Grand Theft Auto (series)


Grand Theft Auto (series)
Grand Theft Auto
Grand Theft Auto logo series.svg
Grand Theft Auto series logo, which has
been used since Grand Theft Auto III
Genres Open world, Action
Developers Rockstar Games
Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design)
Rockstar Leeds
Rockstar Toronto
Rockstar Lincoln
Publishers Rockstar Games
Creators David Jones
Dan Houser
Sam Houser
First release Grand Theft Auto
October 1997
Latest release Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City
October 2009

Grand Theft Auto (commonly abbreviated GTA) is a multi-award-winning British video game series created in the United Kingdom by Dave Jones, then later by brothers Dan Houser and Sam Houser, and game designer Zachary Clarke. It is primarily developed by Edinburgh based Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design) and published by Rockstar Games. The name of the series is derived from grand theft auto, a term referring to motor vehicle theft.

The series is set in fictional locales heavily modelled on American cities, while an expansion for the original was based in London. Gameplay focuses on an open world where the player can choose missions to progress an overall story, as well as engaging in side activities, all consisting of action, adventure, driving, occasional role-playing, stealth, and racing elements. The subject of the games is usually a comedic satire of American culture, but the series has gained controversy for its adult nature and violent themes. The series focuses around many different protagonists who attempt to rise through the ranks of the criminal underworld, although their motives for doing so vary in each game. The antagonists are commonly characters who have betrayed the protagonist or his organisation, or characters who have the most impact impeding the protagonist's progress.

Video game developer DMA Design began the series in 1997, and it currently has ten stand-alone games and four expansion packs. The third chronological title, Grand Theft Auto III, was widely acclaimed, as it brought the series to a 3D setting and more immersive experience, and is considered a landmark title that has subsequently influenced many other open world action games and led to the label "Grand Theft Auto clone" on similar games. Subsequent titles would follow and build upon the concept established in Grand Theft Auto III. Film veterans such as Michael Madsen, Ray Liotta, Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper, Danny Trejo, Gary Busey, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Penn, James Woods, Joe Pantoliano, Jenna Jameson, Frank Vincent, Robert Loggia, Kyle MacLachlan, Phil Collins and Peter Fonda have all voiced major characters, and the series is critically acclaimed and commercially successful, having sold more than 124.1 million units, as of September 2011.[1]

Contents

Overview

Each game in this series allows players to take on the role of a criminal or a wannabe in a big city, typically an individual who rises through the ranks of organized crime through the course of the game. The player is given various missions by kingpins and major idols in the city underworld which must be completed to progress through the storyline. Assassinations and other crimes feature regularly, but occasionally taxi driving, firefighting, street racing, bus driving, or learning to fly helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft are also involved.

In later titles, notably those released after Grand Theft Auto 2, the player is given a more developed storyline in which he is forced to overcome an unfortunate event (e.g., being betrayed and left for dead), which serves as motivation for the character to advance up the criminal ladder and ultimately leads to the triumph of the character by the end of the storyline. The Grand Theft Auto series belongs to a genre of free-roaming video games called sandbox games, and grants a large amount of freedom to the player in deciding what to do and how to do it through multiple methods of transport and weapons. Most traditional action games are structured as a single track series of levels with linear gameplay, but in GTA the player can determine the missions that he wants to undertake, and his relationships with various characters are changed based on these choices. The cities of the games can also be roamed freely at any point in the game, and are examples of open world video game environments which offer accessible buildings with minor missions in addition to the main storyline. There are exceptions: missions follow a linear, overarching plot, and some city areas must be unlocked over the course of the game.

Grand Theft Auto III and later subsequent games have more prevalent voice acting, and radio stations, which simulate driving to music with disc jockeys, radio personalities, commercials, talk radio, pop music, and American culture.

The use of vehicles in an explorable urban environment provides a basic simulation of a working city, complete with pedestrians who generally obey traffic signals. Further details are used to flesh out an open-ended atmosphere that has been used in several other games, such as The Simpsons Hit & Run, which has less emphasis on crime or violence.

Setting

The Grand Theft Auto series is set in a fictional version of the world, in a number of different time periods. The original Grand Theft Auto introduced three main locations: Liberty City, based upon New York City, Vice City, based upon Miami, and San Andreas, based upon the western cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas.

Subsequent games in the series have re-imagined and expanded upon the original locales. Grand Theft Auto III is set in a different rendition of Liberty City only loosely based on New York City.[2] A revised Vice City is depicted in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the location of San Andreas takes the form of an entire state, instead of a single city. The state of San Andreas is based on the states of California and Nevada, and consists of three major cities: Los Santos (Los Angeles), San Fierro (San Francisco) and Las Venturas (Las Vegas). Surrounding towns and areas of desert, water, woodland and countryside lie between the three cities.

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, originally released on the PlayStation Portable handheld console, are set in the previous depictions of their respective eponymous cities.

