Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is an action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It was released on 29 October 2002 for the PlayStation 2, on 12 May 2003 for Microsoft Windows, and on 31 October 2003 for the Xbox. An enhanced version was released for mobile platforms in 2012, for the game's tenth anniversary. It is the sixth title in the Grand Theft Auto series and the first main entry since 2001's Grand Theft Auto III. Set within the fictional Vice City, based on Miami, the game follows Tommy Vercetti following his release from prison. After he is caught up in an ambushed drug deal, he seeks out those responsible while building a criminal empire and seizing power from other criminal organisations in the city.
The game is played from a third-person perspective, and its world is navigated on foot or by vehicle. The open world design lets the player freely roam Vice City, consisting of two main islands. The game's plot is based on multiple real-world people and events in Miami such as Cuban, Haitian, and Biker gangs, the 1980s crack epidemic, the Mafioso drug lords of Miami, and the dominance of glam metal. The game was also influenced by the film and television of the era, including Scarface and Miami Vice. Much of the development work constituted creating the game world to fit the inspiration and time period; the development team conducted extensive field research in Miami while creating the world.
Upon release, the game received critical acclaim, with praise particularly directed at its music, gameplay and open world design. However, the game also generated controversy, with criticism directed at the depiction of violence and racial groups. The game sparked lawsuits and protests while being labelled as violent and explicit. Vice City became the best-selling video game of 2002 and has sold over 17.5 million copies. Considered one of the most significant titles of the sixth generation of video games, and one of the greatest video games ever made, it won numerous year-end accolades including Game of the Year awards from several gaming publications. Since its release, the game has received numerous ports to many gaming platforms. Its successor, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, was released in October 2004, and a prequel, Vice City Stories, was released in 2006.
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