|There are many references to GTAIII characters and brands (El Burro graffiti in LC for example) in GTAIV, but do any characters (other than Lazlow) actually exist within both 'universes'? Is that where Donald Love went? Did he hop dimensions into the GTAIV universe?! Plot twist!! Are the two universes completely separate? I understand it'd make almost no sense having two Liberty City's but is there any way we'll see characters from GTAIII return? GTAIV has some amazing characters, but some of the characters in the III era are just unforgettable.|
El Burro is referenced as he was also referenced in GTA 1, so it felt appropriate that he should cross “universes” – 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. This is the logic (as far as it could be considered logical) behind it – so no, we don’t believe any GTA3 characters could exist in the GTA4 universe.
Both statements are somehow contradicting each other. At the end of the day, I would say that it's the decision of each fan whether Claude Speed from GTA2 and Claude from GTA III are the same person or not. By the logic of the "Grand Theft Auto III: Your Questions Answered – Part One (Claude, Darkel & Other Characters)"-article, Claude from GTA2 and GTA III are not
the same person because the former one would belong to the 2D-era while the latter one would belong to the 3D-era.