The early 2000s has been a busy year for Rockstar, like it did prior. Not only was it doing what it usually does best—making games—it also does so with a completely new IP, which was something of a venture for a studio popular mostly for the GTA series at the time.
Labeled Agent, one of the game’s major highlights, is the city of Cairo in Egypt, particularly its open-world recreation. Although a perfect location to set one of the world’s oldest cities as a backdrop, the choice comes with a setback. Back then, as it’s today, the urban region is a reclusive area that offers nothing when it comes to images.
While the idea of a desert with pyramids dotting it could easily identify Egypt, Cairo as both an urban jungle and a military installation is not as easily defined. Subsequently, posing as a blind spot to a creative team that is meticulous in all the major details.
As for Cairo’s relative obscurity, it has something to do with it indeed being a military site, as mentioned. The Egyptian government is not keen on giving away the layout of its defensive strongholds by letting tourists just take photos anywhere inside or near it.
To get a clear picture of the sprawling settlement, the team would need thousands of images. Each photography of which playing an essential role in painting the full imagery of the African city’s overall landscape.
Thus, prompting a select key individual within Rockstar San Diego boarding a flight to the African country. In particular, Charles Morrow (art director), Darrell Gallagher (lead artist), William Kidwell (environment artist), and Joe Sanabria (senior environment artist).
Therein follows an adventure that sees the four-man team commit blunders that put them into legal trouble.
The small group of artists were aware of why Cairo makes for an obscure place. However, the team persisted in doing what they shouldn’t. Their offenses, while not necessarily a laundry list, have been “grave,” to say the least, as far as Egyptian law is concerned.
Not only has the small team been taking photos of the place, they’ve also been doing so by the thousands and for days. Worst yet, still, is the fact that some of them were caught red-handed by the Egyptian secret police.
The Egyptian government is no slouch when it comes to security, causing the Rockstar devs to encounter some frictions throughout their roundabouts. But it’s nowhere as scary as Darrell Gallagher’s after getting snatched from the airport on the way home. Subsequently, leading to an interrogation at gunpoint—at the ribs, by an assault rifle, no less.
Images used courtesy of shadyshaker/Pixabay
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