Grand Theft Auto IV and its subsequent expansion packs The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony are set in a third revision of Liberty City, set in 2008. A version of New Jersey, known as Alderney, is depicted adjacent to the city. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is also set in this version of Liberty City, although the state of Alderney is not present.[citation needed]

Other places in the same fictional universe as the Grand Theft Auto series also exist. Carcer City and Cottonmouth are two different cities featured in the Manhunt series. There is also the town of Bullworth from another Rockstar Game's release, Bully.[citation needed]

Only the expansion packs for the original Grand Theft Auto, London 1969 and London 1961, set in London, have featured a location outside of the United States.

Games

Year Title Developer(s) Platform(s) Era
Sony Microsoft Nintendo Other
1997 Grand Theft Auto DMA Design, Tarantula Studios PS1 Windows, MS-DOS Game Boy Color First
1999 London, 1969 DMA Design, Tarantula Studios,
Rockstar Canada, Runecraft
PS1 Windows, MS-DOS
London, 1961 Windows
Grand Theft Auto 2 DMA Design, Tarantula Studios PS1 Windows Game Boy Color Dreamcast Second
2001 Grand Theft Auto III DMA Design, Rockstar Vienna PS2 Windows, Xbox Mac OS X, iOS, Android Third
2002 Vice City Rockstar North, Rockstar Vienna PS2 Windows, Xbox Mac OS X
2004 Advance Digital Eclipse Game Boy Advance
San Andreas Rockstar North PS2 Windows, Xbox Mac OS X
2005 Liberty City Stories Rockstar Leeds, Rockstar North PSP, PS2
2006 Vice City Stories PSP, PS2
2008 Grand Theft Auto IV Rockstar North, Rockstar Toronto PS3 Windows, Xbox 360 Fourth
2009 The Lost and Damned Rockstar North PS3 Windows, Xbox 360
Chinatown Wars Rockstar Leeds, Rockstar North PSP DS iOS
The Ballad of Gay Tony Rockstar North PS3 Windows, Xbox 360
TBA Grand Theft Auto V Fifth

History

The Grand Theft Auto series may be divided into canons, based on the inclusion of a numbering after the recognisable title name (e.g. Grand Theft Auto III) after the original Grand Theft Auto's release, and to a certain extent, the type of graphics engine used.

The original Grand Theft Auto.

Grand Theft Auto series
fictional chronology

GTA era

1961London, 1961
1969London, 1969
1997Grand Theft Auto


GTA 2 era

1999Grand Theft Auto 2


GTA III era

1984Vice City Stories
1986Vice City
1992San Andreas
1998Liberty City Stories
2000Advance
2001Grand Theft Auto III


GTA IV era

2008Grand Theft Auto IV

  • The Lost and Damned
  • The Ballad of Gay Tony

2009Chinatown Wars

Grand Theft Auto

Grand Theft Auto, the first game in the Grand Theft Auto series, was created by video game developer DMA Design, and was released for Microsoft DOS/Windows in 1997/1998 and also for the PlayStation.[3] The game is set in three different fictional cities, Liberty City, San Andreas and Vice City. A reduced Game Boy Color port was later released.

Subsequently, two expansion packs, Grand Theft Auto: London, 1969 and Grand Theft Auto: London, 1961, were released on 31 March and 1 June 1999, respectively.

Grand Theft Auto 2

The second game in the series, Grand Theft Auto 2, was developed for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation, and Dreamcast and released in the year 1999. Set in the indeterminable future,[4] it featured updated graphics and somewhat different gameplay based upon the player's appeal to various criminal organisations. Grand Theft Auto 2 takes place in a retro-futuristic setting, in an unnamed American city.

A reduced Game Boy Color port was also produced. It is the only Grand Theft Auto game to have a "T" rating for a PlayStation console, it is also the only sequel to have a digit in the title instead of a Roman numeral.

Grand Theft Auto III

Grand Theft Auto III was released in October 2001, and served as the breakthrough for the franchise.[5] The game's setting takes place around that time,[6] in fictional Liberty City, which is loosely based on New York City, but also incorporates elements of other American cities.[7] Grand Theft Auto III brought a third-person view to the series, rather than the traditional top-down view of earlier titles (although the view is still made available as an optional camera angle). For the first time, the problem of navigating in the huge sandbox game was solved by implementing a constant GPS triggered mini-map that highlights the player's position as well as those of current targets. Graphics were also updated with a new 3D game engine. The gameplay engine expanded the explorable world of GTA III, using a mission-based approach. Multiplayer was discarded (third party mods were later released, allowing for multiplayer gameplay), but GTA III improved in many other areas such as voice-acting and plot (in previous games, there was speech only in short animated cut scenes between levels, while other communication was simply subtitles running on the bottom of the screen).

On 13 October 2011, Rockstar announced the release of Grand Theft Auto III on iPad, iPhone 4S and various other handheld consoles.[8]

After the success of Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was released in 2002. This game was set in 1986 in Vice City, which was based on Miami, Florida. The game's plot focuses on the cocaine trade during the 1980s. Vice City was the first game to introduce fully functional flying vehicles that could be used by the player, such as seaplanes and helicopters. It also featured a variety of new weapons and vehicles.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, released in October 2004, is set in 1992, focusing on California gang life and the awakening of the drug epidemic brought on by crack cocaine. The setting was in the fictional state of San Andreas, which was based on some California and Nevada cities, specifically Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. Their counterparts are Los Santos, San Fierro, and Las Venturas respectively. The game also included a countryside in between Los Santos and San Fierro and also between Los Santos and Las Venturas, and a desert in between Las Venturas and San Fierro.

