Speaking to Develop, Rockstar North boss Leslie Benzies has suggested that Rockstar's willingness to linger over the "last five to ten per cent of work" is key to Grand Theft Auto's success. Such delaying tactics are possible, he explained, because Rockstar doesn't waste too much time pondering the mere act of making money.
"We will never ever go 'Ooh, there's an avenue for revenue!'," Benzies told Develop in a new interview. "If any of us say that... we'll go do something else. Everyone here, we sat at home aged 11 playing these games obsessively, we dreamt about making them, and here we are. I do this every day and it's my job. A dream job."
Rockstar will always take its time finishing a game, he went on. "That last five to ten per cent of work on the game makes a huge difference. This level of perfection is not seen or understood in the majority of the industry. We can all make a car drive down a street in a game, but can you do it in style? Everyone's got characters that are walking around but can they walk?"
Accordingly, you can put any fugitive hopes of an annual GTA release to bed. "We won't be doing things every year in a cycle. A year just isn't long enough to do this job. It might have been on the old consoles, but not on this."
That's not to say that Rockstar is oblivious to commercial considerations, Benzies added. "Obviously money is in there somewhere. There is a guy who tells us our download stuff makes this much and our disc stuff makes this much.
"But that's the depth of it. That helps us decide if we'll do download packs to re-release on disc. But really... we'll make what we want. No, wait, don't print that: we'll make what people want, and that's the truth."
In the second part of the interview, Benzies went into more detail about how Rockstar North operates - apparently, more than 1000 developers worked on GTA 5 across several Rockstar studios, a headcount that is now practically requisite for a project of this scale.
"Once upon a time the car models have four moving parts," Benzies commented. "Now there are 15 alone in a car's retractable roof. The detail is ten, twenty times greater than GTA IV, so it takes ten, twenty times more people.
"We've been blessed with more power on these machines, so we continually have to push it - plus these guys are freaks. When they see a convertible's roof moving back, the artist is excited by it, and that's the kind of people we like to have working here. Isn't that how all the great things on the planet exist, because someone thought something was cool?"