In the new Xbox history documentary it was revealed that GTA 3 could be Xbox exclusive, but Microsoft rejected Rockstar’s proposal. Although the first Xbox console did well without having this game at launch, it certainly would have had a unique effect on the industry to have this game. Since then, Rockstar has had a close relationship with PlayStation, allowing it to strike lucrative deals and participate in massive advertisements.
It’s no secret that GTA 3 changed the video game industry. Large-scale open world titles in 3D were finally possible and introduced a level of freedom that no one had ever experienced in a game before. Being such an influential title, the Grand Theft Auto trilogy ended up being one of the defining titles of that generation. The idea that GTA 3 could be Xbox exclusive is just amazing, as well as that it would have been rejected.
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GTA 3 could be Xbox exclusive
All three GTA games from that era (GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas) eventually made their way to the original Xbox, but months or even years after their initial release on PS2 had passed. However, spinoff games like Vice City Stories have never left the PlayStation ecosystem. It is very interesting to see how the documentary about the history of Xbox addresses that moment when Rockstar proposed Microsoft Grand Theft Auto 3 as an exclusive and the reasons it was rejected.
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At that moment, the platform was looking for external developers to complete its catalog. Microsoft rejected the concept because it did not believe that Rockstar could take the series from 2D to 3D and did not think that the previous titles were sufficiently successful. Microsoft rectified this error with Grand Theft Auto 4. During the E3 2006 press conference, then-Xbox CEO Peter Moore revealed that Grand Theft Auto 4 would debut on Xbox 360, as well as the temporary exclusivity of its expansions.
In 2001, Rockstar Games approached Microsoft to pitch GTA3 for the original Xbox but the Microsoft execs outright rejected them – thus forcing them turn to Sony to make the title a limited time exclusive for the PS2, according to a new released documentary by Xbox. pic.twitter.com/ijrJUGlc6g
– Ben Turpin (@videotech_) December 14, 2021