In honor of Grand Theft Auto III‘s release on iOS and Android devices, Rockstar has decided to answer your burning questions about one of the most famous video games ever. They even reveal that truth about Claude’s lack of vocality. Turn back now if you don’t want to know THE TRUTH…
It may now seem obvious that people should all talk in games, but this was not necessarily the case in 2001, certainly not in an open world game. We were making up a lot of procedures as we went along, and we decided that the NPCs (Non Playable Characters) should talk and we would have to figure out how to make them talk (using motion captured cutscenes, something that had never really been done before, at least not on the scale we were doing it). So we decided that the game’s protagonist would not talk, partly to aid people identifying with him, but mostly because we had so many other problems to solve and this did not seem like a major issue. […] Oh and in San Andreas, CJ calls Claude a mute because he does not talk and CJ finds this unnerving.
So there you have it. Claude isn’t a mute, he just the original Johnny Tightlips.
Rockstar also confirmed that the three GTA “eras” are completely separate universes and will never cross over. So if you’re hoping to see Claude again, you can forget it:
[T]he “universes” are the worlds interpreted at different definitions, 2d, 3d and high definition, so we felt brands and radio / back ground characters would exist in both, but 3 dimensional characters would not. This is the logic (as far as it could be considered logical) behind it – so no, we don’t believe any GTA3 characters could exist in the GTA4 universe.
But following Rockstar’s logic, this means that Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto V will take place in the same “universe.” So who knows, we might get to see Niko one more time.