How 9/11 shaped Grand Theft Auto 3

It's been 10 years since the release of Grand Theft Auto III, and Rockstar is marking the event with retrospective interviews and videos. Dan Houser has revealed that 9/11 made the company more sensitive and cautious about imagery in the game.

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It's been ten years since Grand Theft Auto III made ripples throughout the game industry with its emphasis on the open world. But in a new retrospective, Rockstar's Dan Houser reveals that the game's proximity to 9/11 made the company very cautious about any imagery or dialogue that could rub the fresh wounds of the tragedy.

"It was a very strange time, but we were very close to 9/11, far closer than the vast majority of people, and therefore I believe we were capable of making sensitive judgments about what was appropriate and what wasn't appropriate," Houser said.

"I think one mission got removed," he told IGN "There was a non-interactive jumbo jet, just to give some life to the sky, that looked like it could pass through a building. That got adjusted, and a few lines of radio dialogue in the talk show. We were really very sensitive to stuff though because we'd watched on our doorstep, you know?"

He also points out that the box art was originally an old movie poster style with police firing guns and helicopters circling over head. Calling it "a bit heavy," Houser says the artist quickly came up with the new box style that the series is known for today. "What's become the very staple of our marketing and presentation was done in an evening as a response to 9/11."

Rockstar has also released an Anniversary video marking the event. Check it out below.

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From The Chatty

  • reply
    October 19, 2011 12:00 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, How 9/11 shaped Grand Theft Auto 3.

    It's been 10 years since the release of Grand Theft Auto III, and Rockstar is marking the event with retrospective interviews and videos. Dan Houser has revealed that 9/11 made the company more sensitive and cautious about imagery in the game.

    • reply
      October 19, 2011 12:02 PM

      Even shacknews double posts.

    • reply
      October 19, 2011 12:03 PM

      Does it bug anyone else when someone uses "got" like "that got removed". Is that proper? Should it be "there was at least one mission that was removed" or just "one mission removed"?

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        October 19, 2011 12:03 PM

        Us wordsmiths a dying breed son.

        • reply
          October 19, 2011 7:11 PM

          ...

          you mean "WE wordsmiths"

      • reply
        October 19, 2011 12:05 PM

        Nope doesn't bug me.

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        October 19, 2011 12:33 PM

        i believe when using "that got removed", the subject of the sentence is not the mission, whereas when using "mission that was removed", mission becomes the subject.

        • reply
          October 19, 2011 12:35 PM

          don't quote me on that, i may be completely wrong.

      • reply
        October 19, 2011 12:36 PM

        It ain't no thing.

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        October 19, 2011 2:53 PM

        Got damn it.

      • reply
        October 19, 2011 3:56 PM

        Unless I'm mistaken, I'm pretty sure it's proper grammar that has fallen out of usage in the last few decades. Like "gotten," it's a part of more traditional English that has started to be abandoned lately.

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          October 20, 2011 12:57 AM

          Dan Houser is a Brit so he talks funny innit

      • reply
        October 20, 2011 12:48 AM

        They didn't lose nothing.

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      October 19, 2011 3:30 PM

      I really wish they had done a remake of GTA3 with updated graphics to celebrate. I'm kind of surprised a PS3 GTA collection isn't in the works. ;D

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        October 19, 2011 3:58 PM

        There was the Xbox 1 GTA3 port which had models with more polygons, but other than that they've never done anything else.

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        October 20, 2011 5:56 AM

        Isn't that what GTA IV is? What exactly do you want.

    • Ziz
      reply
      October 19, 2011 4:32 PM

      GTA3 NEVER FORGET!!

      • reply
        October 20, 2011 5:57 AM

        I still remember GTA 1 and 2 were kickass games before they went 3D and became mainstream.