GTA IV's two downloadable episodes were "part of the plan from the beginning", Rockstar North's Imran Sarwar says.
Speaking in an exclusive Episodes from Liberty City interview, the associate producer says Niko's story was designed intentionally "to make him feel like a small part of a much larger world."
He said: "Even at the end of his story, he's not the king of the town by any means. The idea was to use the episodes to reveal the rest of that world, to show some of the characters and events that were invisible to Niko and yet still had a bearing on events in his life."
On why Rockstar North didn't opt to put all three stories on one game, Sarwar said: "I think if we had it would have been impossible to focus on each separate aspect of gameplay properly, the stories and the gameplay are inextricably linked.
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"We've always maintained that Liberty City is the real star of these games, and what makes it truly amazing is that it's so full of potential as an environment."