Nobody expected Grand Theft Auto III. Even though it was to become the very definition of a massmarket game by virtue of the sheer weight of its sales, its pre-launch momentum was practically zero. For everyone who wasn’t Rockstar, GTA III just happened. Six months later, Videogame City had a new Mr Big. It became, arguably, the flagship brand for the PlayStation2 – a role typically reserved for a firstparty production. It’s given publishers and developers inspiration for lucrative hits and has been used as a baseball bat by political opportunists with which to beat videogames they allege to be a threat to social stability.