Rockstar claims 9/11 attacks had little influence on Grand Theft Auto III
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11th, many companies began to actively censor their in-development projects, digitally removing the Twin Towers from movie skylines and avoiding mention of terrorists or even the depiction of aircraft. Some assumed that the attacks had a lot of impact on that year's hottest game, Grand Theft Auto III, which was released just a month later. Though in their recent retrospective Q&A, Rockstar reveals that wasn't the case.
"We removed only one mission that referenced terrorists and changed a few other cosmetic details – car details, a couple of ped comments, lines of radio dialogue etc" an anonymous Rockstar rep revealed. "The biggest change was the US packaging (...) the previous packaging was, we felt, too raw after 9/11."
Another question regarded GTA III's famous plane, The Dodo, which was almost impossible to get in the air. Many assumed this was to prevent gamers from crashing it into buildings, which might've been cause for irresponsible reporters to call the game a "9/11 Simulator" (just look at what they called Doom). Though the rep assured fans that it was kept on the ground so players would focus on the shooting and driving aspects of the game.
"The Dodo was never meant to be flown very much at all, and it certainly wasn’t grounded as a result of 9/11."
In addition to the 9/11 questions, the full retrospective offers a lot of insight into the making of the game, and there's even some rare concept art to be seen. Definitely go and check it out!"