What just happened? Today Rockstar posted an update on its website apologizing for the state in which Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition launched. It also announced plans to let people buy the classic versions of the three remastered games once again.
Rockstar didn't offer a specific date for when it will re-list the older PC editions of Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, nor did it confirm a price, but it said it will bring them back to the Rockstar store on PC "shortly." They'll be sold as a bundle, and anyone who buys Definitive Edition before June 30, 2022, will get the classic version bundle for free.
Early in October, Rockstar delisted the original versions of the classic games from digital PC and console stores. Rockstar has also been filing DMCA takedown notices and lawsuits against modders of the original PC games. The modders are currently fighting the game maker's claims.
A month after Rockstar delisted the classics, it launched Definitive Edition to harsh criticism. It eventually earned the lowest Metacritic user score on record, at 0.5 out of 100. When Rockstar released the remaster collection on PC, it had to take its servers offline for maintenance, preventing customers who had bought it or other games from the store from playing them. The company had to briefly remove Definitive Edition from sale on PC because someone discovered they still contained the infamous "Hot Coffee" code.
It was inevitable. pic.twitter.com/WGYJyLywsr— J S-A VA 🇬🇧 (@SPITFIREVA) November 11, 2021
Definitive Edition remastered the three seminal open-world action games in Unreal Engine 4 with vastly improved visuals and controls. However, players and critics have slammed it for its poor performance and slapdash approach to enhancing the graphics. In addition to making the original versions available for purchase again, Rockstar promised to improve the remasters through updates.
Anyone planning to get the classic GTA games for PC should note that even these versions do not offer the same experience as the original PlayStation 2 versions out of the box. The PC Gaming Wiki page for GTA III, for instance, is littered with patches, essential fixes, and mods needed to restore the look and feel of the PS2 version.