Join gaming leaders, alongside GamesBeat and Facebook Gaming, for their 2nd Annual GamesBeat & Facebook Gaming Summit | GamesBeat: Into the Metaverse 2 this upcoming January 25-27, 2022. Learn more about the event. 

Rockstar’s game are often called “open-world crime simulators,” but you could just as easily call Grand Theft Auto V “virtual tourism.”

A new video compares a few of the locales in GTA V’s Californian facsimile to the real world using the Google Earth app, and the results reveal a game setting that feels close to reality. YouTube channel Millennium (which probably has nothing to do with Lisbeth Salander), uploaded the video today that compares the Hollywood sign to GTA’s Vinewood and the San Andreas river to the L.A. river.

We’ve always known that Rockstar strives for authenticity in its reconstructions of reality. In fact, this is something that goes back to the PlayStation 2-era games. For example, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas — the third PS2 game — once helped a lost Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda find his way out of Los Angeles.


The 2nd Annual GamesBeat and Facebook Gaming Summit and GamesBeat: Into the Metaverse 2

January 25 – 27, 2022

Learn More

In an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s late show, Miranda explained that he found himself in South Central L.A. once, but he was able to find his way out because of Rockstar’s game.

“If you’ve played Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, you have a mental map of Los Angeles already, you don’t have to actually come here,” Miranda explained. “I was like, ‘oh, yeah — me and Smokey started a gang on this corner.'”

Now, if Miranda has played Grand Theft Auto V, he’ll likely never get lost in California in the first place.


GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and "open office" events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties
Become a member