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Grand Theft Auto: Nearly Canned

As gamers you know doubt know the thrill of careering around a sandbox environment, opening fire on unsuspecting pedestrians and chucking grenades into hospitals. Just think of the fun you wouldn’t have had if Grand Theft Auto had never been released, eh? Well it turns out that the first ever GTA game was very nearly binned before it had seen the light of, as it was completely crippled with bugs.

Gary Penn, who worked on DMA design’s original GTA, said in a book called Replay: The History of Video Games that it kept crashing, and that the handling of the car was all over the place. It was only a chance meeting with psychotic coppers (thanks to another bug) that the game we know and love today was released.

‘It was almost canned,’ said Penn. ‘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 fucking time. So even if you did get something in the game, you couldn't really test it.

‘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. 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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