‘GTA IV’ Cutting Room Floor: Rockstar Debated And Nixed Plans To Let Niko Listen To Music Out Of His Car

What’s good enough for Solid Snake was almost good enough for Niko Bellic.

But the creators of “Grand Theft Auto” have confirmed to MTV Multiplayer that a plan to give Niko Bellic a portable music player was removed from the game late in the “GTA IV” development cycle.

Snake has his iPod. Niko, as recently as a couple of months before release, had a cell phone that could play music from game’s radio stations. Edge magazine mentioned the feature in its cover story prior to the game’s release. But it was cut.

Instead, Niko can only listen to music in cars and a few buildings, pretty much the “GTA” franchise norm. So why did Rockstar keep it that way? Here’s what they told us…

“Some people on the team didn’t like the music/mobile phone idea for various reasons, but they went back and forth on the idea until the very end,” Rockstar spokesperson Darlan Monterisi explained in an e-mail on Tuesday. “This is VERY common. We do it in every game we make. We still prefer the balance of music in car and the ambient world’s noise on foot, but we are constantly reviewing this stuff.”

It’s not hard to see how the feature could divide any group of people passionate about “Grand Theft Auto,” to say nothing of a development team that has thought deeply about how music functions in the series.

Niko Bellic is a modern man with a modern phone and many radio-enabled cars to drive. Should he have also had an MP3 player?