While we’re all chomping at the metaphorical bit to play Grand Theft Auto V, ex-DMA Design (now Rockstar North, of course) employees have revealed that the original PSone game almost didn’t make it to market. Chatting with The Guardian, producer and creative director Gary Penn explained that the project was a mess for much of its four-and-a-half year development cycle – and was close to being cancelled on multiple occasions.
“The writers were driving at one way. The level designers were driving at another way. They weren't meeting in the middle,” he recalled. “So you ended up with something that read badly, that made no sense, and it kept breaking.”
He continued: “We'd have conference calls at least once a week with the US. They wanted to kill it every week. Every week they wanted to kill this game, and we'd have to argue to try and keep it going, because we had some faith. Anarchic almost makes it sound sexier than it really ought to be. It was just messy.”
Penn now works as an internal development manager at Denki, but remembers fondly the struggles that the title faced prior to release. “It was like trying to nail jelly to kittens. Eventually there were enough hands to hold this thing together, but please nobody move, because this thing is going to fall apart,” he said. “That's what it felt like right at the end. It was like, we've just got to put this out now because if we don't it's just going to break again and we've lost it forever."
You can check out The Guardian’s full video feature through here. In addition to the problems that plagued the original, it also delves into the controversy surrounding the series’ trademark violence, as well as the franchise’s famous transition to the third-dimension.