10 Facts And Trivia You Never Knew About The First Grand Theft Auto

The original Grand Theft Auto started a phenomenon that has grown into some of the best games around. Here is some trivia about the first title.

Grand Theft Auto is one of the most popular and enjoyable video game series of all time, with the franchise having sold over 220 million copies to this point, being beloved by gamers all over the world.

With huge open-world maps allowing for creativity and adventures being mixed with incredible stories that will keep you gripped throughout the sixteen games within the franchise.

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However, it all started with the original Grand Theft Auto, being released back in 1997, with the success of that game helping to launch the entire franchise, and within this article, we shall reveal 10 facts and trivia about the game that you may not have known.

10 Banned In Brazil

Hearing that a Grand Theft Auto game has been banned in a certain country isn't a massive surprise anymore, with this happening several times, but to think that the original was banned is a shock, as it was through this game that the word was spread.

However, in Brazil, the original wasn't allowed, with the country simply banning the game, claiming that kids shouldn't be playing video games like this

It is quite surprising that the game got banned because the original is incredibly tame in comparison to what the franchise would eventually go on to become, but clearly the name and the idea of the game was enough to cause a controversy in the country.

9 Rockstar's Original Name

When any avid gamer hears the name Rockstar, the Grand Theft Auto franchise is one that always pops up, with the company being firmly responsible for the tremendous success that has come.

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However, something a lot of people actually do not know is the fact that the company behind the series and other classics such as Bully and Red Dead Redemption didn't always have that name.

The first two GTA games were actually released under Rockstar's original name, which was DMA Designs, with the company changing when they were acquired by Take-Two, switching it to Rockstar North.

8 Scoring System

The original version of the game might not have been played by the vast majority of people who know and love the series at this point, but the for those who didn't, the game is actually quite different to how the games are now.

Within the game, players were given the task of growing their scores by completing a variety of missions, and they were only able to move on to the next level after they had reached a certain limit.

This was a more arcade-style game, with less of the free-roaming that is so popular now, showing just how far the game has managed to develop since its inception.

7 Silence Please

The Grand Theft Auto series is well known for its fantastic dialogue, with the voice actors often recording thousands and thousands of lines in order to make the games feel as close to real-life as possible.

However, that is a far cry from how the original game was played, as the first GTA actually had no spoken dialogue at all, which is a total change to the over 1,000 swear words that were recorded for GTA V. 

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Gamers did have the option of using a cheat code though in order to get a super sweary version of the game if they wanted to, which was odd because the game was already rated 18+ anyway.

6 Winding Up MPs

While the original Grand Theft Auto was banned in Brazil, one place it avoided that problem in was the United Kingdom, which is one of the biggest markets for the entire series.

GTA was a tremendous hit in the UK and one of the reasons for that was the promotional campaign that the game had, with the publicist, Max Clifford, purposefully riling and annoying MPs in the country.

He would leak stories to newspapers in order to gain free publicity for the game, with the consumers seeing how edgy and different it was, building the anticipation brilliantly.

5 London Calling

The Grand Theft Auto franchise has typically taken place in America, with all of the games taking place in the United States, other than the original GTA's two expansion packs, which were both actually set in London.

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The first took place in 1969 with the second being in 1961, which is likely due to the serious success that the game had in the country, with the makers wanting to capitalize on the popular market.

While the game hasn't returned to an overseas location, it is certainly an interesting opportunity that GTA could explore in the future.

4 Female Lead Character

This fact really only concerns the PC version of the original game, but that version was actually the first, and to this point the only GTA, where a woman has been available as a lead playable character.

While the PlayStation version of the game featured only men, on the PC there were eight playable characters, with four being men and four being women, allowing players the chance to hit the streets with a female.

However, because of the limited technology at the time, the graphics weren't exactly crystal clear and there wasn't much difference between them, plus they didn't talk so it made it even harder to distinguish.

3 Impressive Sales

Grand Theft Auto games have never had an issue in selling plenty of copies, with Grand Theft Auto V selling over 100 million copies, and that has been something that the series has managed to do from the very start.

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The original version of the game managed to sell an impressive three million copies, which is an incredibly solid number considering the game was first released back in 1997, showing how popular it was.

Clearly there was something special about this original game that fans simply gravitated towards, which is why it is no wonder they continued making more.

2 The Original Idea


While everyone knows the game Grand Theft Auto name, with the game being so popular, what many fans don't realize is that the franchise nearly had a totally different name, with the first pitched idea being something very different.

The founders of Rockstar (who were not known as Rockstar as we now know), were pitched an idea that was called Race & Chase, with the game having a very similar idea with stealing, slaying, and driving cars in pursuit of cash.

Because the idea was so good, the company signed the idea but changed the name to the one we all know and love now, with GTA being a much better name.

1 Cops And Robbers

While the planned name for Grand Theft Auto might have changed, not many people know that one of the core ideas of the entire game itself also shifted, with the original plans being for a cops and robbers style concept.

This idea would have allowed gamers to play as both sides of the coin, being able to play as the police officers as well as the criminals, with the mission-based game having different quests to complete on each side.

In the end, it was determined that simply playing as the criminals was more fun and that aspect of the game was focused on and fleshed out into the game that was actually created.

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