Grand Theft Auto IV or GTA IV, was released in 2008 and grossed over $500 million USD…in its first week of release! With Hollywood studios searching for the next ‘comic book movie’ genre, there’s renewed interest in video game franchises. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that one or two studios have come calling to Rockstar Games about making a Grand Theft Auto movie, but the video game maker wants no part of it. Co-founder Dan Houser states, “We’ve been offered, many times, and it’s never appealed. The money’s never been close to be worth risking one’s crown jewels. Our small dabblings with Hollywood have always left us running back to games.” Probably a wise decision at this point as the track record for video game adaptations is anything but stellar. Still, someone will eventually crack the code but Houser seems very leery of the Hollywood process. ”The freedom we have to do what we want creatively is of enormous value. The second you go near Hollywood, people seem willing, or have been forced, to lose a lot of that control. That sort of amorphous ‘that won’t test well’ attitude is exactly how we don’t work. We’ve always tried to think of stuff that’s innovative and new, and to go into a world where that’s not encouraged would be horrible,” muses Houser.
So…a Grand Theft Auto movie is out, what about television? “It’s much easier to imagine GTA as a TV series, as the form is closer, but I still think we’d be losing too much to ever actually do it. We’ve got this big open-world experience that’s 100 hours long, and that gives players control over what they do, what they see, and how they see it ,” said Houser. He continued, “A world where you can do everything from rob a bank to take a yoga lesson to watch TV, all in your own time. How do you condense that into a two-hour or 12-hour experience where you take away the main things: player agency and freedom? We love games and we think we’ve got something to say in games, and that games have plenty to say. So shouldn’t we just continue doing that?”