Grand Theft Auto III was a "galvanising" factor in the games industry deciding to fight its corner, according to Ted Price, CEO of Ratchet & Clank developer Insomniac.
As well as driving hardware sales and demonstrating that games had "finally grown up", Price told GamesIndustry.biz, "it also shined a spotlight on an issue crucial to our industry's survival - that as works of art, games have a clear right to the same [US] first amendment protection as other media."
"Even if GTA hadn't come along we'd still be fighting to protect our rights to express ourselves creatively as artists.
"However, I think GTA III was extremely important in galvanising our own industry into standing up and responding to the narrow-minded measures being proposed by poorly informed and opportunistic legislators," he explained.
Frothing mentalist reaction to GTA IV has been relatively sedate compared to some of the early anger at GTA III, unless you count Jack Thompson's ongoing crusade to get it banned.
And other industry figures, quoted in the same GamesIndustry.biz piece, now shrug their shoulders at the backlash, with Game Developers Conference organiser Jamil Moledina pointing out that "daring artists always fall under fire from some segment of the population looking to ascribe their problems to people telling make-believe stories".
Which reminds me - I blame sombreros for Ellie.
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