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GTA V: why bigger is better

Rockstar's co-founder has spoken about how GTA got so big, and why three playable characters will work in GTA V.

Nic Healey Senior Editor / Australia
Nic Healey is a Senior Editor with CNET, based in the Australia office. His passions include bourbon, video games and boring strangers with photos of his cat.
Nic Healey
2 min read

Rockstar's co-founder has spoken about how Grand Theft Auto (GTA) got so big, and why three playable characters will work in GTA V.

(Credit: GTAV.net)

In a massive interview with The Guardian, Dan Houser, Rockstar co-founder — and co-writer of all the GTA titles — spoke about the design decisions around the new title, including why older characters won't be making an appearance.

Nico had a particular kind of story, and we're trying to make this different. We might allude to things from that world, but we didn't want it to feel like, well, here's the opposite of an immigration story; we wanted a fresh take on what it means to be a criminal in this world of hyper-real Americana.

In terms of the much-lauded size of Los Santos, Houser jokingly suggested that Rockstar made the area so enormous just so people had enough room to fly in. He added:

We're using the environment to let us have toys we couldn't have had otherwise. And, equally, we're using the story and environment to introduce missions that can be more extreme. In some ways, we wanted the game to have a larger-than-life Hollywood feel; the stories we heard in LA, we wanted to capture them in the game. If the place isn't informing what we're doing, we're not using it correctly.

As for characters:

At that point, we were deep into the work on the two DLC episodes of GTA IV, and we thought, "well, the bits where all the stories cross over is kind of cool, so why don't we just do that in one game?" So, OK, let's just do multiple characters.