The release of Grand Theft Auto 3 (from 3,99€ at buy) is now almost exactly 20 years ago. Nevertheless, the open-world action game is making the headlines again these days – and not only because of the technically rather staid re-release as part of the Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition collection. Because also in the documentary “Power On”, which deals with the history of the Xbox, an interesting detail is revealed: Grand Theft Auto 3 almost became an exclusive game for the first Xbox console.
As can be seen from the third chapter of the documentary, a then small team presented itself with a pitch at Microsoft in 2001 to offer a game for a potential exclusive release. However, Microsoft rejected it and in retrospect should certainly regret it. Because the team was none other than Rockstar Games, the pitch was about GTA 3. At the time, Microsoft was not convinced that Rockstar would be able to implement its visions and the comparatively moderate sales figures of its two-dimensional predecessors did not particularly contribute to this to arouse great interest.
Of course, we now know what course the whole thing took after this rejection. Rockstar Games approached Sony and, after some negotiations, was awarded the contract. Grand Theft Auto 3 came on the market exclusively for the PS2 in October 2001 and became a huge hit. It wasn’t until two years later that the open-world action game appeared for the first Xbox console.