffee" code.
One of the controversies involved with this game was Mothers Against Drunk Driving's (MADD) criticism of the ability to drink and drive as a new feature. MADD had even requested ESRB to change the rating of the game from "M" for ages seventeen and up to "AO", for adults only, because they felt it was inappropriate for children, even at the age of seventeen, to experience drunk driving in such a manner.In the final game, drunk driving is a playable event, but it is a crime that automatically generates a wanted rating and main playable character Niko Bellic loudly (and drunkenly) proclaims that it is a "bad idea" and that he "should know better".
Notably, it is impossible to drive while drunk in the GTA IV expansions, The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony. These were released after the criticism. It is, however, possible to drive drunk again in the successor, Grand Theft Auto V.
The Lost and Damned expansion pack for Grand Theft Auto IV was condemned by US parents group Common Sense Media who issued a public warning against the pack's content due to a full-frontal nudity scene during one of the cutscenes. They claimed the game was "more controversial than its predecessors" because it featured "full frontal male nudity".
Dan Houser, on the making of Chinatown Wars for the Nintendo DS
There has been some controversy over a drug dealing minigamealong with comments that some Nintendo games are being aimed at children (despite the fact that the game was rated Mature). The drug dealing mini-game allows players to peddle six types of drugs around the city, but the profit the player makes depends on market conditions, which will be based on the area in which they deal, and the level of regular service this area receives from them.
A segment in the latest instalment caused controversy for scenes containing player initiated torture. The mission "By the Book" features graphic depictions of kneecapping, electrocution, dental extraction and waterboarding, and the player is required to perform an act of torture in order to progress in the game.
UK-based charity Freedom from Torture publicly condemned the use of torture scenes in Grand Theft Auto V. The organisation, who works to rehabilitate survivors of torture, joined other human rights charities who were outraged at a torture scene in the game in which the players have to pull teeth and electrocute an unarmed man in order to extract information. The charity's CEO Keith Best stated: “Rockstar North has crossed a line by effectively forcing people to take on the role of a torturer and perform a series of unspeakable acts if they want to achieve success in the game."
The game has also been accused of sexism. The Los Angeles Times considered the game's satirical portrayals of women uncreative, and added that violent and sexist themes hurt the game experience.Edge noted that while "every female in the game exists solely to be sneered, leered or laughed at", it treated its all-male lead characters in a similar vein through their stereotyped tendencies towards violence. Sam Houser, Rockstar Games co-founder, felt that the development team sometimes overlooked their portrayal of women in Grand Theft Auto games, but that the weight towards male characters "fit with the story we wanted to tell".
Several celebrities have sued Rockstar Games and/or Take-Two Interactive for purportedly violating their intellectual property or personality rights, including hip-hop artist Daz Dillinger,Karen Gravano of Mob Wives , and actress Lindsay Lohan.
Former lawyer Jack Thompson has been involved in a number of attempts to get families of murder victims to hold the Grand Theft Auto series accountable for the death of their loved ones. Due to his conduct in this and related cases, Thompson was disbarred in 2008and was fined more than $100,000 by the Florida Bar Association.
On 20 October 2003, the families of Aaron Hamel and Kimberly Bede, two young people shot by teens William and Josh Buckner (who in statements to investigators claimed their actions were inspired by Grand Theft Auto III) filed a US$246 million lawsuit against publishers Rockstar Games, Take-Two Interactive Software, retailer Walmart, and PlayStation 2 manufacturer Sony Computer Entertainment America.Rockstar and its parent company, Take-Two, filed for dismissal of the lawsuit, stating in US District Court on 29 October 2003 that the "ideas and concepts as well as the 'purported psychological effects' on the Buckners are protected by the First Amendment's free-speech clause". The lawyer of the victims, Jack Thompson, denied that, but failed in his attempt to move the lawsuit into a state court and under Tennessee's consumer protection act. Two days later, the plaintiffs filed a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal, and the case was closed.
In February 2005, a lawsuit was brought upon the makers and distributors of the Grand Theft Auto series claiming the games caused a teenager to shoot and kill three members of the Alabama police force. The shooting took place in June 2003 when Devin Moore, 17 years old at the time, was taken in for questioning by police in Fayette, Alabama regarding a stolen vehicle. Moore then grabbed a pistol from one of the police officers and shot and killed him along with another officer and dispatcher before fleeing in a police car. 's graphic nature—with his constant playing time—that caused Moore to commit the murders, and Moore's family agrees. Damages were being sought from branches of GameStop and Wal-Mart in Jasper, Alabama, the stores from which Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, respectively, were purchased and also from the games' publisher Take-Two Interactive, and the PlayStation 2 manufacturer Sony Computer Entertainment. On 29 March 2006 the case was dismissed and permission to appeal was denied.One of Moore's attorneys, Jack Thompson, claimed it was Grand Theft Auto
In May 2005, Jack Thompson appeared via satellite on the Glenn Beck program on CNN's Headline News. Thompson mentioned Devin Moore and said regarding Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City "There's no doubt in my mind [...] that but for Devin Moore's training on this cop killing simulator, he would not have been able to kill three cops in Fayette, Alabama who are now dead and in the ground. We are suing Take-Two, Sony, Wal-Mart, and GameStop for having trained Devin Moore to kill. He had no history of violence. No criminal record."
