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This Is Why Grand Theft Auto Almost Didn't Happen

Grand Theft Auto has come a long way since its original inception. The series started out with a somewhat clunky and primitively animated action game that utilized a fixed birds-eye view camera style. But these days, it is hard to imagine what the world would be like without the Grand Theft Auto franchise. After all, the Grand Theft Auto series is one of the highest-selling video game series of all time.


It is mind-blowing to even assume that Grand Theft Auto would not have been a commercial success. The video game pioneered a completely different methodology and approach to gameplay. It was not often that a video game would allow players to assume the role of a criminal — creating mayhem throughout a pixelated world. Grand Theft Auto has evolved since it was first introduced in 1997, and the game's over the top style set the tone for how far the series would be willing to go, catapulting the franchise into the limelight.

If there was such a strong appeal to the glorification of crime, then how is it possible that it almost wasn't created?

Happy accidents led to a classic

Grand Theft Auto was a mess before it was ever a game. Gary Penn, a developer who worked on the original game, told Gamasutra, "It never really felt like it was going anywhere. It was almost canned. The publisher, BMG Interactive, wanted to can it, as it didn't seem to be going anywhere." There were many issues to the game that made the development team pull their hair out. One of the biggest issues with the game was the production team's inability to actually test anything that they implemented into the game. The game would often crash before they could try out any new features.


That wasn't all. Grand Theft Auto's early build was plagued with some terrible driving mechanics. The game seemed doom to fail. How could a game that was named "Grand Theft Auto" have horribly-designed driving mechanics? 

Believe it or not, the studio found success in a bug, that allowed police officers into frenzied anarchists that would attempt to drive players off the road. This happy accident would become one of the first game's main attractions, and would eventually lead to the popular game that fans know and love.