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This Celebrated GTA From 2002 Was Never Meant to Be a Standalone Video Game but a DLC of Grand Theft Auto 3, Reveals Former Rockstar North Dev

Published 11/21/2023, 7:48 AM EST

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GTA Vice City is considered to be among the most iconic Grand Theft Auto installments in the long-running series. Upon its release, it went on to become a critically acclaimed and commercially successful video game from Rockstar. Coming after an amazing predecessor, GTA 3, it’s still seen as one of the most popular entries among the fans. However, there’s a big secret behind this game that will leave the players shocked in 2023.

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A former studio developer recently put out a blog in an article while talking about GTA Vice City. In his blog, he mentioned all the unknown aspects related to its development phase and how the team was planning it after GTA 3. It seems like it was never meant to be a standalone game of its own, according to the ex-Rockstar developer.

GTA Vice City was planned as a DLC expansion of GTA 3!


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Obbe Vermeij is a former technical director of Rockstar North. Just recently, he’s started writing a series of blogs based on his personal experience working with Rockstar Games. He’s mostly known for his contribution to the original trilogy (from 1997 to 2001) and Vice City, which is the fourth main installment in the franchise.

In one of his newest blogs, Vermeij revealed a lesser-known fact about GTA Vice City. He revealed that the game was originally “supposed to be a mission pack to gta3”. Furthermore, he wrote that while making the plans for a DLC expansion of GTA 3, the team realized that it (Vice City) was looking “sufficiently different from gta3”.


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That’s when the ultimate decision was made to turn it into a standalone game. “This was quite far into the project. (maybe 6 months or so)”, he said in the blog.

Vermeij also revealed that Vice City didn’t really have any code changes from Grand Theft Auto 3. However, it did involve constructing an entirely new city and a new mission. “The artists and level designers used the gta3 code base for a while until the programmers were available to make code changes.”

Development on GTA Vice City was “stressful”


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Although GTA Vice City was a hugely successful game after launch, its development phase was quite stressful, according to Obbe Vermeij. “There was a tight deadline (1 year) and high expectations. In addition there was the pc conversion of gta3 in the same year.” But he also acknowledged the fact that his team was highly motivated to make it happen due to the past success of GTA 3 and the number of awards it won.

“Everybody just powered through on adrenaline but it became clear that we needed a bit more of a gap for the next game,” he said while explaining the reason behind the making of Vice City despite facing a pressure situation.


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The way of working on the game was mostly similar to what the team did with the predecessor. But Vice City had more celebrities showing up in it to provide voice acting for crucial characters. “In those days actors still considered games a step down from movies”, the director wrote in his blog.

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Written by:

Mintu Tomar


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“70 percent of my body is made of Call of Duty.” I am a die-hard Call of Duty lover and a passionate gamer. My deep interest in this franchise is the sole reason I love covering all things CoD.
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Edited by:

Abhishek Kumar Das