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Rockstar opens up on making Grand Theft Auto V and the risk of 3 protagonists

How risky was it to have 3 protagonists in GTA V?
How risky was it to have 3 protagonists in GTA V?
Rockstar Games

Rockstar North art director Aaron Garbut spoke with Edge about creating Grand Theft Auto V, including developing a game when working with real cities, GTA Online, and having 3 playable characters, which was a risk for the franchise that has always kept to one playable character.

"[Having] multiple characters was a leap of faith. It was an interesting idea, and it felt like we could do interesting things with it, but it also felt like a change to the core of the game that might backfire. I think it really worked out. It’s so hard during development to get perspective – you get so used to looking for the problems that it becomes almost impossible to step back and see the positives. On this project, despite living in that world for years, playing the missions again and again, it felt fun. It felt great to experience the world, to see it evolve from the basic building blocks to the finished detailed results with all the scenarios and life added. I still think of it like a real place in a lot of ways. That’s an amazing thing – to build what feels like a real place and then for nearly 30 million people to live there."

Grand Theft Auto V allowed players to use Michael, Trevor, and Franklin both individually and in group play, swapping between characters for different vantage points and abilities. While it is definitely a change to how the franchise plays out, it seems to be one that has paid off as the technology behind the swapping of characters has been widely applauded.

Did you enjoy having three characters to use in Grand Theft Auto V? Who was your favorite character? Sound off in the comments below!

Be sure to check out Edge's full interview with Aaron Garbut, Rockstar North's art director.

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