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Has Rockstar’s Dan Houser Revealed A Major GTAV Spoiler?

Posted on November 12, 2012 AT 12:25pm

In a new interview, Rockstar head writer and vice president for creative Dan Houser gives some new details for the upcoming Grand Theft Auto V–one of which might be a pretty big potential spoiler.

Before we get to that comment, let’s go over a few other things that Houser said while talking to The New York Times. So—if you don’t want to read anything that might be a spoiler, stop reading here. You’ve been warned! I mean it!

Houser is asked what’s left to do in the process at this stage of GTAV‘s development. “We are editing, fixing, removing, replacing, adding, avidly. It’s the equivalent of, if you wrote a book, and you had two million spelling mistakes,” he notes. “And you had to do them by hand, in a language you didn’t understand. But once it’s working, you can sit there and watch the world go by. I still find that magical about them.”

In terms of what inspires the Grand Theft Auto series, Hauser says that it’s hard for Americans to fully appreciate how influential American culture was on those growing up in Britain in the ’70s and ’80s. So, the GTA series–as it stands now—is, in some way, a “British response to Americana, rather than America.” They’re games that exist in a satire of “American media culture”—but they aren’t specifically taken from any one piece of media. Hauser explains that he purposely avoids watching shows such as Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, or The Wire, and has only seem a small bit of The Sopranos. “Wherever it’s too close to crime, gangster, underbelly fiction, and it’s supercontemporary,” Hauser explains, “I decided, for professional reasons, I have to avoid it.”

And then, there’s this answer to New York Times reporter Chris Suellentrop’s question of how GTAV‘s three-character structure helps Rockstar get closer to reaching the ambitions they have for the medium:

“Just at the conceptual level, the idea was three separate stories that you play in one game. The next bit was, let’s not have the stories intersect once or twice but have them completely interwoven. It felt like it was going to be a real narrative strength: you get to play the protagonist and the antagonist in the same story.”

That last line is especially interesting. The “heroes” of Grand Theft Auto have always been closer to traveling the road of the anti-hero. Still, the games have been their stories, their struggles—so they’ve been the protagonists. Saying that you’ll also get to play the antagonist means—at least from how I’d read that line—that, in some way, you’ll also have the chance to play as a character working directly against the intentions of the other playable characters.

So, does that mean that out of the three main characters, one might—in a sense—be the “bad guy”? It’s a very interesting proposition, especially if players are playing that character at a point where they don’t fully know that they’re the antagonist just yet.


Source: The New York Times

Eric L. Patterson, Executive Editor
Eric L. Patterson got started via self-publishing game-related fanzines in junior high, and now has one goal in life: making sure EGM has as much coverage of niche Japanese games as can realistically be crammed in. Eric’s also active in the gaming community on a personal level, being an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming and consumer rights. Stalk Eric on Twitter: @Eric_EGM. Meet the rest of the crew.

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