The Grand Theft Auto franchise’s creator, DMA Design, one of the company’s co-founders, is the most recent casualty of Take-Two and Rockstar’s prickly legal trigger finger.
Developer Mike Dailly’s early DMA Design videos were removed from YouTube due to copyright issues. Dailly founded the graphics engine for GTA, the foundation of the series’ now-famous aesthetic, and was the company’s first employee.
Rockstar was the one who initially reported the incident on Twitter; according to Dailly, “they’re giving copyright warnings to any GTA video they can locate, including the two of my prototypes. So now they’re attempting to stop the release of any game-related work by anyone, as well as any archival development materials.”
A link to access a 25-year-old GTA 2 design paper had to be removed after being affected on Dailly’s Twitter as well.
Two films that Dailly uploaded to his YouTube channel were representations of early 1990s graphics prototypes that he had created. The first included rotating, isometric prototypes of city streets and structures, while the second featured top-down prototypes.
The third consisted of Grand Theft Auto beta test video. When PC Gamer contacted Dailly for a response, he revealed that the claimed justification for the takedown was uploading development footage without authorization.
Rockstar bought DMA Design in 1998, renaming it Rockstar North. Grand Theft Auto was created as a result of it, giving the now incredibly enduring series its vigor.
Lemmings, a series that later became beloved, was also created by Dailly while he was employed by DMA Design. Shortly before the 1999 release of Grand Theft Auto 2, Dailly left Rockstar North. David Jones, the formal creator of DMA Design, quit shortly after the release of GTA 2. The other DMA Design founders also left around the same time.
Except for used physical versions, the original Grand Theft Auto is not now offered for purchase in any manner. Since then, Dailly has made clear efforts to shield himself from Rockstar’s legal team on his social media accounts. “All GTA development materials have now been deleted.