recently had the opportunity to interview Simon “Psy” Elliott, the founder of GTA4.tv and GTA-SanAndreas.com. Here is what he had to say!
RockstarBase: I notice that your site is based purely off GTA:IV, as we know; the hype and everything for GTA:IV will eventurally die off. what is the future of your website? Do you plan to covour the entire GTA series one day?
Simon “Psy” Elliott: Well obviously the first website I ran (specifically about GTA) was GTA-SanAndreas.com, then I moved on to GTA4 as we got closer to that game. The hype is certainly dying off now but I’ve been working on a brand new site for the past 6 months, and it’s nearing completion now. It should be up and running in the next few months. It will cover all of the Grand Theft Auto games to date. There is also the possibility that I’ll create another stand-alone website for GTA5 if that ever comes around.
RSB: Which of your websites would you considure the more popular over time? GTA4.tv or GTA-SanAndreas.com?
S: GTA-SanAndreas.com. It gets almost double the traffic that GTA4.TV gets, even though it hasn’t been worked on for about 2 years.
RSB: Tell me a little about the history of your websites and forum, when did you found them? Are you officially recognised by Rockstar Games? How did you get amongst the “big boys” of the GTA fansite world?
S: GTA-SanAndreas.com was started in 2003 and went through a few different designs up until 2004 when the current site and forum was established. The forums have been running since 2004 and have close to 50,000 members now I think and about 1.2 million posts. GTA4.TV uses the same forum that we had for GTA4 so all of the members are still there, and the new site will also use the same forum database.
I am officially recognized by Rockstar Games and have been flown over to New York twice to preview Grand Theft Auto IV and The Lost And Damned respectively, before they were released. I also receive GTA merchandise in the mail every now and then too, along with exclusive screenshots for the website.
I think I mainly got to be one of the “big 3��? GTA sites (in my opinion) through a lot of hard work. I started off making Action Replay codes for GTA3 in 2001, then started writing guides for all of the other games as they came out and continued from there. I think the guides is one feature which my sites are best at and that’s a big reason why we get such positive feedback from the visitors.
RSB: Have you ever worked at other GTA/Rockstar Games fansites before you decided to create your own? What acturally made you decide to create your own site?
S: No, the only site I used to be pretty active on was GameFAQs.com. I’ve always wanted to run my own websites, so once I got started and saw how many people were interested in coming to them, I kept improving my skills and made new sites which have got increasingly popular over the years.
RSB: Alright, I have a question from Zeeshan, one of the admins at RockstarBase.com, and he asks; “How did your site become bigger and how did Rockstar get in contact with you?” Anotherwords, what made them decide to make you officially recognized by Rockstar Games?
S: Rockstar just randomly emailed me out of the blue and asked for some contact details. I guess they just stumbled across my site and liked what they saw. The site just got bigger by doing what I usually do, just ensure we keep the news up-to-date and reliable and people will keep coming back.
RSB: Alright I think this concludes the interview, but for the closing question; what is your all-time favorite GTA game?
S: I like nearly all of them, but the game I spent probably the most time on out of them all was GTA3. It kick started the 3D games and I was amazed by the level of freedom you were given. I must have 100%ed that game 10 or more times. GTA4 (along with The Lost and Damned) is a brilliantly made game too, but San Andreas and Vice City had some great features and soundtracks respectively. Just because it was the game that really started GTA in 3D, I’d have to say GTA3 though.
RSB: Thanks for your time.
We on behalf or RockstarBase.com thank you for the interview.
Discuss this on the official RockstarBase.com Forum