Timeline: A Brief History of Grand Theft Auto
The release of Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto V, which raises the art of homicidal thuggery to dizzying new heights, comes 16 years after GTA was first unleashed, leaving a trail of burnt rubber, broken bodies, and lawsuits in its wake. A send-up of America's sex-and-blood-soaked underbelly, the multi-billion-dollar video-game franchise has influenced popular culture in ways that we never could have expected. Here, a high-speed trip down memory lane.
Post–September 11, Rockstar Games (which purchased DMA Design in 1999) postpones the release of GTA III. Developers remove a scenario involving a terrorist but allow players to have sex with prostitutes, then kill them for cash, which leads to a ban in Australia and I.D. checks at Wal-Mart. It's the year's best-selling game.