Grand Theft Auto Advance (simply called Grand Theft Auto in the cover), for the Game Boy Advance, was also released in 2004. Originally developed as a top-down conversion of GTA III, it eventually became an original game. Unlike the Game Boy Color ports of Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto 2, Grand Theft Auto did not tone down the violence and profanity common to the GTA series. The game received an "M" rating from the ESRB. It was developed by an external developer, Digital Eclipse.

In 2005 and 2006, Rockstar released two games for the PlayStation Portable, both developed by Rockstar Leeds. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is a prequel to Grand Theft Auto III and set in Liberty City in 1998. A PlayStation 2 port was released by Rockstar on 6 June 2006.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories was released for the PlayStation Portable on 31 October 2006 and set in Vice City in 1984, two years before the events of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. A PlayStation 2 port of the game was released on 6 March 2007. It is the last game of the third generation series, and the final game in the Grand Theft Auto III canon.

In in-game chronological order the third generation Grand Theft Auto games are:

Grand Theft Auto IV

Grand Theft Auto IV was released on 29 April 2008, after a six month delay.[9] It was the first Grand Theft Auto game to be released simultaneously for both Sony and Microsoft's video game consoles. In August 2008, Rockstar announced that it was going to publish GTA IV for PC. GTA IV's game engine is the Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE) used in Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis and the Euphoria physics engine.

Grand Theft Auto IV has much more realistic gameplay than its predecessors, no characters from previous games appear in GTA IV; according to Dan Houser "virtually none of the characters from the previous games returned, as a lot of them are dead anyway."[10] The game once again takes place in a redesigned Liberty City that very closely resembles New York City, much more than previous renditions.[11]

Microsoft officially announced a "strategic alliance" with Rockstar Games over the rights to episodic content through their Xbox Live service at their X06 event. This content was released as Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned on 17 February 2009, and it was available for download, exclusively for the Xbox 360, this was because of the substantial $50 million that Microsoft paid Rockstar to keep it exclusive. The strategic alliance was however timed and both DLC episodes and the compilation pack were released on 13 April 2010 on PS3 and PC.[12] The expansion adds some new elements to the existing game and focuses on Johnny Klebitz, the vice president of "The Lost" motorcycle gang.

The second and last Grand Theft Auto IV downloadable content episode was called Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony[13] and was released on 29 October 2009. Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City is a compilation pack released for the Xbox 360 at the same time as The Ballad of Gay Tony. It contains The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony on one disk and does not require an original copy of GTA IV.

Grand Theft Auto IV officially introduced online multiplayer to the series. In most games, a customisable character is used to play, and money earned in game is translated to levels, with more customisation available at higher levels. The game does not offer split screen or local area network (LAN) multiplayer modes on PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, but there is LAN on the PC mode. Up to 16 (32 on PC) players can play together, doing a variety of games including Death Match, Cops 'n' Crooks, races, Deal Breaker, and Mafiya Work as well as team varieties of Death Match, and Mafiya Work to name just a few.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is the first Grand Theft Auto game to be released on the Nintendo DS, and was announced at the E3 Nintendo Press Conference on 15 July 2008. This game has several new features, such as touch screen mini-games. The game was released on 17 March 2009 in North America and 20 March 2009 to Australia and Europe. The game is rated 18+ by PEGI and the BBFC (Europe, UK) and M by the ESRB (North America). A PSP version was later announced on 22 June 2009[14] and was released in North America on 20 October 2009. It was also released on the Apple iOS platform 18 January 2010.

In chronological order the fourth generation Grand Theft Auto games are in order:[15]

  • Grand Theft Auto IV; set and released in 2008
  • Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned; set in 2008, released in 2009 for Xbox 360, in 2010 for PlayStation 3 and PC
  • Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony; set in 2008, released in 2009 for Xbox 360, in 2010 for PlayStation 3 and PC
  • Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars; set and released in 2009

Grand Theft Auto V

The logo for Grand Theft Auto V with the 'V' in the style of a bank note

On 26 February 2011, five websites were discovered which seemed to indicate a new title in the Grand Theft Auto franchise. There have been several minor leaks of supposed GTA production including websites, casting calls featuring GTA characters,[16] and an IGN editor who has said the next game will be released in 2012.[17]

On 25 October 2011, Rockstar changed their homepage to display the logo for Grand Theft Auto V with the 'V' styled like a bank note.[18] A message was printed below the logo stating that a trailer would be released on 2 November 2011.[19]

On 2 November 2011, Rockstar released a debut trailer for GTA V. Giving fans a first look at the upcoming title, the trailer revealed the setting to be Los Santos, the fictional version of Los Angeles and its California surroundings, including Hollywood ("Vinewood") and rural hills and valleys. Additional features revealed in the trailer included golf, planes, jet skis, a working gym, and police chases, making it look like a spiritual successor to 2004's GTA: San Andreas. The song used in the trailer is "Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake" by the British band the Small Faces.[20][21]

On 3 November 2011, Rockstar Games announced that Grand Theft Auto V was in full development and that it would take place within Los Santos and its "surrounding hills, countryside and beaches", and that it would be "the largest and the most ambitious game Rockstar has yet created". Rockstar parent Take-Two calls GTA V "a bold new direction in open-world freedom, storytelling, mission-based gameplay and online multiplayer," while confirming that its story will focus on "the pursuit of the almighty dollar in a re-imagined, present-day Southern California.

