The Big Detail That Could Have Changed GTA Forever

The "Grand Theft Auto" series is legendary – "GTA 5" changed gaming entirely in ways that aren't super noticeable but are incredibly impactful when you look into it. "GTA 6" has so much hype that there have been multiple massive leaks about it. However, that was difficult to imagine before the first game came out, when the series' creators weren't confident that it would be successful. In fact, the game looked a lot different, and players actually navigated the city as a dinosaur.

BBC sat down and spoke with Colin Macdonald, who worked at DMA Design when it was creating "Grand Theft Auto." According to Macdonald, the staff at DMA Design voted that "GTA" would be the least likely to succeed out of the seven games they were working on at the time.

Later in the interview, Macdonald explained that the original "GTA" went through a ton of changes early on, which could contribute to why workers weren't assured that it would be a success. When the game was first created by programmer Mike Dailly, it was meant to show off how things could look from a top-down perspective in 3D. In this early design, the player controlled a dinosaur that would run around the city and destroy the buildings.

There were quite a few changes the game had to go through in order to get to the "GTA" games people know and love.

From Grand Theft Dino to Grand Theft Auto

Colin Macdonald continued the story in the BBC interview, discussing how Mike Dailly added in cars that drove around to make the city feel more realistic. Another person who worked at DMA came up with the idea of letting the player drive a car instead of rampaging as a dinosaur, and the game changed forever.

However, it still wasn't quite "Grand Theft Auto" yet. At that point, the game was called "Race 'n' Chase." Then, yet another worker brought up the idea to let the player get out of their car and get in other cars. That's when "GTA" was born, and the team set to finish developing a game that was quite different from its origins.

Macdonald pointed out that all these changes were actually great for the game. The team was able to figure out exactly what worked and what didn't, and there was plenty of time for making the details stand out. All-in-all, by the time the game was set to release, Macdonald said that they knew they had something special.