In September 2006, Thompson brought another lawsuit, claiming that Cody Posey played the game obsessively before murdering his father Delbert Paul Posey, stepmother Tryone Schmid, and stepsister Marilea Schmid on a ranch in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The suit was filed on behalf of the victims' families.The suit alleged that were it not for his obsessive playing of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the murders would not have taken place. Named in the suit were Cody Posey, Rockstar Games, Take-Two Interactive, and Sony. The suit asked for US$600 million in damages. During the criminal trial, Posey's defence team argued he was abused by his father, and tormented by his stepmother. Posey was also taking Zoloft at the time of the killings. The lawsuit was dismissed in December 2007.
|Grand Theft Auto||(PC) 79% |
|London 1969||(PC) 75% |
|Grand Theft Auto 2||(PC) 72% |
|Grand Theft Auto III||(PS2) 95% |
|(PS2) 97 |
|Vice City||(PS2) 94% |
|(PS2) 95 |
|San Andreas||(PS2) 95% |
|(PS2) 95 |
|Advance||(GBA) 70%||(GBA) 68|
|Liberty City Stories||(PSP) 87% |
|(PSP) 88 |
|Vice City Stories||(PSP) 85% |
|(PSP) 86 |
|Grand Theft Auto IV||(PS3) 97% |
|(PS3) 98 |
|The Lost and Damned||(PC) 94% |
|(X360) 90 |
|Chinatown Wars||(NDS) 93% |
|(NDS) 93 |
|The Ballad of Gay Tony||(PC) 90% |
|(X360) 89 |
|Grand Theft Auto V||(XONE) 98% |
|(XONE) 97 |
Ever since the release of Grand Theft Auto III in 2001, the Grand Theft Auto series has been a major success, both critically and financially. It has generated perfect or near perfect reviews and scores on almost all of the games; by September 2013, the series sold over 150 million copies worldwide, as of August 2015 [update] , Grand Theft Auto shipped over 220 million units worldwide. The Times Online reported that Grand Theft Auto IV recorded 609,000 copies in the UK on its first day of release. In its first week, Grand Theft Auto IV sold approximately 6 million copies worldwide and grossed over $500 million.and
In 2006, Grand Theft Auto was voted one of Britain's top 10 designs in the Great British Design Quest organised by the BBC and the Design Museum. The game appeared in a list of British design icons which included Concorde, Jaguar E-Type, Aston Martin DB5, Mini, World Wide Web, Tomb Raider , K2 telephone box, London tube map, AEC Routemaster bus and the Supermarine Spitfire.
The series has broken several records, resulting in Guinness World Records awarding the series 10 world records in the Gamer's Edition 2008. These records include Most Guest Stars in a Video Game Series, Largest Voice Cast in a Video Game (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas), Largest In-Game Soundtrack (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas) as well as Most Successful Entertainment Launch of All Time (Grand Theft Auto V). Guinness World Records also ranked Grand Theft Auto in third place on their list of top 50 console games of all time based on initial impact and lasting legacy.Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is listed as the most successful game on the PlayStation 2 according to The Guinness World Records 2009 Gamer's Edition.
Grand Theft Auto III, San Andreas and Vice City currently lie at the 2nd, 5th and 6th highest rated PlayStation 2 games on Metacritic, respectively,while Chinatown Wars is rated the best game on the Nintendo DS and the second best on the PlayStation Portable, and Grand Theft Auto IV is currently rated the second best game ever, with a score of 98, only trailing behind The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time . Also, Vice City, Grand Theft Auto III, San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto V lie at 11th, 24th, 27th, 93rd and 2nd best PC games of all time, on Metacritic. Along with this, The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony are currently placed 35th and 59th in the top Xbox 360 games.
|1997||Grand Theft Auto||1 million+||PS1 Greatest Hits , Platinum|
|1999||Grand Theft Auto: London 1969|
|Grand Theft Auto: London 1961|
|Grand Theft Auto 2||PS1 Greatest Hits|
|2001||Grand Theft Auto III||17.5 million||PS2 Greatest Hits, Platinum|
|2002||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||20 million||PS2 Greatest Hits, Platinum|
|2004||Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas||27.5 million|
|Grand Theft Auto Advance||100,000|
|2005||Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories||8 million|
|2006||Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories||4.5 million|
|2008||Grand Theft Auto IV||25 million+|
|2009||Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned||1 million+|
|Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars||200,000||PSP Greatest Hits|
|Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony|
|Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City||160,000+|
|2013||Grand Theft Auto V||100 million|
|Total series sales: 235 million+|
The release of Grand Theft Auto III is treated as a major event in the history of video games, much like the release of Doom nearly a decade earlier.
