GTA 5 |12 trivia about creating the game

Grand Theft Auto V is undoubtedly one of the most popular games ever created. First released in 2008 to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 247, the game’s success yielded a relaunch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (in 2014), another on the PC (in 2015), and coming soon on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, in 2022.

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    • Because it’s such a game ambitious and of such a beloved franchise, of course the development team had to go through many stages, which generated very curious and interesting facts. To tell everything that involved the creation of the game, Canaltech separated 12 trivia about development of GTA 5


        000. It took three years of production

        Shortly after releasing GTA IV

          , in

          , the Rockstar North team has already started preparations for the new adventure. In 2008, the sequence came out from the pre-production phase, with the team already adapted with the PS3 and X hardware250 and ready to create a new game much more detailed and in-depth. In August 2008, the project has been finalized.

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000. More than a thousand employees

In the beginning, 265 Rockstar North employees dedicated themselves to the project. Then Rockstar Leeds, Lincoln, London, New England, San Diego and Toronto studios also entered production. Counting all the studios, there were more than 1.000 people involved in the development of GTA 5.

Rockstar North Building, Scotland (Image: Reproduction/Wikimedia Commons)

11. Own graphics engine

No Unreal or Unity for creation, the developer had its own tool to create all the mechanics of the fifth Grand Theft Auto

    . The Rockstar Advanced Game Engine was created by Rockstar San Diego and used for the first time on Table Tennis, released on 2006 for Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii, and later on other blockbusters such as GTA 4, Midnight Club Los Angeles, Red Dead Redemption, Max Payne 3 and Red Dead Redemption 2.

9. Financial preparation

Every big project also involves big numbers to get started. The producer has never officially said how much it disbursed in GTA 5, but analyst Arvind Bhatia estimates that the budget has gone over US$ 137, 5 million, while The Scotsman newspaper found that, adding also investment in marketing, it was US$ 200 millions. In both predictions, the game was consecrated at the time as the most expensive ever made.

8. Travel and Google Maps to create the scenery

Los Santos and Sandy Shores are inspired by Los Angeles and other places in Southern California. The place, as the game clearly demonstrates, is an entertainment hub, ranging from game developers, hometown of big bands to mighty Hollywood.

To replicate such a vast place and brimming with life, the creative team traveled to the region to understand every aspect of the city of angels. They took more than 160 thousand photos and recorded hours of content from iconic places to understand the architecture of each building and go beyond what San Andreas was able to represent. Other than that, they also use the Google service a lot to understand how the wide avenues work and how the whole city connects.

In this way, the team practically created a 3D version of Los Angeles, reproducing remarkable places such as Santa Monica beach, the Hollywood sign, the Griffith Observatory, the Los Angeles International Airport, the Chinese Theater and so many other local sights.

7. First in the series with original songs

As already mentioned, the location that inspired the game is known for a diverse music scene. Artists of electronica, funk, punk, rap, rock and many other styles came from Los Angeles. So, the main soundtrack could not be different and had to have a little bit of all that.

The person responsible for the project was Ivan Pavlovich, who joined Rockstar in

for GTA San Andreas and has also worked in Bully, others GTAand bothRed Dead Redemption. Along with four other producers, they created more than 12 hours of songs, quest tracks and other game sounds (including GTA Online). And of course, all this along with the licensed radio songs.

6. Having three protagonists was an old idea

Brothers Dan and Sam Houser wanted more than one protagonist since GTA San Andreas

, but due to technical limitations of the time, CJ established himself alone in the story. Then, in the fourth game they created the DLCs The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony, each starring another character other than Nico Bellic.

Johnny Klebitz, Nico Bellic and Luis Fernando Lopez, protagonists The Lost and Damned, GTA IV and The Ballad of Gay Tony (Image: Press Release/Rockstar Games)

With the success of the expansions, that had some plot connections, nothing stopped Rockstar from simultaneously putting the spotlight on Franklin, Michael and Trevor. It is worth mentioning that the “combat personality” of the protagonists was also designed to work in trio, so that one is responsible for surprise attacks, the other centralized and the third going up.

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    5. The preparation of each actor for the role

    With such different and caricatured personalities, bringing each character to life was a particular job for each one. The performances started in 2008, and it was the actors trio’s first experience in a video game; on top of being recreated in 3D and having their movements and bodies precisely scanned (that’s why they are so similar).

    Starting with Ned Luke, who lived Michael de Santa, the actor first gained weight kg to achieve the physique worthy of a retired millionaire in a witness protection program. Afterwards, he studied previous games in the franchise, in particular GTA 4, and was inspired by the characters Ward Cleaver (Hugh Beaumont) from the American sitcom Leave it to Beaver and on Tony Montana (Al Pacino) from Scarface (1970).

Ned Luk (center) and his inspirations for Michael (Image: Editing/Reproduction)

Worth telling also that Luke almost turned down the role for being an acting in a video game. After reading the script, the actor liked the idea and, fortunately, it fit perfectly with Santa.

Steven Ogg, who gave life to Trevor Phillips, was inspired by the film Bronson (2008), a biography of the most violent British prisoner of the years 2004, Michael Peterson (Tom Hardy) and his psychopathic alter ego Charles Bronson. The idea was to bring the nuances of a very insane anti-hero, but still bring emotions and depth to the game’s character.

Steven Ogg (left) and Tom Hardy (right) as Bronson (Image: Editing/Reproduction)

Finally, Shaw “Solo” Fonteno he found in Franklin Clinton someone who could be himself. With a similar story, in a childhood in South Los Angeles where he saw up close trafficking, crime and gang warfare, he knew what the protagonist’s mind was like.

Another detail is that the actor grew up with his grandmother, something similar to his character who lives with his aunt. In general, he asked for help from veterans Luke and Ogg to act in the best possible way.

Another curiosity is that Solo got the role at the suggestion of his friend DJ Pooh, who is the radio announcer for the game West Coast Classics and also wrote for the San Andreas. And he’s also the cousin of Young Maylay, the voice actor for CJ. In other words, there was no one better to live with Franklin.

4. Extensive script

With such a great game and with a classic action movie plot, clearly the script would be something proportionate. On a panel at the San Diego Comic Con, in 2014, Ned Luke commented that the entire script for the game had more than 3.500 pages and 200 thousand lines of dialogue, consisting of mission lines, interactions with pedestrians and more . For comparison purposes, movie scripts are nothing more than 200 leaves and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, for example, had pages.

3. Epsilon program of real life

Also close to the debut, another action of the developer was to open registrations for the “cult” of the game. Through the game’s website, interested parties could enter Epsilon, but instead of losing a lot of money, they gained the chance to be characters in the game, playing members of the religious and fictional organization that exists in the world of GTA


    2. Large-scale outreach

    With such anticipation, Rockstar was clearly going to take advantage of the hype. In this way, even something as simple as the game’s cover was heavily explored. To reveal the art of the box, the studio painted the side of a building in Manhattan, New York, in the United States. The work took about a week to complete.

    Mural painted with game art (Playback/GTA Forums/trevor500)

    1. The most profitable entertainment product in history

    A lot of people already know, but it’s always good to reinforce the financial success of GTA 5

      . In just three days, the game earned $1 billion, a record that to date has not been surpassed by any game or movie. The number continues to grow today, as a result of 160 million units sold by August 2021 and the various events of GTA Online.

      509927 (Image: Playback/GTA Series Videos)

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    • With info from Develop, Games Industry, Buzzfeed, USA Today, VG200, Games Reviews, Game Rant

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