Controversy

Former lawyer Jack Thompson has been involved in a number of attempts to get families of murder victims to hold the Grand Theft Auto series accountable for the death of their loved ones. Due to his conduct in this and related cases, Thompson was disbarred in 2008[22] and was fined more than $100,000 by the Florida Bar Association.[23]

On 20 October 2003, the families of Aaron Hamel and Kimberly Bede, two young people shot by teens William and Josh Buckner (who in statements to investigators claimed their actions were inspired by GTA III) filed a US$246 million lawsuit against publishers Rockstar Games, Take-Two Interactive Software, retailer Wal-Mart, and PlayStation 2 manufacturer Sony Computer Entertainment America.[24][25] Rockstar and its parent company, Take-Two, filed for dismissal of the lawsuit, stating in U.S. District Court on 29 October 2003 that the "ideas and concepts as well as the 'purported psychological effects' on the Buckners are protected by the First Amendment's free-speech clause". The lawyer of the victims, Jack Thompson, denied that, but failed in his attempt to move the lawsuit into a state court and under Tennessee's consumer protection act.[26] Two days later, the plaintiffs filed a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal, and the case was closed.

In February 2005, a lawsuit was brought upon the makers and distributors of the Grand Theft Auto series claiming the games caused a teenager to shoot and kill three members of the Alabama police force. The shooting took place in June 2003 when Devin Moore, 17 years old at the time, was taken in for questioning by police in Fayette, Alabama regarding a stolen vehicle. Moore then grabbed a pistol from one of the police officers and shot and killed him along with another officer and dispatcher before fleeing in a police car.[27][28] One of Moore's attorneys, Jack Thompson, claimed it was GTA's graphic nature—with his constant playing time—that caused Moore to commit the murders, and Moore's family agrees. Damages are being sought from branches of GameStop and Wal-Mart in Jasper, Alabama, the stores from which GTA III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, respectively, were purchased and also from the games' publisher Take-Two Interactive, and the PlayStation 2 manufacturer Sony Computer Entertainment. On March 29, 2006 the case was dismissed and permission to appeal was denied.[29]

In May 2005, Thompson appeared via satellite on the Glenn Beck program on CNN's Headline News. Thompson mentioned Devin Moore and said regarding Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City "There's no doubt in my mind [...] that but for Devin Moore's training on this cop killing simulator, he would not have been able to kill three cops in Fayette, Alabama who are now dead and in the ground. We are suing Take-Two, Sony, Wal-Mart, and GameStop for having trained Devin Moore to kill. He had no history of violence. No criminal record."[30]

In September 2006, Thompson brought another lawsuit, claiming that Cody Posey played the game obsessively before murdering his father Delbert Paul Posey, stepmother Tryone Schmid, and stepsister Marilea Schmid on a ranch in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The suit was filed on behalf of the victims' families.[31] During the criminal trial, Posey's defense team argued he was abused by his father, and tormented by his stepmother.[32] Posey was also taking Zoloft at the time of the killings.[33] The suit alleged that were it not for his obsessive playing of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the murders would not have taken place.[34] Named in the suit were Cody Posey, Rockstar Games, Take-Two Interactive, and Sony. The suit asked for US$600 million in damages.[35]

In 2009, a six-year-old boy, who claimed he had learned to drive from the game, took his family's car on a 10-mile trip before he crashed.[36]

According to The Guinness World Records 2008 and 2009 Gamer's Edition, it is the most controversial video game series in history, with over 4,000 articles published about it, which include accusations of glamorising violence, corrupting gamers, and connection to real life crimes.[37]

Grand Theft Auto

The game was controversial from the very first incarnation of the series, in spite of its cartoonish graphics.[38] Grand Theft Auto was condemned in Britain, Germany, and France due to its extreme violence,[39] and Brazil banned it outright.[39] Publicist Max Clifford planted sensational stories in tabloids in order to help sell the first game.[38][40][41]

Grand Theft Auto III: general violence and crime

The controversies flared up again with Grand Theft Auto III, since the 3D graphics made the violence more realistic, and the player could pay the services of prostitutes to recover their health before killing them.[41]

There is also criticism from the focus on illegal activities in comparison with traditional "heroic" roles that other games offer. The main character can commit a wide variety of crimes and violent acts while dealing with only temporary consequences, including the killing of policemen and military personnel. Opponents of violent video games, such as Hillary Clinton and Julia Boseman, believe that players will try to emulate this behaviour[citation needed], while proponents[who?] believe it provides an emotional outlet, as such actions in real life would have serious consequences.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City: alleged ethnic discrimination

The sixth game in the series, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, also came under criticism. One mission in particular, in which the player must instigate a gang war between Haitian and Cuban gangs, has been controversial. Haitian and Cuban anti-defamation groups criticised the game.

