GTA or Grand Theft Auto has grown to be one of the most iconic franchises in the history of video games. Nevertheless, establishing this multi-billion game franchise is not a walk in the park. Did you know that Grand Theft Auto is picked from a scrapped game project called Race’n’Chase?
Race’n’Chase was intended for MS-DOS, Windows 95, PlayStation, Sega Saturn and Nintendo 64. And it’s not just that. GTA is also inspired by one of the most popular arcade games, Pac-Man. Surprising, right? Well, there is more to learn about this highly successful franchise game. Below are just 3 of the top things you should know.
1. Grand Theft Auto Is Basically Pac-Man
It may seem unlikely, but it is said that the original concept of Grand Theft Auto was based on the iconic arcade game, Pac-Man. This was stated in a Kotaku article from July 16, 2009:
“People said to me that GTA was just like Pac-Man — he eats the dots, while you drive over the dots in GTA. The police chase you like the ghosts in Pac-Man. Know what’s missing from Pac-Man? Hookers. Radio stations, too. And guns.”
The recent GTA installments have intricate plots and controversies. However, the first GTA only came with 6 levels and has a rather straightforward gameplay. The 6 levels are split between three cities, namely Liberty City (inspired by New York City), Vice City (Inspired by Miami City), and San Andreas (inspired by the San Francisco City). Much like the latest installments, the original also features interconnected missions, special challenges, and a top-down perspective version of the game.
2. It Was Not an Instant Hit
The first 2 installments of GTA were not an instant success. Both versions did not sit well with the critics either. It was not until the release of Grand Theft Auto III when the game finally gained traction. This is also the first installment of the game wherein the developers switched to a third-person perspective.
Following GTA III is Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, which raised the bar for the franchise after receiving tons of accolades. This paved the way for the next and one of the most innovative installments in the entire franchise – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
3. The Legendary 9050-Calorie Order
Launched on October 26, 2004, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas brought an entirely new experience and exceeded expectations this time. Much like Big Smoke’s legendary 9050-calorie order (two number 9s, a number 9 large, a number 6 with extra dip, a number 7, two number 45s, one with cheese, and a large soda), GTA: San Andreas is packed with rich content.
San Andreas included new content for the first time in the franchise’s history. This includes gang wars, vehicle customizations, multiplayer features, burglary missions, and other side missions. It also introduced a respect meter, mini-games, skills/body enhancement activities, and so much more. In addition to these new features, Rockstar also managed to improve the vehicle selection, soundtracks, and weapons in the game.
Grand Theft Auto Awards, Accolades, and Records
The game did not start off as an award-winning title, but that changed when Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was released. GTA: San Andreas set an example for open-world sandbox titles. It garnered multiple awards, accolades, and new records. The Guinness Book of World Records Gamer’s Edition acknowledged the game’s magnificent sales, listing it as the most successful PlayStation 2 game, with over 17.33 million copies sold.
The game however, did not go unscathed. Some groups have called out the game due to its racial undertones and stereotypes. Despite the backlash, the game went on to be a commercial success and has even made its mark in popular culture.