Rockstar North Isn’t Happy About Former GTA Developer’s Blog
GTA developer who worked on Vice City and San Andreas will no longer be sharing the game's behind-the-scenes details on his blog.
Obbe Vermeij was the technical director at Rockstar North from 1995 to 2009 and worked on iconic GTA games like GTA, GTA 2, GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas. In his personal blog called insiderockstarnorth, he shared some interesting stories and anecdotes about working on these popular games from the franchise. Unfortunately, as per his update posted on the same blog, “some of the OG’s there (at Rockstar North) are upset” about the articles and so, he took them down.
GTA Developer Blog Gets Taken Down
In his blog, Obbe mentioned many details about the inner workings of game development that fans of the franchise would’ve loved to read. Here are a few snippets via web archive because as you know – once something’s on the internet, it stays there.
Development of San Andreas (2003-2004)
Vice City was a mad dash to get done in time. Everybody was worn down and it was clear another one year game was not an option. In addition; it was obvious that Vice City hadn't innovated that much and another 're-skin' wasn't going to fly. This is why San Andreas got 2 years of development time.
Development of Vice City (2002)
We did the PC conversion of gta3 ourselves. This took the programmers about 6 months. In the mean time the artists and level designers were able to get straight onto Vice City. This worked well as there aren't that many code changes from gta3 to Vice whereas it did involve building a whole new city and new missions. The artists and level designers used the gta3 code base for a while until the programmers were available to make code changes.
Personally, it was nice to get some insights about the games we’ve been playing for years, but regrettably that wasn’t the opinion of the higher-ups at Rockstar North. This is the update that Obbe has posted on his blog and all his previous posts have been wiped. He had started this blog only on November 10, 2023.
Sorry you missed it.
November 22, 2023
Today (22 Nov 2023) I got an email from R*North.
Apparently some of the OG's there are upset by my blog. I genuinely didn't think anyone would mind me talking about 20 year old games but I was wrong.
This blog isn't important enough to me to piss off my former colleagues in Edinburgh so I'm winding it down.
I would love for Rockstar to open up about development of the trilogy themselves, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen anytime soon.
Maybe I'll try again in a decade or two.
Till then, Obbe.
Obbe Vermeij initially joined as a designer and coder and worked on the programming of the game Space Station Silicon Valley. He’s credited in a lot of games such as Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, Grand Theft Auto IV, The Lost and Damned and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (via Fandom).
He ended up exiting Rockstar North in 2009 and now owns GabberGames studio, based in Ottawa, Canada.