Grand Theft Auto 5 is about more than shooting things, according to Rockstar boss Dan Houser, and long time GTA fans know this: it’s an adventure full of cultural satire, humor, kick ass music, and about holding a mirror up to the dregs and upper crust of society. It’s come a long way since GTA 3, and Houser knows this.
Speaking with the [a]list daily, Houser said Rockstar was surprised over the success of its franchise, and says the continued success of it can be attributed to the firm staying true to its instincts, instead of relying on focus testing.
“Focus testing in 1999/2000 would never have predicted that a 3D gangster game was going to blow up,” he said. “Then having done that, no amount of focus testing would say do it in the ’80s. So doing stuff that is true to yourself, as opposed to what the market thinks it wants, that’s definitely something that we’ve always done and hopefully other people have followed suit.”
Even with the enormous growth of the games industry since the first GTA iteration, Houser feels Rockstar continues to grow alongside its audience.
“The audience has been gradually expanding – one of the things we wanted to try and do — and we did to some extent – is reach out to some older audience with LA Noire and go, ‘Hey, this game is a little bit slower. It’s definitely historically interesting. It’s more like interactive TV shows. It’s not twitch-based like some of those games. You might have a go with it and see what you think’,” he said.
“With content like that, you’re always trying to find a way of reaching different audiences. Even with the action games, we’re trying to constantly make them easier to play, and put different difficulty levels in them so the barely-skilled 18-year-old with very short nerve endings can play at the hardest level possible. And those of us who are more afraid or whatever to begin with can play on the easiest level.
“The games are hopefully getting good enough as pure adventures, and they’re interesting enough to play, that it’s not just about shooting anymore.”
GTA 5 is out today on PS3 and Xbox 360.
Thanks, GI International.