This year will mark the tenth anniversary of Rockstar Game’s release of “Grand Theft Auto III” for the Playstation 2. The game was groundbreaking, both for its mature rating, similar to an R rated movie, and the reaction of gamers. Now, the “Grand Theft Auto” franchise has sold more than 114 million copies worldwide. According to the NPD Group, U.S. sales of the franchise exceed 44.7 million games.
In an effort to reach a new market, Rockstar Games is releasing “GTA III” to a new gaming audience- namely iPad 2 and Android tablet users.
In an interview with Dan Houser, co-founder and current vice president of Rockstar Games, he noted that the influence of “Grand Theft Auto” is unique
When asked what impact he felt that the “Grand Theft Auto” franchise has had on the game industry, Houser responded:
“It’s perhaps not really for me to say, but hopefully what we tried to show was that quality and ambition and doing your own thing was what was really important. Obviously, it’s one of the largest blockbusters, so it pushed quality levels up for games. For better or for worse, it introduced awful phrases like “tent pole” into the games industry. It also maybe made some people chase dollars because there’s a bigger discrepancy between very successful and not-so-successful games in terms of performance, which wasn’t there before. Hopefully, we’ve shown that games can be influenced by previous media, in particular cinema, whilst they were being resolutely games and doing things that are unique to games and showing off the strength of games.”
Houser was also asked about the evolution in the acceptance of violence and language in video games since the game’s release.
“Our position is very straightforward in that regard. It’s the same now. I don’t think we’ve remotely overhauled it. We wanted to make games that were like the films that we like watching. We saw games as a very powerful medium that could do lots of interesting things, but the content needed to feel like it was part of someone’s overall entertainment content that they consume on TV or in a books or in movies. Why should games be significantly different? Why should they be made purely for kids and a particular kind of cliché nerd? The industry was shorting a different audience and that audience was clearly watching, reading, and listening to stuff in a certain way. We thought that our games were not for everybody, just as certain movies are not for everybody. We weren’t ever trying to make games for children. We were making games we wanted to play. And that position has remained unchanged since then.”
“Grand Theft Auto” remains one of gamer’s favorite all-time games and Rockstar Games promises to continue the legacy of quality games with engaging story lines that gamers can relate to.