The history of GTA has been somewhat more illuminated in recent years than previously. To this end it is now common knowledge that the original design doc called it Race ‘n’ Chase. It was only ever meant to be a temporary name, even when at the time DMA had a habit of keeping temporary names for the final product. Through inaction, mainly.
But not in this case.
Although the final chosen name of Grand Theft Auto has an origin which is lost to time (at least no-one has staked that claim) it wasn’t the only suggestion. At the moment I am sorting through all my old DMA documents (both mine and those which have fallen into my possession!) and am delighted to have found a notebook page with the title game names. It part it reads like so:
Race ‘n’ Chase
- The Ton
- Floor It!
- Highway to Hell
- Sunday Drivers
- Driven Insane
- Hazard Lights
Judging by the date on the following page, this would have been September 1995. Doing a ton, of course, refers to achieving 100mph in British parlance. Interestingly enough, Carmageddon has nothing to do with the real game of the same name. Just one of those obvious neologisms, I suppose. It’s worth pondering how the development of the game might have changed with a different title. Each suggests a slightly different feel, doesn’t it?
Update: I’ve been informed that a likely candidate for coming up with the GTA name was Andrew Wright of BMG. Updated update: Yep!