Original Grand Theft Auto was nearly canned

Game was delayed over numerous bugs

Gary Penn, one of the team that created the iconic series Grand Theft Auto for Dundee-based developer DMA design has revealed the the first game came close to never being released.

Penn, now the boss of indie studio Denki Games, admitted to Gamasutra in a recent interview that the development on the first game stalled and the original publisher BMG nearly canned the project.

He explained: "[The original GTA] was a real mess for years, it never moved on, it never went anywhere," Penn noted. "It never really felt like it was going anywhere. It was almost canned. The publisher, BMG Interactive, wanted to can it, as it didn't seem to be going anywhere. There are probably two key things it fell down on. Two critical things. One of them is stability, which is a really boring one but it crashed all the f***ing time. So even if you did get something in the game, you couldn't really test it. The designers couldn't test stuff out or try things out, it just kept crashing as simple as that. That was a boring one, but that was pivotal -- so that was the first step to get that knocked out."

Penn continued: "Now the other thing that was a problem was the handling -- the car handling was appalling. The core of playing was fundamentally broken. One day, I think it was a bug, the police suddenly became mental and aggressive. It was because they were trying to drive through you. Their route finding was screwed I think and that was an awesome moment because suddenly the real drama where, 'Oh my God, the police are psycho -- they're trying to ram me off the road.' That was awesome, so that stayed in."

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