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GTA: PR guru orchestrated media outcry to make original game a success, claim devs

Monday, 22nd October 2012 11:55 GMT By Dave Cook

Grand Theft Auto debuted in 1997 to media and political outcry. Creators of the series Dave Jones and Mike Dailly have revealed how PR guru Max Clifford was behind the media backlash that thrust GTA into the public eye.

GI.biz reports on an interview in the Sunday Times, in which Dailly claimed, “Max Clifford made it all happen. He designed all the outcry, which pretty much guaranteed MPs would get involved… He’d do anything to keep the profile high.”

Jones added, “He told us how he would play it, who he would target, what those people targeted would say. Every word he said came true. We knew why every decision was made, and we were never, ever influenced by ‘let’s do something to create a bit of controversy”

“We always did everything from the perspective of what’s going to be the most fun. It just naturally kept pushing us down the darker direction, “Jones concluded.

The original GTA sparked protest from concerned MPs who feared that the game might influence young minds, and for the depictions of violence and crime within. Regardless it spawned the franchise that you know today, and it is one of the most bankable IP on the market today.

Also, remember this?

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7 Comments

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  1. Ireland Michael

    Good god. That camera gives me motion sickness.

    Was it always that bad? Because I don’t remember getting that sensation back when I originally played it.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. chocy82

    It’s all true. Its detailed in Jacked the Grand Theft Auto story, a book worth reading for those who want to see where the massive game started and how Rockstar had a much bigger influence on bringing gaming to the adult world than you may think

    know that sounds like a sales spin but its not, i am not financially involved with the book.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. DrDamn

    I’m wondering how long it is before a connection is attempted to be made in the press between GTA and the horrific events in Cardiff over the weekend.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Petulant Radish

    I remember the outcry, I also remember that outcry making me think ‘I must try out that game, sounds fun’ so job done Mr. Clifford.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Da Man

    Amazing game that regardless, and the bird eye view was much better than the tps Sims one.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. roadkill

    Politicians caught the bait. Press caught the bait. It was fun watching them go berserk but I never thought it was a PR stunt. It’s even funnier now that I know this. :) Also, GOURANGA! I remember that! Golden times! So awesome! :))

    #6 2 years ago
  7. SlayerGT

    The original GTA caused me to cancel my sub to GamePro. I rented a lot when I was younger to determine which games I’d spend my hard saved allowance of 5 bucks a week on. Considering none of the big rental chains would carry GTA because of its “mature” nature, I relied on GamePro’s review of the game to make my choice for me. They gave it a below average score and spoke pretty negatively about it. Its funny because I had never even heard of the controversy over the game. I just read about the mechanics and thought it sounded neat. “Jacking” cars are you kidding?? :) So my buddy found a “mom and pop” movie rental place that started carring games and they had GTA! But it was aaaalways out. We didn’t get to try it for like a year after it came out. And once we played it..GamePro was no longer my publication of choice ;)

    #7 2 years ago