A group of hardcore Grand Theft Auto 5 fans finally achieves its goal in uncovering the motherlode of cut beta content, revealing how far the game had come since development.
Grand Theft Auto 5 is a title that is constantly changing based on the demands of its playerbase, years after it was first released. When rumors surfaced that Rockstar Games had single-player Grand Theft Auto 5 DLC scrapped in favor of online multiplayer map development, it wasn't because the developer thought that single-player content was a losing proposition - it was because fans had fully embraced Grand Theft Auto 5's vibrant online community.
The number of significantly different iterations of Grand Theft Auto 5 and, in particular, its Grand Theft Auto Online multiplayer component, have been through are likely too high to count. For some fans, however, it isn't about tracking all of the changes that have been made to Grand Theft Auto 5 over its life cycle. A group of dedicated Grand Theft Auto 5 fans have been looking for the "holy grail" of the game's development cycle, and they may have finally found it, as they revealed recently that they have located concept art from Grand Theft Auto 5's humble beginnings.
Grand Theft Auto Forums user ZT discovered the new development images, which were found through the digital of artist Steven Walsh, who has since taken them down at Rockstar's request. The images are still out there, however, and they are a piece of history that illustrates some key proposed features for Grand Theft Auto 5 that were then cut. The most interesting of these cut features is a piece of information that confirms the suspicions of the Grand Theft Auto Online datamining community - the online multiplayer for Grand Theft Auto 5 was originally going to be faction-based, with players able to choose between supporting The Police, The Vagos, Bikers, and more.
The images appear to suggest that once players joined a faction, they would then begin assisting their new gang in overtaking parts of the online map. While it's a vague guess, it appears that the proposed faction system would have been at least partially inspired by the gang war system found in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas.
Beyond the baseless speculation, however, it's an interesting peek into what Grand Theft Auto 5, which is already one of the most critically revered and financially successful games of its generation, could have been. Given how passionate the community surrounding Grand Theft Auto 5 and Grand Theft Auto Online is, though - as illustrated by their commitment in uncovering these very images - whatever changes Rockstar made were likely for the best, and fans of the series will probably defer to the developer's wisdom when it comes to cutting content prior to release.
Grand Theft Auto 5 is available now for PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.