Note: This news story is not completely accurate, please check why here.
Chances are you have never heard of Michael Carnevale, or his company, Carnevale ID. However, we all do in a way. Carnevale ID is Michael Carnevale's web design business, and the company behind all of the Grand Theft Auto websites since Grand Theft Auto III back in 2001. The firms' most recent project, the official Grand Theft Auto IV website which they started to work on in January of 2007. Yes, that's 2007, not 2008!
Looking at their modest West Side office in Grand Rapids, you would never guess that it was the center point of the Grand Theft Auto phenomenon. Just how much thanks do we owe Michael Carnevale? Well he worked on 6 official websites, and as we can gather, all their teaser websites as well:
Obviously back when he was asked to produce the official website for Grand Theft Auto 3 he had no idea it would take-off like it did. The Grand Rapids Press has been writing an article on him and his GTA fame, he said to them:
"The game totally blew away the traditional notion of what the game experience could be, particularly with the sandbox play. Nobody realized it would be the pop culture phenomenon it was."
So how did he nab this spectacular chance to work on websites for Rockstar Games? Apparently through connections from a friend who Rockstar had contacted in regards to an online hip-hop game. From their history, he has worked on all major 3D Grand Theft Auto websites and teaser sites ever since. They also worked on Rockstar's online based rap game, Rhymerator. He is the only person Rockstar use outside of their company to work on official game websites. It's important to note that the Carnevale ID company is small, and over the years of developing websites for Rockstar, they have also still been actively developing websites for other clients which can all be viewed on their official website.
As I said earlier, The Grand Rapids Press has written an article on Michael Carnevale and his company, you can read the two page story here. We always love reading up on the history of Rockstar Games, as well as what has influenced Rockstar and Grand Theft Auto and made it what it is today.
Oh, and no Micheal Carnevale has not received nor played any pre-release copies of Grand Theft Auto IV, neither any past games his firm has developed a game for. For one thing, it's purely business, and secondly he says he finds no time for gaming anymore. He does admit to being a past gamer enthusiast however, and their office in Grand Rapids does have an Xbox 360.