To preserve the work Conner composed, Andersen pitched the idea of installing multiple radio stations in the game.
The Grand Theft Auto series is renowned for many things, including its installments’ zany stories, complex characters, and open-world gameplay. It’s also known for its radio, which hosts numerous memorable songs, though the series nearly didn’t get a radio to start out with, according to PC Gamer.
Original GTA developer DMA Design’s Colin Andersen reportedly helped get a radio into the Grand Theft Auto series. The first game was going to implement one style of music, composed by Craig Conner, who had been working on music from a variety of genres. To preserve the work Conner composed, Andersen pitched the idea of installing multiple radio stations in the game, which would each play different types of music.
While Conner and some at DMA Design were very much onboard with the idea, others were either indifferent toward it or felt it wasn’t a necessity. Despite naysayers at the studio, however, the sound team still felt strongly about the idea and, further, felt it could be a platform for local musicians.
Eventually, DMA Design and GTA publisher Rockstar recognized the popularity of the radio and wanted to use licensed as opposed to the music produced by local artists, as was Andersen’s wish, in future GTA games. This caused a creative divide between DMA’s sound department and Rockstar’s co-founders, though GTA 2 did use Andersen’s idea of a radio DJ and fake advertisements.
Andersen and the DMA Design sound department’s legacy lives on in the GTA series to this day. While the focus has shifted away from fake radio DJs and advertisements, the games have preserved the idea of using a variety of radio stations to play music while riding around in a vehicle. Grand Theft Auto 5‘s song library alone was fairly expansive, including music by Waylon Jennings, Bob Seger, and Simple Minds.
With Rockstar yet to announce the sixth installment in the core GTA franchise, there’s no telling whether the radio station component will make a return, though it is highly likely given its continued presence after more than two decades. Further, the game’s song library could be even larger than Grand Theft Auto 5’s as a result of the series’ massive popularity, though only time will tell what Grand Theft Auto 6 would entail altogether.
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Source: PC Gamer
Brandon McIntyre is a writer and avid gamer from Albuquerque, New Mexico. He considers himself an expert on breakfast burritos and always enjoys a coffeeshop.
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