Creating Grand Theft Auto and Zzap!64: the life and stories of Gary Penn

Why was it nearly canned? Because “it was going nowhere and it was awful” – Penn isn’t one for mincing his words. “I don’t know why I used to defend it every week,” he says. “I think I just believed that it could be something, as did Sam Houser who used to work there as well … he was one of the other few people who believed in it.” (Sam Houser went on to co-found Rockstar with his brother Dan and do very well out of GTA, of course.)

There’s an audible sigh as I ask Gary Penn what was so awful about it, as if it’s painful to remember. “For a start it rarely worked,” he begins. “It would crash constantly – full-on, full-scale crashing, not sort of ‘oh, slightly inconvenient’. You couldn’t play it for more than a few minutes.

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