GTA would not be the behemoth that it is today if not for a happy accident while developing a prior game called Race ‘N Chase. This game had a similar style to what eventually became GTA, with the idea being that you play as cops or robbers, either performing the robberies or stopping the perps. When playing as a robber, the glitch that changed everything caused the AI police cars to try and run you off the road rather than actually “bust” you.
This was popular enough with testers that the model of the game was re-worked to better suit this dynamic, and so GTA was born! Just imagine; if that glitch had never happened, we might all be clamouring for Race ‘N Chase V this autumn…or not.
Fact #2 - Grand Theft Auto V's map is twice that of real-life Manhattan
Get ready for some figures, folks. Rockstar recently stated that the map size of the upcoming GTA V is going to be greater than that of Red Dead Redemption, GTA IV and GTA: San Andreas combined. A quick spot of research reveals their map sizes as 28, 6.8 and 13.9 square miles respectively, and so combined they total almost 49 square miles. It’s staggering to imagine that game worlds can approach anywhere near this size, and it gets even more impressive when you compare it to real-world locations.
New York’s Manhattan Island, for instance, is only 23 square miles, essentially meaning that GTA V is going to be massive. After the disappointingly small map of GTA IV, it looks like Rockstar is keen to pull out all the stops for what is sure to push current-gen consoles right to their very limit
Fact #3 - Lawsuit Against Grand Theft Auto franchise Total Over $1 Billion
GTA and controversy go together like peanut butter and jam; the franchise is never going to steer away from it, and as you’ll learn in a minute, it often even encourages it. Rockstar’s history in court has been well-documented, perhaps best of all their legal feud with disgraced Florida attourney Jack Thompson, who once referred to GTA as a “cop-killing simulator”, and has filed a litany of lawsuits on behalf of families who lost loved ones “because of the game”.
You might think these suits frivolous, yet Thompson clearly meant business, filing a $246m suit against Rockstar a decade ago after two teens murdered two other motorists. That’s just one example, though; the man has filed countless suits in the name of his self-righteous crusade, yet they never seem to come to anything.
Still, as it stands, Rockstar’s combined lawsuits surrounding the franchise total over $1 billion, which little – if any – they’ve ever had to pay out. Let’s see how many more games it takes them to reach the $2 billion milestone…
Fact #4 - Rockstar Paid For GTA To Receive Negative Press
If we consider it lucky enough that GTA materialised out of a glitch in another game, think it equally lucky that Rockstar – or as they were known then, DMA Design – played the PR game perfectly by enlisting controversial PR guru Max Clifford to help essentially big-up the game’s more contentious aspects. GTA creator Mike Dailly stated, “He designed all the outcry, which pretty much guaranteed MPs would get involved…He’d do anything to keep the profile high.”
Clifford’s genius campaign involved getting stories planted in relevant newspapers – I think you know which ones – well aware that they would promptly spark a moral outrage among right-wing politicians and activist groups in particular.
The results, of course, speak for themselves. Amusingly, though, co-creator David Jones was quoted as saying they weren’t going out of their way to make the game controversial, noting “We always did everything from the perspective of what’s going to be the most fun. It just naturally kept pushing us down the darker direction.” Even as a fan, this sounds pretty spurious to me
Fact #5 - Grand Theft Auto IV has 80,000 Lines of Dialogue
The GTA games are frequently praised for their strong standard of voice acting throughout, easily some of the best that gaming has ever seen, whether a name actor like Ray Liotta or Samuel L. Jackson has been enlisted, or a relative no-namer. It’s all the more impressive that this level of quality is maintained given how much dialogue there is to sift through, with GTA IV reportedly containing a staggering 80,000 lines of dialogue!
To give this figure some context, Mass Effect 3 has around 40,000 lines, and Fallout: New Vegas has 65,000 (a world record for role-playing games at the time), yet GTA IV, with its barrage of citizens passing you by while speaking on their mobile phones, needs to have much more going on to convey the bustling landscape. GTA V, with its larger map, will inevitably top this, but by how much we’ll have to wait and see
Fact #6 - Grand Theft Auto V Costs more to make than Watchmen and Prometheus.
We now live in a world where video games are the highest-grossing entertainment product, with the likes of Halo, Call of Duty and, yes, Grand Theft Auto, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars within mere days of launching.
As games can now deliver grosses in excess of movies, perhaps it’s not a surprise that they end up costing just as much, with GTA V reportedly costing in the region of $137 million. To put this figure into perspective, that is slightly more than blockbuster tentpoles like Watchmen and Prometheus cost to make (both roughly budgeted at $130 million).
Given the development time that goes into these games – often double or triple that needed to make a blockbuster movie – it again perhaps shouldn't be too surprising that costs are so high, but on the flip-side, GTA V is damn-near guaranteed to make that money back on launch day alone
Fact #7 - World Record Completion Time for Grand Theft Auto III is 1 Hour and 12 Minutes.
I love watching speed runs of games, though there aren’t that many players who dare attempt to speed run games as vast as the GTA series, because it’s simply too daunting a task. Traversing this living, breathing world, there are just too many random factors that can screw up a near-perfect run, yet a YouTube user by the name of MSuraev posted a speed run of GTA III at the start of the year, having blasted through the game in a staggering 1 hour, 12 minutes and 10 seconds!
Watching the run depicts a player at the height of their game; he knows every traffic path, can power slide his car perfectly around tight spaces, and even kills enemies before an on-screen prompt has appeared telling him to do so. Incredible, and embarrassing given how long it took me to finish the game (probably over 10x that)
Fact #8 - Combined Length Of GTA Talk Radio Stations Is Over 9 Hours
One of my all-time favourite things about the GTA series is the hilarious radio stations that really upped their game with the leap to the PS2. Whether it’s everyone’s favourite resident DJ Lazlow, or the hilariously satirical political shows that skewer American culture, it’s all superbly written, all 9 and a half hours of it! Yes, throughout the games, there are a whopping 9 hours, 27 minutes of talk radio shows, which makes for a pretty awesome playlist when you’re driving along yourself, or even just taking the train.
Of all the things I can’t wait to experience in GTA V, the radio stations is sitting right there at the top; the return of Lazlow
Fact #9 - Franchise Sales Total 125M
It will be news to roughly no-one that the GTA franchise has pulled in monumental sales figures over the course of its 15-year tenure, but you might not have figured quite how many units that would equate to. Last year, Take Two Interactive revealed that the franchise has sold a staggering 125 million copies to date, an 11 million-unit jump on the previous year, making it clear that this juggernaut is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down.
Fact #10 - Grand Theft Auto franchise is the SIXTH best sold franchise in the game history.
Franchise name, Original release date and Sales
Mario July 9, 1981 446.53 million
Super Mario (September 13, 1985) 275.73 million
Pokémon (February 27, 1996) 219.28 million
Wii (November 19, 2006) 192.76 million
The Sims (February 4, 2000) 150.00 million
Grand Theft Auto (October, 1997) 125.00 million Grand Theft Auto V +30M
Tetris (June, 1985) 125.00 million
Call of Duty (October 29, 2003) 120.00 million
Wii Sports (November 19, 2006) 109.74 million
Final Fantasy (December 18, 1987) 102.04 million
FIFA (December, 1993) 100.00 million
Need for Speed (1994) 100.00 million
Edited by Smaaske, 14 July 2013 - 04:38 PM.