Jean-Robert Lafortune of the Haitian American Grassroots Coalition is quoted as saying that "The game shouldn't be designed to destroy human life, it shouldn't be designed to destroy an ethnic group," for this and similar scenarios, including lines in the game's script such as "kill the Haitian dickheads" said by character "Diaz" during an altercation between the player and a Haitian gang. After the threat of a lawsuit by the Haitian-American Grassroots Coalition, Rockstar removed the word "Haitians" from this phrase in the game's subtitles.[42]

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: sex minigame

San Andreas was criticised initially due to its "gangster" elements, which include drugs, prostitution, and murder; but later due to the discovery of disabled interactive sex scenes, nicknamed Hot Coffee, which was a sexual minigame that was cut from the game, but remained in the game code, which was discovered in both the console and Windows versions of the game. Dubbed the "Hot Coffee mod", the minigame allowed players to have sex with their in-game girlfriends and also record sextapes.

After the release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, modders managed to find the unused code in the game and released unofficial patches for the Windows and Xbox (with a modchip) versions and PlayStation 2 version with the use of an Action Replay code enabling the player to engage in these sexual mini-games (dubbed "Hot Coffee" in reference to a euphemism for sex used in the game). These mini-games were left partially intact in the game's code. This prompted application of an AO (Adults Only) ESRB rating to the version of the game containing the leftover code. Take-Two Interactive was forced to re-release the game in order to restore the M (Mature) rating. A class action lawsuit against Take-Two was also filed as a result of the "Hot Coffee" code.[43][44]

Grand Theft Auto IV: drunk driving

One of the controversies involved with this game was Mothers Against Drunk Driving's (MADD) criticism of the ability to drink and drive as a new feature. MADD had even requested ESRB to change the rating of the game from "M" for ages seventeen and up to "AO", for adults only, because they felt it was inappropriate for children, even at the age of seventeen, to experience drunk driving in such a manner. If Rockstar were to comply, Grand Theft Auto IV would be the second game in the series to have the rating converted from "M" for those seventeen and older to "AO" for those eighteen and older.[45] In the final game, drunk driving is a playable event, but it is a crime that automatically generates a wanted rating and protagonist Niko Bellic loudly (and drunkenly) proclaims that it is a "bad idea" and that he "should know better".[46]

The Lost and Damned: full-frontal nudity

The Lost and Damned expansion pack was condemned by U.S. parents group Common Sense Media who issued a public warning against the pack's content due to a full-frontal nudity scene during one of the cut scenes. They claimed the game was "more controversial than its predecessors" because it featured "full frontal male nudity".[47]

Chinatown Wars: drug dealing minigame

There has been some controversy over a drug dealing minigame [48] along with comments that some Nintendo games are being aimed at children (despite the fact that the game was rated Mature). The drug dealing mini-game allows players to peddle six types of drugs around the city, but the profit the player makes depends on market conditions, which will be based on the area in which they deal, and the level of regular service this area receives from them.

Nintendo wanted us to make GTA, and we wanted to make a game on their platform. They didn't want us to make a GTA for kids, and we weren't interested in making a game we wouldn't normally make.

—Dan Houser

[49][50][51]

Reception

Aggregate review scores
As of March 26, 2011.
Game GameRankings Metacritic
Grand Theft Auto (PC) 78.50%[52]
(PS1) 68.33%[53]
(GBC) 57.33%[54]
London, 1969 (PC) 75.44%[55]
(PS1) 69.00%[56]
Grand Theft Auto 2 (PC) 71.50%[57]
(DC) 70.80%[58]
(PS1) 69.92%[59]
(GBC) 35.00%[60]
(PS1) 70[61]
Grand Theft Auto III (PS2) 95.29%[62]
(PC) 93.54%[63]
(PS2) 97[64]
(PC) 93[65]
Vice City (PS2) 94.44%[66]
(PC) 94.34%[67]
(PS2) 95[68]
(PC) 94[69]
San Andreas (PS2) 95.03%[70]
(Xbox) 92.17%[71]
(PC) 91.94%[72]
(PS2) 95[73]
(Xbox) 93[74]
(PC) 93[75]
Advance (GBA) 70.94%[76] (GBA) 68[77]
Liberty City Stories (PSP) 87.54%[78]
(PS2) 78.03%[79]
(PSP) 88[80]
(PS2) 78[81]
Vice City Stories (PSP) 85.10%[82]
(PS2) 76.37%[83]
(PSP) 86[84]
(PS2) 75[85]
Grand Theft Auto IV (PS3) 97.01%[86]
(X360) 96.17%[87]
(PC) 88.48%[88]
(PS3) 98[89]
(X360) 98[90]
(PC) 90[91]
The Lost and Damned (PC) 94.00%[92]
(PS3) 94.00%[93]
(X360) 89.62%[94]
(X360) 90[95]
(PS3) 88[96]
Chinatown Wars (NDS) 92.75%[97]
(PSP) 90.39%[98]
(NDS) 93[99]
(PSP) 90[100]
The Ballad of Gay Tony (PC) 90.00%[101]
(PS3) 90.00%[102]
(X360) 89.55%[103]
(X360) 89[104]
(PS3) 87[105]
Episodes from Liberty City (X360) 91.41%[106]
(PS3) 89.16%[107]
(PC) 84.57%[108]

