Grand Theft Auto
Grand Theft Auto, abbreviated to GTA, is a video game series created by David Jones and Mike Dailly then later by brothers Dan and Sam Houser, and game designer Zachary Clarke. It is primarily developed by Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design) and published by Rockstar Games. The name of the series is derived from “grand theft auto“, a term referring to motor vehicle theft.
The series is set in fictional locales heavily modelled on American cities, while an expansion for the original was based in London. Gameplay focuses on an open world where the player can choose missions to progress an overall story, as well as engaging in side activities, all consisting of action-adventure, driving, third-person shooting, occasional role-playing, stealth, and racing elements. The subject of the games is usually a comedic satire of American culture, but the series has gained controversy for its adult nature and violent themes. The series focuses around many different protagonists who attempt to rise through the ranks of the criminal underworld, although their motives for doing so vary in each game. The antagonists are commonly characters who have betrayed the protagonist or his organisation, or characters who have the most impact impeding the protagonist’s progress.
Video game developer DMA Design began the series in 1997, and it currently has ten stand-alone games and four expansion packs. The third chronological title, Grand Theft Auto III, was widely acclaimed, as it brought the series to a 3D setting and more immersive experience, and is considered a landmark title that has subsequently influenced many other open world action games and led to the label “Grand Theft Auto clone” on similar games. Subsequent titles would follow and build upon the concept established in Grand Theft Auto III. Film and music veterans have voiced characters, including Michael Madsen, Ray Liotta, Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper, Danny Trejo, Gary Busey, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Penn, James Woods, Joe Pantoliano, Debi Mazar, Jenna Jameson, Frank Vincent, Robert Loggia, Ricky Gervais, Andy Dick, Debbie Harry, Kyle MacLachlan, Phil Collins and Peter Fonda. The series has been critically acclaimed and commercially successful, having sold more than 150 million units, as of September 2013.