The former director of the Grand Theft Auto series, Navid Khonsari, is working on a new game that will explore Iran's Islamic Revolution. The game is called 1979 and will be set in an open world where protagonists can make moral choices that affect what is going on around him. Khonsari, who worked on Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, and San Andreas, spoke to CNN about his plans for the game recently and why it is important to him. One of the core reasons is because he barely escaped it; his family managed to escape to Canada at the start of the revolution.
"I'm interested in having good and evil within the same character," Khonsari said in an interview with CNN. "I think that's true to life, and I think you can design a game around that, too."
1979 will take place in an open world and give the player control over multiple protagonists with different abilities. Over the course of the game, players will engage in shootouts, solve puzzles, drive vehicles, use diplomacy, and trade for supplies.
Khonsari is prepared for lots of criticism from every corner of the earth – after all, a game about revolution in a country such as Iran will present history in a light that might not be flattering to a lot of people with certain political persuasions..
"Iranians are going to criticize me because I'm making a game that 'promotes American imperialists going in and shooting Iranians," said Khonsari. "Americans are going to criticize me because I'm making a game that 'glorifies Islamic fundamentalism,' or something. I'm not going to please everyone, and the point of the game isn't to do that."
The game is set for release sometime in 2012.