Ever since 2001, the Grand Theft Auto series has been a major success, both critically and financially. It has generated perfect or near perfect reviews and scores on almost all of the games, and has sold over 114 million copies worldwide, as of September 2011.[1] The Times Online reported that Grand Theft Auto IV, the latest console instalment, recorded 609,000 copies in the UK on its first day of release.[109] In its first week, Grand Theft Auto IV sold approximately 6 million copies worldwide and grossed over $500 million.[110]

The series has broken several records, resulting in Guinness World Records awarding the series 10 world records in the Gamer's Edition 2008. These records include Most Guest Stars in a Video Game Series, Largest Voice Cast in a Video Game (GTA: San Andreas), Largest In-Game Soundtrack (GTA: San Andreas). It also held the title of Most Successful Entertainment Launch of All Time (GTA IV), but has since been eclipsed by the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Guinness World Records also ranked Grand Theft Auto in third place on their list of top 50 console games of all time based on initial impact and lasting legacy.[111] GTA: San Andreas is listed as the most successful game in the PlayStation 2 according to The Guinness World Records 2009 Gamer's Edition.


Sales

Year Game Sales Acquired label(s)
First era
1997 Grand Theft Auto 1 million PS1 Greatest Hits / Platinum
1999 Grand Theft Auto: London, 1969
Grand Theft Auto: London, 1961
Total era sales = 1 million+
Second era
1999 Grand Theft Auto 2 2 million PS1 Greatest Hits
Total era sales = 2 million
Third era
2001 Grand Theft Auto III 15 million PS2 Greatest Hits / Platinum
2002 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City 17.5 million PS2 Greatest Hits / Platinum
2004 Grand Theft Auto Advance 100,000
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas 27.5 million[1] PS2 Greatest Hits / Platinum, Xbox Platinum Hits
2005 Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories 10 million PSP Greatest Hits / Platinum, PS2 Platinum
2006 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories 5 million PSP Greatest Hits / Platinum, PS2 Platinum
Total era sales = 69.1 million
Fourth era
2008 Grand Theft Auto IV 22 million+[1] PS3 Greatest Hits / Platinum, Xbox 360 Platinum Hits
2009 Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned 1 million+[112]
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars 200,000[113]
Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City 160,000+[114]
Total era sales = 23.36 million+
Total Grand Theft Auto series sales = 124.1 million+

Similar games

Critics sometimes treat the release of Grand Theft Auto III as a revolutionary event in the history of video games, much like the release of Doom nearly a decade earlier.[115] Subsequent games that follow this formula of driving and shooting have been called Grand Theft Auto clones. Some reviewers even extended this label to the Driver series, even though this series began years before the release of Grand Theft Auto III.[116] Grand Theft Auto clones are a type of 3D action-adventure game,[117] where players are given the ability to drive any vehicle or fire any weapon as they explore an open world.[118] These games often incorporate violent and criminal themes. Notable games that are comparable to Grand Theft Auto are Saints Row,[119] True Crime: Streets of LA,[120][121] and Scarface: The World Is Yours.[122]

