Grand Theft Auto's radio stations were created after a chance chat on a beach

Grand Theft Auto's radio stations were created after a chance chat on a beach
Rockstar Games are “seeking perfection” for GTA 6
Bang Showbiz - Gaming / VideoElephant

There are few better feelings in gaming than when you're cruising along in your favourite car in Grand Theft Auto and the absolute perfect track comes on your radio station of choice.

Music has been synonymous in GTA since GTA 3 in 2001 when stations were introduced in the game.

It's since become a phenomenon, with GTA 5 and GTA Online now having 26 stations, plus a custom one that can be modified by the player, featuring around 750 different tracks from every genre.

GTA Online has seen collaborations with a number of stars, including Dr Dre releasing an EP in the game in 2022 - Rockstar now even has its own record label called Circoloco Records.

And it all stemmed from a chat on a beach.

"By chance, I met one of the guys who had co-founded Rockstar on the beach in Long Island, New York," Lazlow Jones said to Indy100.

"I told him I was headed to E3 (an annual trade event for the video games industry which no longer runs), he asked why and I said because I'm a technology radio journalist, and he said 'me too, me and my buddies started a game company a couple of years ago'.

"So I popped into their office in Manhattan to do a story about this games company that wanted to make games for adults which was a novel concept at the time.

"I met (co-founder) Dan Houser on that day and we hit it off creatively - as soon as he said they wanted to make radio inside video games, and I had been playing video games since I was a kid, we then started riffing on some ideas of how to satirise America.

"A couple of weeks later, we were in writing meetings and coming up with all sorts of commercials and radio stations, DJ banter, over the course of a few months and it came out within GTA 3.

"Next thing I know, I've got an office at the company and we're making these games that millions of people are loving, I'm super blessed to have worked with such creative people and on such creative projects."

Jones was astonished with the level of success GTA 3 managed to achieve and what the Grand Theft Auto series would also achieve going forward.

"After GTA 3 came out, it was an 'oh my God' moment, I couldn't believe I was part of this thing," he said.

"With each game, we advanced things, not just with graphics but story telling mechanics and behaviour of NPC characters."

Jones worked at Rockstar from 2001 to 2020 before leaving to focus on his family and then co-founding Absurd Ventures with Houser.

Jones spoke to Indy100 ahead of the launch of Absurd Venture's A Better Paradise Volume One: An Aftermath fictional podcast out June 10.

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