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LA hotel can't tell the difference between GTA 5 screenshot and actual LA

UPDATE: Hotel replaces GTA 5 screenshot with picture of actual LA.

UPDATE 30th June 2016: The Figueroa Hotel has noticed its mistake and replaced the screenshot of Grand Theft Auto 5 LA with an actual picture of LA.

Here's how its website looks now. As you can see, the screenshot has been replaced with a lovely photo of real-life LA. Everything is present and correct and all is right in the world again.

ORIGINAL STORY 29th June 2016: Three years after release, the fidelity of GTA 5's Los Santos is still wowing people: a hotel in LA has been caught using a screenshot of the game as a photo of downtown LA.

A user on Reddit noted a ratty-looking screenshot of downtown Los Santos on the website of the Figueroa Hotel, a downtown landmark that was recreated in the game as the Hookah Palace.

Closer inspection suggests it's been lifted direct from the fan-created GTA Wikia site, which suggests a particularly cursory use of Google Image Search by whoever put it up. The Figueroa's version is called "downtown-la.jpg", which might have caused the problem.


They also failed to notice that the Hookah Palace is on the wrong side of the street to its real-world inspiration, the absence of LA Live or its car parks, or any of the many, many ways in which the GTA 5 map fails to correspond to LA's actual street layout. While many of the buildings are a very close match, the locations are only approximate, in the same way that GTA 4's Liberty City was a recognisable but cut-down version of New York.

The Figueroa is something of an industry landmark itself - it's signature three-column side elevation is normally decorated with games branding for the week of E3 (this year it was for Gwent) and the bar is the preferred haunt of the US games industry when they're at the show. It was closed this year, so expenses accounts had to be worked out elsewhere.

The hotel has previously been used to advertise GTA itself. Spooky! Or, just coincidence born of lazy site admin. It's probably going to be that, actually.

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Jon Hicks avatar

Jon Hicks

Audience Development Director, ReedPop

Jon has been writing about video games and technology since 2002, during which time he contributed to dozens of publications and spent seven years as Editor-in-Chief of Official Xbox Magazine. He has a terrible addiction to shonky open-world games.