Rockstar Changed “About 1%” Of GTA III After 9/11

Starting yesterday, Rockstar Games has created a two-part Q&A about Grand Theft Auto III to commemorate the just-passed 10 year anniversary. The second and final installment went live a couple of hours ago, and they finally got around to addressing the fact that GTA III came out less than 2 months after the September 11 attacks. Rumors have long held that significant content was cut from the game at the last minute, offering fans the tantalizing possibility that at some future point, an restored edition could be released that would greatly expand the already epic game (and give us a little insight into what was deemed so controversial in the wake of the attacks.)

Alas, the reality isn’t as fantastic as people had hoped. It’s true that changes were made to the game due to concerns about sensitivity in the wake of 9/11, but they were relatively minor, involving one mission and a change in packaging:

Q: How different would be #GTAIII if 9/11 wouldn’t have happened?

About 1% different. We removed only one mission that referenced terrorists and changed a few other cosmetic details – car details, a couple of ped comments, lines of radio dialogue etc – the game came out a very short time later. The biggest change was the US packaging which remixed the previous packaging into what became our signature style – because the previous packaging [which was released as the cover of the game in Europe] was, we felt, too raw after 9/11. All of the more extreme rumours are amusing but impossible to have been achieved in such a short period of time.

That’s actually pretty interesting. I’d love to play the mission, though I’m willing to bet that even 10 years on, certain segments of the population would get a little too upset about adding a terrorism-referencing mission to the game.

Other tidbits:

* The Dodo was designed to be deliberately unflyable because GTA III is meant to be primarily driving and shooting.

* There is no ghost island.

* They actually considered a multiplayer component to GTA III before abandoning it to make Vice City.

You can read the whole thing on the official Rockstar site.

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2 Comments on Rockstar Changed “About 1%” Of GTA III After 9/11


On January 5, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Not true, the dodo is flyable. Though it takes a lot of practice and patience. Ghost island is also sort of true. It’s actually the background of the opening cut scene.


On January 5, 2012 at 6:46 pm

What about the school buses and children, elderly people, limbs that can be blown off NPCs? Did the removed mission involve an exploding ice cream truck?