The recent Xbox documentary series Power On: The Story of Xbox revealed that the team passed on the chance to bring GTA 3 to the original console in 2001 (possibly as an exclusive) — the decision made by some "newly important executives".
Following this, the 'Father of Xbox' Seamus Blackley, who was a key part of the team that created the original Xbox, has admitted that he was one of the people who was "sceptical" about the game's chances, accepting that he was "wrong, but so was everyone else in that room."
"Not going to lie - I was sceptical about the transformation of GTA - a 2D game - into 3D. And I was wrong. But so was everyone else in that room. It goes to show you what big experts we all were."
Blackley also revealed a few more details about the pitch from Rockstar Games. It was reportedly from Dan Houser, the co-founder and president of the company, who actually was much more interested in an Austin Powers project:
"Sam from RS came and pitched. He was really excited about one game - a sure hit - and much less so about another, which he left to the end. That last five minutes was GTA3. The exciting game he was pushing? Austin Powers. True story."
It was pointed out by Blackley in the comments that instances like this "happen all the time", with examples brought up such as Activision rejecting Guitar Hero before later "[buying] the publisher who signed it - just to get it."
He's also not necessarily sure whether GTA 3 would have been Xbox's "second killer app along with Halo", explaining that "it would have been a different game and a different launch." In any case, it just wasn't meant to be...
Would you have bet on GTA 3 for Xbox based on the original games? Let us know in the comments.