GTA – King Of Gaming From Small Beginnings
Grand Theft Auto is largely considered the king of video games, and with very good reason. The current GTA, titled GTA 5, has sold a staggering number of copies, over 9 million on the PC alone. This makes it the biggest video game franchise not released on a yearly basis. And although other franchises, such as Call of Duty, sell similar numbers, when a new GTA release comes around the world at large sits up and takes notice.
Few remember, however, that the first GTA game was from a virtually unknown studio, at the time, and in hindsight was not very impressive at all. So how did GTA go from being a small game on a miniscule budget, to the goliath it is today? Let’s take a look.
The First GTA
The first GTA was a top-down game, allowing players to control a character from a birds eye view. It allowed players to roam freely around a virtual city, causing chaos or undergoing missions. By modern standards the game is incredibly simplistic, and even back when the game first released the graphics and presentation were not considered cutting edge.
What made the first GTA stand apart was the controversial nature of the gameplay. Players were allowed to kill indiscriminately, steal cars, and even murder paramedics and police officers. This controversial nature not only drew players, who thrived in the chaos, but also caused controversy in many countries, including an outright ban in Brazil.
The controversy, however, granted the game publicity that drove sales and it became as popular as playing online slots for real money in Canada.
GTA 3 – Going 3D
When GTA 3 was released in 2001 it introduced players to a similar gameplay situation, but in a fully 3D rendered city. And, as the first GTA may not have been technologically impressive, GTA 3 was. The impressive technology on display, plus the added publicity of yet more controversy, made GTA 3 an instant mega-hit. The game sold millions, and was soon seen as the new cutting edge of gaming.
Multiple PlayStation and other console and PC games were released soon after that emulated the GTA style of gameplay, but none ever managed to achieve the success of GTA 3. Regardless, GTA 3 all but gave birth to a new style of video game, which can still be seen today in a number of successful video game franchises.
Many more GTA games were released for a variety of gaming devices, but it was not until 2008 that GTA 4 released. GTA 4, interestingly, received universal acclaim from game critics, in contrast to GTA 3, which had receiving heaps of outrage from many game critics just a few years prior. GTA 4, again being the cutting edge of technology and boasting incredible graphical fidelity, sold even better than its predecessor, firmly securing the series as one of the most successful of all time.
GTA 5 released in 2013, and was another critical and financial global smash-hit. Combined with GTA Online, allowing players to experience the game multiplayer, there was little more that players could have hoped for. GTA 6 is virtually guaranteed to be yet another smash hit, and players are already speculating as to how the franchise could get any better than it already is.
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