Devs Share Memories Of Grand Theft Auto 3 For Its 20th Anniversary

You may be surprised how many games were inspired, directly or not, by Grand Theft Auto 3.


Grand Theft Auto 3 was a major turning point for the GTA series, but also for video games as a whole, forming the earliest blueprint for modern open-world games. Now, after the game turned 20 years old on October 22, Sony is celebrating that legacy by asking some of the industry's biggest figures how Grand Theft Auto 3 impacted them when it was released back in October 2001.

The responses come from devs in studios including Capcom, Arkane, and Remedy, as well as a number of Sony's own first-party studios. Many of the devs talk about how GTA 3 affected their subsequent games, showing just how big an influence it had on the industry.

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"GTA III was a game with an astonishing degree of freedom, released at a time when we were struggling to make a single-path game within the capabilities of the PS2," said Capcom director Hideaki Itsuno. "I was impressed by the way the game was made. It embraced the realities that come with an open-world concept instead of restricting gameplay to avoid every potential glitch that might come up."

"GTA III changed my perspective of what makes games fun," said Insomniac Games' Brian Hastings. "Games had always been about making the jumps, killing the enemies, solving the puzzles--doing the tasks the designer laid out for you. GTA III was the first game where you really made your own fun. That led me to reimagine how exploration and open-ended gadget and weapon usage in Ratchet & Clank could allow players to find their own fun and approach the gameplay in their own creative ways."

"I remember entering the Remedy offices early November, 2001. I was excited, a bit anxious. It was my first day of work. The first thing I saw was a group of people around a TV. Some were laughing, others staring, speechless. They were playing GTA III," Mikael Kasurinen, who directed Control at Remedy, recounted. "It was provocative, unexpected, endlessly fun and impossible to let go of. A tectonic shift in gaming that set the stage for my career--influencing my work to this day."

"I remember thinking ‘how did they make this kind of game on PS2?’ Not only from a gameplay point of view, but also from a technical point of view," said Capcom's Koshi Nakanishi. "In response to the subsequent development of open-world games, I decided to do the exact opposite and make a small, narrow, dense horror game, and Resident Evil 7 was born. In a way, Resident Evil 7 may have been born because of GTA III. Thank you and congratulations on the 20th anniversary of GTA III."

The full blog post has a number of other comments from devs, and is worth a read for fans of the Grand Theft Auto series.

GTA 3 is being re-released in a new form on November 11, when Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition comes out for the Nintendo Switch, PS5, PS4, PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and mobile. PlayStation Now subscribers will also be able to play Grand Theft Auto 3 - The Definitive Edition from December 7.

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