The BBC, one of the largest television and media broadcasters in the world, has announced it is making a feature-length drama focusing on Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto franchise.
The new program will concern itself mainly with behind-the-scenes explorations of the creation and development of Grand Theft Auto, as part of the corporation’s “Make it Digital” initiative, which is dedicated to higlighting the benefits of coding, programming and digital technology to young people.
It’s refreshing to see a broadcaster recognizing gaming as something to be taken seriously – too often, the medium is used as a scapegoat, ridiculed, or finds itself at the mercy of completely fabricated scaremongering from news outlets around the world (*cough* FOX NEWS *cough*).
According to veteran TV broadcaster Guy Crocker, the program will take the form of a feature length drama exploring the creation of the series. The mention of “drama” seems to suggest that it won’t feature actual interviews with senior member of Rockstar such as Dan Houser, but will instead be a fictionalized portrayal.
Hmmm. Let’s wait and see, shall we?
Grand Theft Auto is one of the major success stories in gaming. The franchise largely concerns itself with satirising American popular culture – to the point where many gamers don’t realize that it’s actually an entirely British creation: although Rockstar Games is now based in New York, the company’s roots like with Rockstar North in Edinburgh, Scotland. The first Grand Theft Auto game was released back in 1997 on PC and PlayStation. Despite being a strictly top-down, 2d affair, it still managed to attract a huge amount of controversy – which was later revealed to be deliberate, as Rockstar had hired notorious PR mogul Max Clifford to deliberately circulate scare stories among the press in order to drive up publicity.
The first and seond games in the series were only minor successes at best. As time went on, however, Grand Theft Auto became the juggernaut franchise it is today, perhaps almost entirely due to the groundbreaking Grand Theft Auto III in 2002. Following on from the success of Grand Theft Auto, Rockstar has published a string of other successful games: Bully, Manhunt, Red Dead Redemption… the company may have made its name on the back of carjacking, but these days its portfolio is diverse – if still open to courting controversy.
There’s currently no date attached for broadcasting by the BBC.