Grand Theft Auto developer Gary Penn told Gamasutra that the original game was basically aimless: "(The original GTA) was a real mess for years, it never moved on, it never went anywhere. It never really felt like it was going anywhere. It was almost canned. The publisher, BMG Interactive, wanted to can it, as it didn't seem to be going anywhere."
Worse, the game had major technical issues. According to Penn, it "crashed all the fucking time." The controls weren't much better as "the car handling was appalling. There was a point in it where you used to have a button for opening the doors and it was just rubbish. I can't remember if this is true because we used to joke about it that you even had to start the engine. It was awful, it was too sim-y."
However, some bugs turned out to be beneficial, like penicillin on moldy bread. "The police suddenly became mental and aggressive," related Penn, "It was because they were trying to drive through you. Their route finding was screwed I think and that was an awesome moment because suddenly the real drama where, 'Oh my God, the police are psycho -- they're trying to ram me off the road.'"
The overzealous police led to the addictive nature of the game, and when the series went to 3D with Grand Theft Auto III for the PlayStation 2 in 2001, a blockbuster series was born. DMA Design was purchased by Take-Two Interactive and renamed Rockstar North, and the rest is history.