At this point, Rockstar Games aren't just making games; they are essentially in the business of putting out cultural landmarks.
It only takes one look at the past couple of decades to see just how ridiculously successful the GTA franchise has been. In 2021, the series has gone from being the product of rebellious and anti-pop culture attitudes to a major player in the cultural zeitgeist.
However, this kind of fame comes with a level of misinformation and misconceptions. Here, we take a look at some of the things that people, and even fans, get wrong about the GTA franchise.
5 common misconceptions about the GTA franchise
#5 Claude shot Maria
The story of GTA III ends in a rather blockbuster climax. However, one of its most divisive aspects was the fate of Maria. At the end of the game, both Claude and Maria manage to save each other's skins and come away relatively unscathed.
Maria then chooses to go on a significantly annoying rant, during which the screen abruptly cuts to black and a gunshot is heard. This led many to believe that Claude shot Maria in an attempt to shut her up since he can't exactly talk.
While that is somewhat funny on a very dark level, it is very uncharacteristic for Claude. Rockstar even answered fans' queries related to this mystery but kept it just as vague as the game did.
Even though Claude is a ruthless gun-for-hire, it makes little sense for him to shoot Maria in cold blood. The prevailing theory is that because Claude can't talk, he chose to fire a gun in the air to shut Maria up.
#4 GTA Online debuted with Grand Theft Auto 5
Many new fans assume that GTA Online is a product of Rockstar's ambition to include an online component to Grand Theft Auto 5. However, that simply isn't true as Grand Theft Auto Online was always meant to be a separate entity.
It originally came into existence alongside GTA 4, albeit on a much smaller scale than its iteration with GTA 5. Rather than it being an extension of Grand Theft Auto 5, GTA Online should be considered an entirely separate game.
Although Online uses the same assets, locations and features of GTA 5 and 4, it simply isn't an extension of the base game. To that end, the game will be released as a standalone title this year.
#3 Player characters have always been able to swim
Most gamers today don't think twice about diving into a large body of water in an open-world game, but that wasn't always the case in GTA. Previously, in games like Vice City and Grand Theft Auto III, player characters would instantly suffocate and drown when in a water body.
This was likely in place to restrict the game boundaries and add a bit of challenge to the game world. Having said that, it was mostly a result of the technological limitations of the time. Being able to swim was a massive deal in GTA San Andreas, but one that newer fans probably take for granted.
Game manuals and guides have tried explaining it through massive conveniences such as the waters of Liberty City being incredibly toxic as a result of pollution or Vice City having shark-infested waters all around it.
#4 Michael was in the Witness Protection Program
One obvious thing that even fans of the game seem to get wrong is believing that Michael was ever in the Witness Protection Program. In actuality, Michael had cut a deal with FIB agent Dave Norton to help him fake his death and move to Los Santos.
In exchange, Michael pays Dave a six-figure sum every month, which is how he is able to live comfortably in the city. If Michael were in the WPP, he would not be able to live as lavishly as he does in Vinewood and wouldn't have access to all the excesses that he does.
Even Lester remarked that Michael's situation doesn't look the standard Witness Protection Program.
#5 Roman calls every other second
For a while, Roman Bellic's incessant calls for bowling became quite the meme within the community. Because of the memes, people assumed that Roman calls throughout the day and in short intervals, making for one extremely annoying experience.
However, anybody who played GTA 4 after seeing the meme would be quite surprised to see that Roman doesn't call that often. While he does tend to have really bad timing and his phone calls can get pretty annoying, they aren't as frequent as some players believe.
In fact, his phone calls are often a welcome break from the murder and grim reality of Liberty City.