ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Grand Theft Auto History Part Four

Updated on November 18, 2013

Modding Community and Ratings

After the success of Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto Vice City, Sam Houser had an idea in his head that would push the boundaries of the PlayStation 2 system, as well as the RenderWare engine. He wanted this new project to be as huge as possible. The setting was the west coast of America in early 90’s.

Besides pushing of technological boundaries, Rockstar Games were set on pushing another boundary: that one of the ESRB Mature rating. Extensive research was done as to what can be put in the content of the game and still retain the Mature rating. If ESRB labeled the game as Adults Only, then major selling chains such as Wall Mart would not sell it in their stores, and that in effect means way lower sales.

The game in itself was done with all the explicit sexual scenes in it, but this was later covered so as to not breach the M rating, although Rockstar Games had in mind to release a patch for the Windows version of the game which would unlock that content. In such way they could actually control, albeit to an extent, who gets the patch and avoid the dreaded Adults Only rating. They locked the content on the disc for the PlayStation 2 version. But there was one thing that Rockstar Games did not consider in this equation. That thing is the modding community. The modding community for the Grand Theft Auto series has grown over the years and it was flourishing. Players who were passionate about the GTA games made mods for it including skins for pedestrians and characters, as well as cars and garages. These people were either professional or amateur programmers who took the code from the PC versions of the games and edited it in any way possible. Rockstar has been silently supportive of this community from the very beginning, even including in the Terms of services for this new game clause which would enable players to legally modify the game. These modders were on the tail of the locked content even from the release of the PlayStation 2 version of the new Grand Theft Auto video game, but due to the limitations of the system they were not able to access it. They were eagerly waiting for the Windows PC version.

This new Grand Theft Auto would be as big and as controversial as both of previous 3D universe games. With huge open world come many big possibilities, and video game community accepted it with arms wide open.


Are you a fan of GTA?

See results

Grand Theft Auto San Andreas

Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, or simply abbreviated as GTA San Andreas, was released in 2004 for the Sony PlayStation 2 and in 2005 for the Microsoft Windows and XBOX console. The game was a commercial and critical hit, with both critics and players heaping praise on to it. It was last of the main games in the so-called 3D GTA universe.

This game was huge, with the map covering a whole county, or a state, of San Andreas, a fictional representation of the California and Nevada states, with three cities: Los Santos, fictional Los Angeles, San Fierro, fictional San Francisco and the fictional Las Vegas aptly named Las Venturas. Besides these three main cities, there were small towns and villages on the map, as well as a huge desert and ocean spaces, including several rivers and forests. The team at Rockstar North really pushed the technology of the PlayStation 2 system and RenderWare video game engine.

New aspect of the video game was something that Rockstar Games kept away from their games as long as possible. The RPG element. Players were able to customize their main character the way they wanted it, including the customization of the hair, body, clothes and even cars. Almost everything in this game was open for customization. Main character had abilities that were upgradeable, such as the driving or fling skill. Some people praised this new element, others detested it, but they all loved the game.

The game starts with the main character, Carl CJ Johnson, returning from Liberty City to Los Santos for his mothers’ funeral, only to find his family and his friends in disarray. The story follows the main character as he tries to tie the loose ends connecting his family and friends. The story was bigger and more elaborate than the one in the previous games, including long side-missions such as the casino heist and appearance of various characters from previous games, such as Leone Salvatore, Ken Rosenberg and Paul Kent. Rockstar Games outdid themselves yet again.

That thing which was consistently good from the beginning of Grand Theft Auto series was the sound and sound effects. They were updated alongside the game engine and sounded more realistic than in the previous games. There was a lot more music in the Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, with ten music stations and one talk station, including a proper original musical score for the game. The stations included Radio Los Santos, the home of gangster rap, and such stations as K DST, old rock music station, and of course WCTR, West Coast Talk Radio. For the voice talent in this game, Rockstar wanted to push unknown voice actors, such as Young Maylay who gave voice for the main character, but of course they could not go without celebrities such as Samuel L Jackson or Axl Rose, of the Guns ‘n’ Roses fame.

Controversies did not pass this game. Starting from the fact that the main character was African-American (for the first time in video game history) was a gang member, and continuing on the Hot Coffee incident. That locked content from the beginning of this article was discovered within 24 hours of PC version of the game being released. It was spread like a wildfire across the internet. What it practically unlocked were the scene with CJ, the main character, having intercourse with one of his many girlfriends in the game (with clothes on) and also a sexual mini-game. This raised a lot of controversies, with ESRB temporarily labeling the game Adults Only, and it even led to the Congress hearing. Later versions of the game retained the Mature rating and were shipped without the controversial content on the disc.

All in all, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas was a milestone game at the time, with huge open world and story. It was the best selling game for the legendary Sony PlayStation 2 video game console. Just like the first two games it picked up numerous awards, despite the controversies.


Part Four – End

This game had a huge impact on the video gaming community and it also signaled the end of an era. With new consoles and hardware entering the market, the Grand Theft Auto series were ready for the jump from 3D to HD universe. Their biggest project up to date was a success, but it also left a wound with the Hot Coffee incident. The incident helped, in a way, the video game industry to more feverously reconsider the rating system for the video games. Sam Houser did not want to include similar things in the next reincarnations of the game. The lesson was learned the hard way.

The 3D universe will be expanded with two new games, the effective prequels to the Vice City and GTA III, titled Grand Theft Auto Vice City Stories and Grand Theft Auto Liberty City Stories. These games would be released on the Sony’s new handheld console, the PlayStation Portable. They would explore this 3D universe even further on a handheld that had the hardware almost the same as PlayStation 2. While these games were produced, Rockstar took their time to develop the next main title in the series. The next game will simply be named Grand Theft Auto IV.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)