During interviews to mark the 10th anniversary of the release of Grand Theft Auto III, producer of the Street Fighter series, Yoshinori Ono, said "It would be no exaggeration to say that Grand Theft Auto III changed the industry, and we can basically separate the time before and after its emergence as distinct eras." In the same article Bethesda studios director, Todd Howard, said "The mark of a truly great game is how many people try to recapture or emulate it and fail. There's a long line behind this one."
Subsequent games that follow this formula of driving and shooting have been called "Grand Theft Auto clones". Some reviewers even extended this label to the Driver series, even though this series began years before the release of Grand Theft Auto III.Grand Theft Auto clones are a type of 3D action-adventure game, where players are given the ability to drive any vehicle or fire any weapon as they explore an open world. These games often incorporate violent and criminal themes. Notable games that are comparable to Grand Theft Auto are Saints Row , Scarface: The World Is Yours , True Crime: Streets of LA , Watch Dogs , Sleeping Dogs , Just Cause , Mafia and The Godfather .
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is an action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It was released on 29 October 2002 for the PlayStation 2, on 12 May 2003 for Microsoft Windows, and on 31 October 2003 for the Xbox. An enhanced version was released for mobile platforms in 2012, for the game's tenth anniversary. It is the sixth title in the Grand Theft Auto series and the first main entry since 2001's Grand Theft Auto III. Set within the fictional Vice City, based on Miami, the game follows Tommy Vercetti following his release from prison. After he is caught up in an ambushed drug deal, he seeks out those responsible while building a criminal empire and seizing power from other criminal organisations in the city.
Rockstar North Limited is a British video game developer based in Edinburgh, Scotland. The company was founded as Acme Software in Dundee in 1984 by classmates David Jones, Russell Kay, Steve Hammond, and Mike Dailly, and was renamed DMA Design in 1987. During its early years, DMA Design was backed by its publisher Psygnosis, primarily focusing on Amiga, Atari ST and Commodore 64 games. During this time, they created successful shooters such as Menace, and Blood Money, but it soon turned to platform games after the release of Lemmings in 1991, which was an international success and led to several sequels and spin-offs. After developing Unirally for Nintendo, DMA Design was set to become one of their main second-party developers, but this partnership ended after Nintendo's disapproval of Body Harvest.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is an action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It was released on 26 October 2004 for PlayStation 2, and on 7 June 2005 for Microsoft Windows and Xbox. A high definition remastered version received a physical release for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on 30 June 2015 and 1 December 2015, respectively. It is the seventh title in the Grand Theft Auto series, and the first main entry since 2002's Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. It was released on the same day as the handheld game Grand Theft Auto Advance for Game Boy Advance. On 8 June 2018, the game was added to the Xbox One Backward Compatible library.
Grand Theft Auto Advance, marketed as Grand Theft Auto, is an action-adventure video game developed by Digital Eclipse and published by Rockstar Games for the Game Boy Advance, released on 26 October 2004.
Rockstar Leeds Limited is a British video game developer based in Leeds, England. The company was founded as Möbius Entertainment in December 1997, by Gordon Hall, Jason McGann, Dave Box and Ian J. Bowden. The company developed numerous titles for Game Boy Advance, including an adaptation of Remedy Entertainment's Max Payne (2001), which was published by Rockstar Games in late 2003. In April 2004, Rockstar Games' parent company, Take-Two Interactive, announced that they had acquired Möbious Entertainment. As part of the agreement, the company became part of the Rockstar Games label, and was renamed Rockstar Leeds.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is an action-adventure video game developed in a collaboration between Rockstar Leeds and Rockstar North, and published by Rockstar Games. It was released on 24 October 2005, for PlayStation Portable, it is the ninth game in the Grand Theft Auto series and was preceded by Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and succeeded by Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. It is a prequel to Grand Theft Auto III.
Grand Theft Auto IV is an action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles on 29 April 2008, and for Microsoft Windows on 2 December 2008. It is the eleventh title in the Grand Theft Auto series, and the first main entry since 2004's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Set within the fictional Liberty City, the single-player story follows a war veteran, Niko Bellic, and his attempts to escape his past while under pressure from loan sharks and mob bosses. The open world design lets players freely roam Liberty City, consisting of three main islands.
Sam Houser is a British video game producer. He is the co-founder and president of Rockstar Games and one of the creative driving forces behind the games in the Grand Theft Auto franchise, being producer since the third game. He is responsible for taking GTA into the 3D-environment era, creating realistic cities under fully 3D-engines and turning the series into huge profits during video gaming's sixth-generation era.
