Grand Theft Auto is headed to a television near you, in a brand new drama from the BBC. Rather than telling the story of Michael, Franklin, Trevor, Niko or even CJ, the upcoming program is focussed on the real people behind the game’s development.
The GTA special will be a 90-minute feature, focussing on Sam and Dan Houser, the reclusive brothers who created the original game. One year ago this week, both siblings accepted a Fellowship Award at the BAFTA Games Awards, presented by Hideo Kojima.
At the time, Dan explained:
Rockstar was founded [in Britain] with a mission statement that video games were the next mass-market entertainment medium, that they were uniquely interesting and powerful and that we as a company would serve two masters to prove this fact, combining the production values of movies with an obsession of gameplay above all else. Back in 1999, we began shouting this to whoever would listen. A few people laughed at us for our hubris, both in ourselves and in the medium. Most people simply ignored us.
Nobody’s ignoring them now – last title in the series, Grand Theft Auto V, generated more than US$800 million in revenue within 24 hours of hitting shelves in 2013.
The Rockstar Games docudrama is part of a major BBC effort to make Britain more digital, which also includes launching a season of coding-based activities and programs, and giving a million Micro Bits (a micro-computer similar to a Raspberry Pi) to students starting secondary school.