Where has time gone… Grand Theft Auto V is NINE YEARS OLD today. Yes, you read that right. NINE (9) years old! Grand Theft Auto V launched on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 back on September 17th, 2013 and has since been brought to PC along with 2 upgraded versions, each for PlayStation 4 & Xbox One, and most recently the ‘Expanded & Enhanced’ (albeit Rockstar confirmed it was no longer called that) for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. Grand Theft Auto V, in the last 9 years has spanned across 3 console generations including PC and has sold over 170 million units worldwide, making it one of the best-selling videos games of all time. In fact, it is one of the best-selling pieces of media entertainment in history.
That being said, let’s take a little trip down memory lane to where it all began… that sweet, simple teaser trailer countdown which Rockstar Games posted on their Newswire on October 28th, 2011. That was almost 11 years ago. Feel old yet?
The countdown felt almost a lifetime. The speculation started, the community was pumped, the internet was breaking. Question after question; Where will it be set? Would Niko return? When will it release?… But then 2nd November, 2011 arrived. The day of the trailer. The moment we had all been waiting for. “WHY DID I MOVE HERE? I GUESS IT WAS THE WEATHER”… and boom, presented with the most gorgeous looking beach only to be less than 20 seconds in and our location was confirmed, a return flight to Los Santos! The first official trailer (albeit it looks nothing like the final game almost 2 years later) still gives me that nostalgic feeling of being a teenager when it dropped.
The following day though, Rockstar Games officially announced Grand Theft Auto V was in ‘full development’ (whatever that means), stating it was the ‘largest and most ambitious game Rockstar has yet created’.
Following the official announcement at the end of 2011, Rockstar Games went into what almost felt like hibernation. It was months and months before Grand Theft Auto V was spoken about, with ever answer using the typical word of ‘SOON’. When was soon? A few weeks, a few months, a year? 2 years? This created a lot of frustration within the community because everyone wanted to know more. That being said, in an Asked & Answered article on July 12th, 2012 we got our first official screenshots. Does this take you down memory lane?
“Then of course our art team said that no single shot could encapsulate the game properly, so they gave us another…”
Skipping ahead almost a year from the announcement, there was still no indication on when GTAV would actually release, however on October 30th, 2012, that all changed. SPRING 2013 was the release window we had been given. That meant in 6 months time we could be playing the next instalment of the series! I still remember the day I read this article… I was sat on my school bus on the way home, I pulled up Twitter and saw the tweet from Rockstar Games. I silently screams inside with excitement!
Fans were gagging for more information on the game and finally came the thick of it. Rockstar confirmed on November 5th, 2012, that a new trailer would be landing on the 14th, and then 3 days later on the 8th November they confirmed that Game Informer’s December 2012 cover story would feature and 18-page special from a hands-on preview they had and would be filled with a ton of information about the game. If you ever managed to read the story, you’ll know it was a true masterpiece and answered many, many demanded questions by fans!
With every title, especially Rockstar Games who strive to develop only the best, always comes a delay. On January 31st, 2013, only a few months prior to launch, Rockstar Games announced that Grand Theft Auto V would be releasing on September 17th, 2013. This meant a short delay of 4 months, which felt like almost a kick in the stomach considering we had been waiting since the end of 2011 for this game. Rockstar stated that this was to ‘polish’ the game off and that they only wanted to release the best. I mean, they wasn’t wrong… GTAV sold over 11 million copies in the first 24 hours and made over $800 million, hitting $1 billion within 3 days. That, is quite simply INSANE.
Obviously we could go into every single announcement, trailer, screenshot release etc since launch, however we would be here for a very long time! But this is more for a quick trip down memory lane to appreciate and recognise just how this adventure began for Grand Theft Auto V and to celebrate the 9 years we have had so far.
Following the successful release on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, in 2014 came what was probably one of the biggest surprises of all. Grand Theft Auto V, an all-new upgraded version, coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The best part… it was announced at Sony’s E3 conference… which rarely every happens!
“And now lets take a look at something from a company that I have had a personal relationship with since the PS2 Era. Their games have kept PlayStation gamers up late at night for generations, as they pioneered new genres and new experiences. Take a look”… ~ Andrew House, President and Group CEO of PlayStation.
I am thrilled to announce that Grand Theft Auto V is coming to PlayStation 4 this Fall (2014). Grand Theft Auto V takes full advantage of the power of the PS4 and features a host of enhancements and features for players to discover. Plus the current community of PS3 players and Xbox 360 players will have the ability to transfer their GTAOnline progress and characters to the PlayStation 4. ~ Andrew House, President and Group CEO of PlayStation.
Featuring an array of visual upgrades and technical improvements, Rockstar announced later that night on June 9th, 2014 that Grand Theft Auto V would be coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One AND PC. I still think to this day, watching that trailer I get chills down my spine. The sheer fact that the announcement took place at E3 alone is enough to surprise anyone, but it was fantastic to see GTAV get the upgrade which it deserved.
But that wasn’t all for Grand Theft Auto V. 6 years later and Rockstar Games announced that GTAV would be coming to New Generation Consoles (i.e PS5 and Xbox Series X|S) in 2021 and would feature further graphical, visual and technical upgrades. As we said before, it came with a delay, not once but twice, and actually dropped earlier this year in March 2022.
Undoubtedly, it looks fantastic on the latest software, running at 4K and 60FPS, but this is something PC players have had since day 1 of its PC launch, meaning the latest version hasn’t come to PC yet.
Grand Theft Auto V, despite being 9 years old and being released across 3 different console generations, is still one of the biggest and most detailed games available on the market. No matter what your view is on this, I think we can all say that Rockstar Games have made a massive achievement with the game and it’s great that both story-mode and GTAOnline is going strong almost a decade later. Of course, there are things which has let it down such as the abandoned story-DLC which was announced many years ago and the drip-fed smaller GTAOnline content of recent (we won’t go into GTA+), but overall from day 1 of announcement this game has brought a community together and created many fond memories!
BUT WHAT IS NEXT?
Exactly… what’s next for the Grand Theft Auto Series? The simple answer is, we know it exists, but we don’t know a single thing about it. The likelihood is, it’ll be called Grand Theft Auto VI, be a sequel as such to GTAV following on in time (set present day), and if rumours are true, will take us back to the glitz and glamour of Vice City and surrounding areas. There is very little to no information about the next installement, but hopefully Rockstar Games officially announce it ‘soon’, just like they did with GTAV back in 2011. Until then, it’s just a guessing game.
However… Happy 9th Anniversary, Grand Theft Auto V!