A Grand Theft Auto clone is a subgenre of open world action-adventure video games, characterized by their likeness to the Grand Theft Auto series in either gameplay, or overall design. In these types of open world games, players may find and use a variety of vehicles and weapons while roaming freely in an open world setting. The objective of Grand Theft Auto clones is to complete a sequence of core missions involving driving and shooting, but often side-missions and minigames are added to improve replay value. The storylines of games in this subgenre typically have strong themes of crime and violence.
The Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE) is a proprietary game engine developed by RAGE Technology Group, a division of Rockstar Games' Rockstar San Diego studio. Since its first game, Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis in 2006, the engine has been used by Rockstar Games' internal studios to develop games for macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, including Grand Theft Auto IV, Red Dead Redemption, Max Payne 3, Grand Theft Auto V, and Red Dead Redemption 2.
Grand Theft Auto IV is the first title in the third generation of the best-selling Grand Theft Auto video game franchise developed by Rockstar North which was released on 29 April 2008. As the release date approached, Rockstar had been marketing the game heavily. Rockstar's marketing has come in many forms, including television ads, internet video, viral marketing, and a redesigned web site. There was even a mural of a prostitute named Lola painted on the side of a building in SoHo, New York.
Grand Theft Auto IV is an open world, action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. Upon its release on 29 April 2008 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, Grand Theft Auto IV generated controversy. The game's depiction of violence received mass commentary from journalists and government officials, occasionally being referred to as a "murder simulator". The ability to drive under the influence of alcohol in the game also received criticism, resulting in a request for the ESRB to change the game's rating. Similarly, some gameplay features were censored for the Australian and New Zealand versions of the game, though these censors were subsequently removed. Several crimes that were committed following the game's release, such as murder and sexual violence, were attributed to the perpetrators' experience with the game, generating further controversy. Former attorney Jack Thompson, known for his campaigns against the series, heavily criticised Grand Theft Auto IV prior to its release, filing lawsuits against parent company Take-Two Interactive, and threatening to ban distribution of the game if some gameplay features were not removed. The game also generated further controversy and lawsuits from city officials and organisations.
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is an action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar Leeds in conjunction with Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It was released on 17 March 2009 for Nintendo DS, 20 October 2009 for PlayStation Portable, 17 January 2010, 9 September 2010 (iPad) on iOS, and 18 December 2014 for Android and Fire OS devices.
Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned is the first of two episodic expansion packs developed for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Windows versions of Grand Theft Auto IV, developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It was first released for Xbox 360 on 17 February 2009, and for PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Windows on 13 April 2010. It is the third expansion pack in the Grand Theft Auto series, and the twelfth release overall.
Grand Theft Auto V is an action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It was released in September 2013 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, in November 2014 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and in April 2015 for Microsoft Windows. It is the first main entry in the Grand Theft Auto series since 2008's Grand Theft Auto IV. Set within the fictional state of San Andreas, based on Southern California, the single-player story follows three criminals and their efforts to commit heists while under pressure from a government agency. The open world design lets players freely roam San Andreas' open countryside and the fictional city of Los Santos, based on Los Angeles.
Claude is a fictional character and the main protagonist of Grand Theft Auto III, a game in the Grand Theft Auto series by Rockstar Games. He also has a cameo appearance in a later game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Claude is a silent protagonist, and therefore has no voice actor.
Grand Theft Auto Online is an online multiplayer action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It was released on 1 October 2013 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and was released on 18 November 2014 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with a Microsoft Windows version on 14 April 2015. The game is the online multiplayer mode of Grand Theft Auto V. Set within the fictional state of San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto Online allows up to 30 players to explore the open world and engage in cooperative or competitive game matches. The open world design lets players freely roam San Andreas, which includes open countryside and the fictional city of Los Santos.
User modification, or modding of games in the open-world sandbox Grand Theft Auto series is a popular trend in the PC gaming community. These unofficial modifications are made by altering gameplay logic and asset files within a user's game installation, and can drastically change the gameplay experience: from replacing the player's character model with a fire breathing cat, to spawning zombies throughout the map. Frequently created by anonymous 'modders', modifications are presented in the form of downloadable files or archives. Third-party software has been indispensable for building Grand Theft Auto mods, due to the lack of official editing tools from the developer, Rockstar Games. Mods for Grand Theft Auto are generally developed for use on the PC versions of the games, since the platform does not prevent modifications to installed software; however, similar content for console versions does exist to an extent.
Rockstar: The “universes” are the worlds interpreted at different definitions, 2D, 3D and high definition, so we felt brands and radio / back ground characters would exist in both, but 3 dimensional characters would not.
By 1999, GTA had sold more than a million copies worldwide but remained little more than a culty underground anomaly.