What Rockstar said about “Universes”

My apologies if you got a sudden rush of excitement in thinking that this is entirely new news; however, I think some might find this as news to them! After seeing several GTA fans talk about or speculate on the return of characters from previous games to GTAV, be it Carl Johnson from San Andreas and/or Tommy Vercetti from Vice City, I thought it was worth bringing up a statement Rockstar made in December of last year.

While a lot this will seem quite obvious to many of you, with forum postings still popping up on the matter, and after a quick sweep of Twitter, it seems there are still fans under the impression that these characters are either factually or possibly returning.

Now, nothing against them, I can certainly understand why they would think so, especially after a mainstream game source hyped this last year.

So what I wanted to bring to light is this statement Rockstar made last year within a fan Q&A of theirs. Someone had asked about characters crossing “universes”. You can read the full question and answer below, paying particular attention to the parts I highlighted in bold on the answer:

SammiiDoogles asks:
There are many references to GTAIII characters and brands (El Burro graffiti in LC for example) in GTAIV, but do any characters (other than Lazlow) actually exist within both ‘universes’? Is that where Donald Love went? Did he hop dimensions into the GTAIV universe?! Plot twist!! Are the two universes completely separate? I understand it’d make almost no sense having two Liberty City’s but is there any way we’ll see characters from GTAIII return? GTAIV has some amazing characters, but some of the characters in the III era are just unforgettable.

Rockstar says:
El Burro is referenced as he was also referenced in GTA 1, so it felt appropriate that he should cross “universes” – the “universes” are the worlds interpreted at different definitions, 2d, 3d and high definition, so we felt brands and radio / back ground characters would exist in both, but 3 dimensional characters would not. This is the logic (as far as it could be considered logical) behind it – so no, we don’t believe any GTA3 characters could exist in the GTA4 universe.

Now, while this question and answer wasn’t specific to GTAV, I think what we can deduce from it is that what they said about GTAIV applies to GTAV as well – given that they are within the high definition interpretations of these fictional worlds.

That makes perfect sense if you think about it. Imagine if characters from the GTA 3 trilogy crossed over to this new interpretation of Los Santos, specifically CJ. Wouldn’t it seem odd to think that the history CJ had with GTA: San Andreas’ neighborhoods, the layout of the streets, the size of the map, all suddenly completely wiped out and replaced with a more broader city?

There are those, however, who say that this is the “bold new direction” Rockstar is taking by bringing back older characters. But that is unlikely given that they issued this statement a month after GTAV was announced with its trailer.

Of course, as mentioned by Rockstar, this does not apply to in-game branding and radio personalities. While we don’t yet know for certain, I’m sure when Lazlow isn’t busy playing rugby or making strippers cry, he’s hard at work recording and producing radio content for GTAV.

On a separate note, you may have noticed we haven’t yet seen many night time scenes from the game assets released so far on GTAV. If you want to get hyped, make sure you check out the video “NightFall” by Colin Rich – a “three minute tour of light through the City of Angels”.