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Grand Theft Auto’s five biggest controversies as GTA 6 trailer looms


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The gaming world has been left in a state of excitement after Rockstar Games confirmed the first trailer for Grand Theft Auto 6 is coming next month.

This year has marked 10 years since GTA V hit shelves around the world.

That game is the second best-selling game of all time with only Minecraft, which is accessible on mobile, ahead in the standings.

So, as a first trailer creeps closer, GB News now takes a look at five of the biggest Grand Theft Auto controversies from over the years.

GTA 3: Violence after 9/11

The year 2001 will always be remembered for the awful terror attacks on New York City.

Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives as terrorists steered two planes into the World Trade Centre, with another hitting the Pentagon and a fourth plane downed after passengers attempted to wrestle back control.

Just over a month after the attacks, Grand Theft Auto 3 was released.

The game faced a big backlash due to its violence, especially so soon after such a tragic event.

Players are able to shoot their way around a fictional version of New York, named Liberty City.

Former Rockstar chief Dan Houser later explained how the game was changed following 9/11, saying: “As far as I recall, we changed the colour of the cop cars so they weren’t identical to NYPD, we altered the flight path of a plane so that it didn’t look like it was flying into or behind a skyscraper, and we removed one mission as it made a reference to terrorists.”

San Andreas: ‘Hot Coffee mod’

There was controversy in 2004 when GTA: San Andreas came out.

A minigame named ‘Hot Coffee’ was found by modders who found code that, when enabled, allows protagonist Carl Johnson to have animated sexual intercourse with an in-game girlfriend.

San Andreas was known for its thrilling mini-games but this one was cut prior to the title’s official release.

Rockstar initially refused to comment and, when they did, laid the blame firmly at the door of the modders.

Among those to criticise was Hillary Clinton. And that brings us to the next point…

GTA IV: Hilary Clinton’s face?

GTA IV released in 2008 and brought fans back to Liberty City, seven years after GTA 3 came out.

Yet there was more controversy when fans travelled to the Statue of Happiness, which is based on the Statue of Liberty.

The statue seems to resemble Clinton in the face, while it’s also holding a coffee cup – a clear dig at the Hot Coffee scandal from a few years previously.

The 3D model is named ‘stat_hilberty01.wdr’ in the game files for the game, too.

Rockstar have never confirmed or denied the theories.

Chinatown Wars: Drugs

Chinatown Wars came out in 2009 for the PSP and mobile.

And while it wasn’t as violent as other games in the series, it was still controversial.

That’s because users are able to sell drugs.

Anti-drug abuse charities were quick to condemn the game, with parents of children also concerned.

However, the minigames remain playable today and Chinatown Wars was another Rockstar hit – even if it was lacking in other areas.


GTA V: Torture scene

Grand Theft Auto

Grand Theft Auto V sparked a huge backlash with the inclusion of a torture mission


Rockstar have been known to toe the line between acceptable and unacceptable.

Arguably their boldest call yet, however, came when GTA V released in 2013.

Trevor Phillips, one of the protagonists, takes part in a mission where he tortures an informant for the FIB (FBI).

Players have to choose which tools to use and the scene plays out violently, with blood and gore on show.

Many of the game’s early critics said the mission was intended as a satire of America’s own debates on torture – but the company still attracted huge criticism as a result.

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Written by: radioroxi

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