GTA 5: Rockstar’s level of perfection not seen or understood in the majority of the industry – Benzies

Friday, 4th October 2013 10:52 GMT By Dave Cook

Grand Theft Auto 5′s pre-release polish helped bring the game to a level of perfection rarely seen or understood by the majority of the games industry, Rockstar North boss Leslie Benzies has suggested.

Speaking with Develop, Benzies stated that Rockstar North doesn’t spend the last 5-10% of project development worrying about how each game is going to make money. It’s all about adding as much polish as possible.

He explained, “We will never ever go ‘Ooh, there’s an avenue for revenue!’. If any of us say that… we’ll go do something else. Everyone here, we sat at home aged 11 playing these games obsessively, we dreamt about making them, and here we are. I do this every day and it’s my job. A dream job.

“That last five to ten per cent of work on the game makes a huge difference. This level of perfection is not seen or understood in the majority of the industry. We can all make a car drive down a street in a game, but can you do it in style? Everyone’s got characters that are walking around but can they walk?”

This immeasurable effort means yearly GTA sequels aren’t possible, or desired by the company. Benzies continued, “We won’t be doing things every year in a cycle. A year just isn’t long enough to do this job. It might have been on the old consoles, but not on this.”

Going back to money – and let’s be honest, GTA 5 has made a lot of it already – Benzies closed in saying, “Obviously money is in there somewhere. There is a guy who tells us our download stuff makes this much and our disc stuff makes this much. But that’s the depth of it. That helps us decide if we’ll do download packs to re-release on disc. But really… we’ll make what we want. No, wait, don’t print that: we’ll make what people want, and that’s the truth.”

What do you make of that Rockstar polish? Does it make a big difference to your experience? Do other developers seem to misunderstand its importance? Let us know below.

Via OXM.

Stuck in GTA 5? Why not check out our GTA 5 guide with mission walkthroughs, gameplay tips & collectible locations?



  1. Hcw87

    Game of the Generation right here.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. DeVitowned

    I am being a bit stubborn here in getting it, considering the bad taste 4 left in my mouth. Is it THAT good?

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Hcw87

    It’s much better than GTAIV for sure.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Bloodstorm

    Rockstar, your polish doesn’t apply everywhere it seems… Garage, GTA online, companion app ?

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Djoenz

    Come on dude for a game of this magnitude its very polished.
    Remember talks about Skyrim launch? and Fall Out releases?

    Btw did they patch the garage issue yet? I found my cars at the impound.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. VibraniumSpork

    @4 Low blow dude…still, kinda true though :D

    @2 It’s safe to say that it’s highly enjoyable, and it really does feel remarkable that it runs this well on current-gen systems. You should definitely check it out for the technical achievements alone, but you’ll probably stay around for the story and the action. I guess I’m maybe 20 hours in and it’s still making me smile, laugh and marvel on the reg.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Bloodstorm

    @5 I agree it’s overall very polished, and most obvious issues with single player and companion app are already patched a lot of developers have indeed something to learn from it.
    But still not perfect!
    I would not brag about cleaning skills if there was a coffee stain on my shirt.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. YoungZer0

    @2: Naw.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Moonwalker1982


    Hell yeah it is. It corrects every single mistake they made with GTA IV. I loved GTA IV but I also have to be honest, next to the story missions there wasn’t a whole lot to do and it became boring because it was nothing but buildings. Plus the missions that offered waaaaaay too little variety. All of that is great in GTA V. Then you got the driving mechanics and handling, the animations, the physics, the details, the graphics, the shooting and all else….is simply a ton better than IV. There’s little to complain here and only people who truly dislike this genre won’t know about it.

    Anyone who liked Sleeping Dogs and Mafia for example, I cannot imagine that they’d dislike GTA V, if so….I truly would be flabbergasted.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. mistermogul

    @3 – “It’s much better than GTAIV for sure.”

    Totally agree. It’s better in every way. In fact it’s by far the best GTA to date with the exception of the relatively poor radio stations imo…

    #10 1 year ago
  11. spazman

    benzie, ur doing the PR rounds I see, catching a bit of flack are we? Let me tell u, 5 was all, and I mean all about the money. the disc should have been marketed for what it is – DLC +, and priced at $20. If the consumer wanted to play online they’d knowingly pay extra for the access. It’s clear you’re ambitions are online – fair enough, but the consumer who you knew would buy the disc thinking they were getting a complete game shouldn’t have to pay for your online ambitions, that’s ur choice not ours. Speaking of which where was the beta, where’s this polish online? You’ve taken our money where’s the service? You’re right in one sense, you’ve got no competition in the industry which means you can treat us the hell you want, for now. And for the record, san andreas, where a lot of the missions in 5 are based from, was and is, the better disc game, so fuck your polish.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. DSB

    It’s better than GTA IV, but GTA IV was pretty bad in a multitude of ways. It’s also better than Gay Tony though, which was a lot better than GTA IV.

    While it should definitely be played by everyone and anyone, I’d say GTA V is overrated. I think most of the critics out there were too busy guzzling the hype to really take a critical look at it, or maybe they just didn’t play it far enough.

    I thought it was a pretty exceptional effort right up until the halfway mark (or what I’m assuming is the halfway mark). Then it seems like the writer just stopped giving a fuck. Close but not quite.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. UuBuU

    @3 better than GTA IV yes ~ but still worse than vice city or san andreas where the series hit its peak. Maybe not worse in terms of graphics, world detail or polished gameplay ~ but worse in terms of charm, setting and overall fun. That isnt nostalgia talking either as I played GTA 1 2 and 3 before vice city or san andreas. If it was nostalgia I would surely pick one of those as the best.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. stretch215

    For me this is the best gta hands down, and I’ve played them all. Comparing last gen (or earlier) gta to this is pointless. There is nowhere near this level of content in any console game released thus far, nevermind prior gta’s.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. UuBuU

    @14 I judge games by how long they hold my interest ~~ not by which technically has the most content or the most detailed game environment. So far GTA V is failing to hold my interest anywhere near as much as vice city or san andreas did. Its a fun game and lots better than IV but i just dont feel blown away by it

    #15 1 year ago
  16. Armitage Shanks

    @11 you honestly don’t think there is more than enough content in the single player alone compared to most other titles? without ever even touching the online mode? untouchable as it is at the moment.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. DSB

    Since when does quantity = quality though? If the content isn’t good, then it isn’t worth playing. I’d rather have fun for 6 hours than be bored for 15.

    I don’t think that’s a problem for GTA V when it comes to missions, they’re really pretty decent on the whole, and they’ve upped their game, but the activities are fucking shit though.

    I thought Saints Row The Third was uninspired with it’s minigames, but GTA V is soul-crushing. Why include a game of tennis that is so unbelievably boring? Why leave out Vigilante or Ambulance missions?

    Surely they could do better than that. It’s a small point against the game, but it’s there. Maybe they’ll add a bunch with DLC. Seems like an obvious thing to do.

    I think the real achievement of the game is just in the world itself. It’s so detailed it hurts the brain. I’ve never seen anything like that, and they absolutely blew Bethesda out of the water there.

    Either way though, talking about how perfect it is is just nuts. It’s huge and elaborate, and that’s impressive, but perfection? Don’t be silly.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. stretch215

    My point was that previous gta games (vice city, SA) aren’t even in the same league to me, so comparing them is pointless. Those games were awesome and I enjoyed them a lot, but gta5 is (imo) miles beyond those games. As far as perfection goes, well….it doesn’t exist. Gta 5 is flawed. Most definitely. But so is every other game ever created. Either way, I’m having a blast with it.

    #18 1 year ago

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