The company wanted to focus on game development, not lawsuits
Dan Houser, one of the leaders and a co-founder of video game developer Rockstar, says that the entire company was affected by the Hot Coffee incident that involved Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and modded content.The executive says that the entire affair was upsetting for the company and draining at the same time, because it forced the team to focus on controversy rather than on creating more content for their series.
Gamasutra is quoting Houser as saying that, “The massive social decay that we were supposed to induce hasn't happened. So in that regard, a lot of those debates that used to go on, they're not such a big deal now.”
“We never felt that we were being attacked for the content, we were being attacked for the medium, which felt a little unfair. If all of this stuff had been put into a book or a movie, people wouldn't have blinked an eye. And there are far bigger issues to worry about in society than this,” the developer believes.
Hot Coffee was not created by the company, but still, it was forced to apologize for putting the content into Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, even if players were not initially able to access it.
The company was also hit with lawsuits, which it has since then settled.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was the game that cemented the reputation of the franchise and showed how capable Rockstar was when creating open-world experiences.
At the moment, the same studio is working on Grand Theft Auto V, which is supposed to arrive on the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 during the spring of next year.
The game will return to Los Santos, a virtual recreation of Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, and will offer three core game characters that players will switch depending on the situation.