Grand Theft Wiki currently uses the Era terminology to group GTA games. Whilst some users support this, other users believe this is confusing for visitors, and that we should not group the games at all.
This is a community discussion, open for any member to contribute to, intended to come to a consensus about what to do.
Please note that this is not a vote. The managers will make a final decision after the community discussion. Before that decision is made, the Era terminology is still wiki policy.
The Era Terminology
An 'Era' refers to a generation of GTA games. Each new numbered GTA (GTA 2, GTA III, GTA IV) has brought a fresh start for the series, with huge changes and many different features. Each game within the an era is very similar, even sharing interlinking storylines, characters and locations.
|GTA 1 Era||GTA 1 (PlayStation, PC, Game Boy Color)|
|GTA 2 Era||GTA 2 (PlayStation, PC, Dreamcast, Game Boy Color)|
|GTA III Era||GTA III (PlayStation 2, PC, Xbox, iOS, Android, Mac)|
GTA Vice City (PlayStation 2, PC, Xbox, iOS, Android, Mac)
GTA San Andreas (PlayStation 2, PC, Xbox, Mac)
GTA Advance (Game Boy Advance)
GTA Liberty City Stories (PSP, PlayStation 2)
GTA Vice City Stories (PSP, PlayStation 2)
|GTA IV Era||GTA IV (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC)|
|GTA V Era||GTA V (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)|
GTA Online (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
As an example, the GTA III Era refers to all games released between GTA III and GTA IV. They are grouped together as they have many things in common, which are generally different to games in other eras.
- All of these games have interconnecting storylines, characters, locations, brands and companies - much more so than compared to any other game
- All of these games (excluding GTA Advance) share the same 3D perspective, same visual style and largely the same features.
As an alternative to "Era", the word "Generation" could be used.
Why should we use Eras?
The eras are a logical grouping that is obvious to anyone who has played or seen multiple GTA games. Everyone can see that GTA San Andreas is very similar to GTA Vice City and GTA III, but very different from GTA 2 or GTA IV.
Using eras gives the wiki a simple way to refer to these groups of games. For example, when mentioning features, vehicles or characters that appeared in one era but not another. The usefulness of eras can be seen at Special:Whatlinkshere/GTA III Era, which shows hundreds of links to the GTA III Era page.
Without eras, every page would need to have a huge awkward list of every game that it refers to, instead of simply "XYZ appears in the GTA III Era".
If we used 'from-to' terminology (like "From GTA III to GTA San Andreas"), that requires people to know the order of every GTA game to understand. Does III-SA include GTA Liberty City Stories and GTA Advance or not? That is not obvious, and would require the user to check every time or potentially misunderstand things. This becomes more complicated when considering whether the games are grouped by release date or by canonical order. Using Eras is much more intuitive.
One notable example is Wanted Level, which shows the very different systems between eras. Without Eras, we would have to use Wanted Level from GTA III to GTA Vice City Stories (with the above problems) or invent false names like Wanted Level System A.
Whilst Rockstar doesn't publicly use Era terminology, the groupings themselves are officially accepted by virtue of new numbers only being given to certain games.
So whilst Eras aren't official terminology, it is the simplest and best way of explaining a very real grouping of GTA games, it's well-understood, accepted by many users and sources, and is already used widely on this wiki (so nothing would have to be changed).
Why should we not use Eras?
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- Some users may be confused by the Era terminology
- Eras are not official and are not mentioned in any game or game's box
- Each Eras varies in size and breadth. The GTA 2 Era is just one game, the GTA IV Era is only in one city, whilst the GTA III Era is 6 games in 3 locations.
- Games can be grouped in many different ways (such as location or being 3D), Eras are just one system of grouping, so should not have such a central status on this wiki
How do others group the GTA games?
- Rockstar Games do not visibly group GTA games - they treat them all separately. The only clue we have is that they only add a new numbered GTA when the game is completely different and a fresh start. From that, we can assume that all non-group
- The English Wikipedia groups the games by era, but no longer uses the word 'era'. It describes them as 'canons' but calls them the name of the first game in the era.
- The old GTA Wikia uses Era terminology
- The GTA Neoseeker wiki uses Era terminology
We want to hear how the community feels about this, so that we can come to a consensus. Even if you are not a regular editor, we'd like to understand whether you agree with the use of the era terminology.
Please submit your opinion and join in the discussion on the talk page.