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c d Orland, Kyle (September 14, 2011). "Grand Theft Auto IV Passes 22M Shipped, Franchise Above 114M". Gamasutra. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/37228/Grand_Theft_Auto_IV_Passes_22M_Shipped_Franchise_Above_114M.php. Retrieved 2011-09-21. 
  2. ^ IGN Feature GTA IV: Building a Brave New World. Retrieved May 03, 2008.
  3. ^ The actual release date of Grand Theft Auto is not clear. While Rockstar Games asserts in /classics/gta.html its official website that the game was released in October 1997, GameSpot and IGN indicated that the game was only released on February or March 1998, respectively.
  4. ^ Grand Theft Auto 2's manual uses the phrase "three weeks into the future", and phrases such as "X weeks into the future" or "X minutes into the future" are common phrases meaning "near future"; fictional journal entries on the game's official website, however, suggest 2013 .Rockstargames.com
  5. ^ Moses, Travis (2008-01-23). "Preview : Grand Theft Auto IV". Gamepro.com. Archived from the original on 2009-07-21. http://www.webcitation.org/5iR0mA6z8. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  6. ^ According to the final entry of the official Liberty Tree "online newspaper", Grand Theft Auto III is implied to be set around the first release of GTA III, specifically, October 2001.
  7. ^ "GTA IV: Building a Brave New World". uk.xbox360.ign.com. 2008-03-28. http://uk.xbox360.ign.com/articles/863/863028p1.html. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  8. ^ Q, R*. "Announcing Grand Theft Auto III: 10th Anniversary Edition for Select Mobile Devices & the Limited Edition Claude Action Figure". http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/19201/announcing-grand-theft-auto-iii-10th-anniversary-edition-for-sel.html. 
  9. ^ McWhertor, Michael (2 August 2007). "Take-Two Execs Explain GTA IV Delay". kotaku.com. http://kotaku.com/gaming/take_two-interactive/take+two-execs-explain-gta-iv-delay-285526.php. Retrieved 2007-08-02. 
  10. ^ Official PlayStation Magazine (May 2007), GTA 4 UK Exclusive, Future Publishing 
  11. ^ Totilo, Stephen (2007-03-29). "'GTA IV' Revealed: Game Returning To City That Made It Famous". MTV. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1555977/20070329/index.jhtml. Retrieved 2007-04-01. 
  12. ^ "Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City Coming to PlayStation 3 and PC". Rockstar Games. January 29, 2010. http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/2010/01/29/2861/grand_theft_auto_episodes_from_liberty_city_coming_to_playstation_3_and_pc. Retrieved 29 January 2010. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony". RockstarGames.com. 2009-05-26. http://www.rockstargames.com/theballadofgaytony. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  14. ^ Robert Purchese (2009-06-22). "GTA: Chinatown Wars for PSP". Eurogamer.net. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/gta-chinatown-wars-for-psp. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  15. ^ "Grand Theft Auto Official Website". 2000. http://www.rockstargames.com/grandtheftauto/. Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  16. ^ iGTA5.com (2011-03-29). "Possible GTA 5 Character Details Leaked". http://www.igta5.com/possible-gta-5-character-details-leaked. 
  17. ^ Robert Purchese (2011-02-28). "Grand Theft Auto V leak a "typo" News - Page 1". Eurogamer.net. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-02-28-grand-theft-auto-v-leak-a-typo. Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  18. ^ Phillips, Tom (October 25, 2011). "Rockstar announces Grand Theft Auto 5". Eurogamer. Eurogamer Network. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-10-25-rockstar-announces-grand-theft-auto-5. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  19. ^ Orry, James (25 October 2011). "Grand Theft Auto V confirmed". videogamer.com. http://www.videogamer.com/xbox360/gta5/news/grand_theft_auto_v_confirmed.html#. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  20. ^ "GTA 5 goes to San Andreas - OFFICIAL". computerandvideogames.com. 2 November 2011. http://www.computerandvideogames.com/324757/gta-5-goes-to-san-andreas-official/. 
  21. ^ "GTA V to feature multiple protagonists, set in LA". vg247.com. 2 November 2011. http://www.vg247.com/2011/10/25/rumour-gta-v-to-feature-multiple-protagonists-set-in-la/#. 
  22. ^ "Disbarred!", GamePolitics.com, 25 September 2008
  23. ^ "Judge's report recommending Permanent disbarment for Jack Thompson", Gamepolitics.com, 9 July 2008
  24. ^ "Lawsuit filed against Sony, Wal-Mart over game linked to shootings". CNN. Archived from the original on May 3, 2006. http://web.archive.org/web/20060503074048/http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/10/22/videogame.lawsuit.ap/index.html. Retrieved 6 May 2006. 
  25. ^ "Families sue over GTAIII-inspired shooting". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/ps2/adventure/grandtheftauto3/news_6077161.html. Retrieved 6 May 2006. 
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  27. ^ "Suit: Video Game Sparked Police Shootings". ABC News. 2005-03-07. Archived from the original on 2005-03-07. http://web.archive.org/web/20050307095559/http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=502424. 
  28. ^ "Grand Theft Auto sparks another lawsuit". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/grandtheftautovicecity/news.html?sid=6118699. Retrieved 18 August 2006. 
  29. ^ Reeves, Jay "Court rejects appeal in Alabama suit blaming game for slayings". Associated Press, March 29, 2006.
  30. ^ CNN Headline News - Grand Theft Morality Pt.2 YouTube. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
  31. ^ "Video-game maker blamed in '04 killing". The Albuquerque Tribune. http://www.abqtrib.com/news/2006/sep/25/video-game-maker-blamed-04-killing/. Retrieved 27 September 2006. 
