Grand Theft Auto has become one of the biggest gaming franchises ever, but it almost never happened.
That's according to Gary Penn, a developer who worked on the original PSone GTA game at DMA Design. "[The original GTA] was a real mess for years, it never moved on, it never went anywhere," revealed Penn, more than a decade after the game's PSone release.
"It was almost canned," he added. "The publisher, BMG Interactive, wanted to can it, as it didn't seem to be going anywhere." And what a mistake that would have been.
The game has a couple of major issues, according to Penn. "There are probably two key things it fell down on. Two critical things. One of them is stability, which is a really boring one but it crashed all the fucking time. So even if you did get something in the game, you couldn't really test it."
He went on: "Now the other thing that was a problem was the handling -- the car handling was appalling," which meant that the game, in which you mostly drive, was "fundamentally broken".
Shockingly, Penn says it was later a bug that actually saved the game. "One day, I think it was a bug, the police suddenly became mental and aggressive," described Penn. "Their route finding was screwed I think and that was an awesome moment because suddenly the real drama where, 'Oh my God, the police are psycho -- they're trying to ram me off the road.'"
"That was awesome, so that stayed in," he said.