• GTA 3 initially had online multiplayer but it was canceled since there was “too much to be done.”
  • GTA Vice City and San Andreas also skipped online multiplayer.
  • GTA 3’s legacy continues with mods and remastered versions contributing to the strong performance of the GTA Trilogy.

Grand Theft Auto 3, the game that launched Rockstar Games into the stratosphere, originally included an online multiplayer mode which was eventually canceled. Alongside GTA 3, GTA Vice City and GTA San Andreas are the only other main entries in the series to not feature online multiplayer.

The scintillating success of GTA Online, which launched days after GTA 5 in October 2013, is a testament to the franchise’s potential as an online multiplayer affair. It turns out GTA 3 could also have had certain multiplayer elements had it not been for a late change of mind by the developer. Interestingly, GTA 3 skipping this avenue also set the path for the next few games that followed.


5 Most Popular Myths In The Grand Theft Auto Series

Over the years, fans have uncovered and investigated many mysteries in the GTA universe, with some being so elusive they’ve become outright myths.

On Twitter, former Rockstar Games employee Obbe Vermeij, who worked on GTA 3 as one of the two Technical Directors, revealed that the action-adventure game initially had multiplayer. Answering a fan’s query, the dev revealed that he “coded” GTA 3‘s multiplayer before it was scrapped. Vermeij stated that, since the 2001 game’s predecessor had this mode, it was also expected to feature something similar. He mentioned that even though the “basic gameplay was working,” the multiplayer part was binned by developer Rockstar Games UK (formerly DMA Design/Rockstar North) as there was “too much to be done.”

Moreover, Vermeij pointed out that similar efforts for Vice City didn’t bear fruit either. By the time San Andreas rolled out, the console generation was coming to a close and there was seemingly little incentive to make key changes to the existing blueprint, leading to the developer settling for a co-op mode. Further, he highlighted that, with GTA 4, things changed on this front as Rockstar Games hired “enough coders and level designers” to create an online multiplayer mode. All things considered, Vermeij’s tweet answered yet another fan query, having resolved popular ones before, such as why the GTA 3 protagonist didn’t have dialogue.

After more than two decades since its release, GTA 3 continues to generate significant interest from gamers. The appeal of this open-world game is such that the community is still building mods influenced by it. Case in point, a recent instance where a modder reimagined the world of GTA 3 with upgraded graphics by tinkering with the latest GTA game.

It’s worth noting that GTA 3‘s relevance today isn’t just limited to the passion project of some individuals but also shows up in the form of sales. In tandem with Vice City and San Andreas, GTA 3 has contributed to the strong performance of the GTA Trilogy, which features remastered versions of the three games.


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