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Rockstar Revealing GTA III Secrets--9/11, Dodo, More

Learn a little bit more about one of the industry's most important releases.

Grand Theft Auto III was a revelation at the time, yet we still know so little about its development.
Grand Theft Auto III was a revelation at the time, yet we still know so little about its development.

Grand Theft Auto III had an enormous impact on video games, in terms of the kinds of video games the industry focused on, what video games were capable of and their mainstream acceptance.

Its developer is also notoriously secretive, only speaking to the press when it chooses to, and keeping its creative leadership, brothers Sam and Dan Houser, largely out of the spotlight.

The 10th anniversary of Grand Theft Auto III has prompted Rockstar Games to bring the curtain back a bit, and the company has been revealing some incredibly interesting tidbits on its web site.

I simply had to pass on a few of them.

Over the years, for example, there have been theories that Grand Theft Auto III was tweaked in some way because of 9/11.

“About 1% different. We removed only one mission that referenced terrorists and changed a few other cosmetic details – car details, a couple of ped comments, lines of radio dialogue etc – the game came out a very short time later. The biggest change was the US packaging which remixed the previous packaging into what became our signature style – because the previous packaging [which was released as the cover of the game in Europe] was, we felt, too raw after 9/11. All of the more extreme rumours are amusing but impossible to have been achieved in such a short period of time.”

And how come the dodo wasn’t able to fly?

“Because we were making a driving and shooting game - even that, as a combination of core gameplay elements, was very, very radical at the time. The Dodo was never meant to be flown very much at all, and it certainly wasn’t grounded as a result of 9/11 – it was just a fun thing that people then went crazy with when they figured out various bugs that let them fly it!”

Everyone remembers Grand Theft Auto III having a monstrous, sprawling script for the time, but...

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There are plenty of other interesting tidbits that I haven’t mentioned, either. Make sure to check it out!

Patrick Klepek on Google+