  32. ^ "Jack Thompson Lawsuit to be Filed in Albuquerque". Game Politics.com. 2006-09-25. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20071011151427/http://gamepolitics.com/2006/09/25/jack-thompson-lawsuit-to-be-filed-in-albuquerque/. Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  33. ^ "Vera Ockenfels, the Cody Posey defense team's mitigation specialist, discusses his conviction (transcript) (Feb. 8, 2006)". CourtTV. Archived from the original on 2008-05-02. http://web.archive.org/web/20080502183241/http://www.courttv.com/talk/chat_transcripts/2006/0208posey-ockenfels.html. Retrieved 27 September 2006. 
  34. ^ "Antigame Crusader in ABQ". ABQnewsSeeker. http://www.abqjournal.com/abqnews/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1526&Itemid=2. Retrieved 27 September 2006. 
  35. ^ "Jack Thompson becomes boring". Joystiq. 2006-09-27. http://www.joystiq.com/2006/09/27/jack-thompson-becomes-boring/. Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  36. ^ Jackman, Tom (2009-01-07). "Boy, 6, Misses Bus, Takes Mom's Car Instead". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/06/AR2009010601195.html?hpid=topnews. Retrieved 2009-01-07. 
  37. ^ Guinness World Records, ed. Guinness World Records 2009 Gamer's Edition. pp. 108–109. ISBN 1904994459. 
  38. ^ a b gamesindustry.biz (2003-09-11). "Grand Theft Auto in the dock over JP road killing". The Register. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/09/11/grand_theft_auto/. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  39. ^ a b ign. "Ign presents the History of Grand Theft Auto". http://retro.ign.com/articles/863/863037p2. 
  40. ^ Peter Ross (27 April 2008), "Grand Theft Auto IV Joyride", Scotland on Sunday, http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/comment/Grand-Theft-Auto-IV-Joyride.4024414.jp 
  41. ^ a b Sam Gibson (29 October 2004), The history of Grand Theft Auto, Play.tm, http://www.play.tm/article/4676/the-history-of-grand-theft-auto/ 
  42. ^ "Take-Two self-censoring Vice City". GameSpot. http://uk.gamespot.com/ps2/action/grandtheftautovicecity/news.html?sid=6085346#. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  43. ^ "IGN: Hot Coffee Lawsuit Finally Mopped Up". IGN. http://ps2.ign.com/articles/834/834150p1.html. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  44. ^ "Take-Two Announces 'Hot Coffee' Lawsuit Settlements". Gamasutra. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=16182. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  45. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (2008-04-30). "Mothers against GTAIV's drunk driving". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/news/6190213.html?action=convert&om_clk=latestnews&tag=latestnews;title;3. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  46. ^ Grand Theft Auto IV, Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 release.
  47. ^ "Parents Group Warns Against Lost And Damned Nudity", Wired.com, February 21, 2009
  48. ^ Mark Langshaw (2011-04-24). "Feature: Video Game Controversy". Digital Spy. http://www.digitalspy.com/gaming/feature/a315957/feature-video-game-controversy.html. Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  49. ^ "Rockstar: Nintendo didn't want us to make GTA for kids". MaxConsole. 2008-09-25. http://www.maxconsole.net/content.php?32013-rockstar-nintendo-didnt-want-us-to-make-gta-for-kids&nocache=1&langid=2. Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  50. ^ L.B. Jeffries. "GTA: Chinatown Wars Features Drug-Dealing Minigame". Escapistmagazine.com. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.72422-GTA-Chinatown-Wars-Features-Drug-Dealing-Minigame. Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  51. ^ "Rockstar: Nintendo wanted a bad ass GTA title". Infendo.com. 2008-09-24. http://www.infendo.com/rockstar-nintendo-wanted-a-bad-ass-gta-title/. Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
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  112. ^ Analyst: Lost & Damned May Sell 2m by Year-End by Kris Graft (March 6, 2009) Edge Magazine.com
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  114. ^ GTA: Episodes from Liberty City sells under 160K in Oct.-Nov. by Tor Thorsen (Dec. 11, 2009) GameSpot.com
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  116. ^ Jeff Gerstmann (2006-03-14). "Driver: Parallel Lines Review". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/ps2/driving/driver4/review.html. Retrieved 2008-07-24. 
  117. ^ Sources that refer to GTA-style games as action-adventure games include:
    i. Jonathan Parkyn (2006-04-18). "Review: The Godfather 3D action game". Personal Computer World. http://www.pcw.co.uk/personal-computer-world/software/2154224/godfather. Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
    ii. Steve Tilley (2007-04-01). "Wii 'Godfather' for newbies only". CANOE. http://wham.canoe.ca/wii/2007/03/30/3871537-torsun.html. Retrieved 2008-07-25. ;
    iii. Sam Bishop (2003-05-16). "E3 2003: True Crime: Streets of L.A. Update". IGN. http://ps2.ign.com/articles/403/403367p1.html. Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
    iv. Will Tuttle (2006-08-30). "GameSpy Review — Saints Row". GameSpy. http://xbox360.gamespy.com/xbox-360/saints-row/729563p1.html. Retrieved 2008-07-25. ;
    v. Blake Snow (2008-01-30). "Just Cause 2 announced for Xbox 360, PS3, PC". GamePro. http://www.gamepro.com/news.cfm?article_id=158948. Retrieved 2008-07-24. 
  118. ^ "Crackdown Community Q&A". EuroGamer. 2007-03-27. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/crackdown-community-q-and-a-interview. Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
  119. ^ Douglass C. Perry, Saints Row Review, Saints Row 2 IGN, 28 August 2006
  120. ^ True Crime: Streets of LA, IGN, 31 October 2003
  121. ^ "Gameranking PS2 Average 77%". Gamerankings.com. 2003-11-03. http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/561383.asp?q=True%20Crime. Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  122. ^ Chris Roper, Scarface: The World Is Yours Review, IGN, 6 October 2006

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