This month, Rockstar Games released the much-anticipated Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition. While gamers were excited about this release, they were treated to a series of massive problems. The company very quickly pulled the PC release from its online store but gave strange reasoning for the decision. Anyone who had purchased it, and likely anyone who watched someone play it on Twitch, YouTube, or Facebook, knew exactly what the real reasoning was. This week, the company officially addressed the issue, changing its story from last week.
October 11, 2021
At the beginning of October, Rockstar removed the original games from the Grand Theft Auto 3 from all digital distribution platforms, including its own store. This move was because, in just a few weeks, the new Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition was going to come to market, and they didn't want people to purchase the old versions when a remastered collection was just around the corner.
November 11, 2021
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition is released for all platforms. As you might expect, gamers around the world downloaded and loaded the game on their computers and consoles. Nearly immediately following, as with all major game releases, streamers brought the games to Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook.
Everyone from gamers to viewers noticed something just wasn't right with the PC version, with cars driving in walls, unavoidable closeups of faces, and more. The most noticeable issue, however, is the weird stretchy people throughout the game. Arms, legs, necks, faces, and bodies all look like they are made of silly putty. Gamers immediately began asking the company for refunds because the game was somehow WORSE than the originals.
Later in the day, Rockstar's PC game store went offline. Some gamers believed it was because the servers crashed over the popularity of the games. Most had guessed that it went down on purpose in response to the issues. Rockstar didn't release any statement on what was going on.
November 12, 2021
29 hours after the store went down, Rockstar addressed the issue as it came back online. The company tweeted,
The Rockstar Games Launcher is now online, but GTA: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition is unavailable to play or purchase as we remove files unintentionally included in these versions. We're sorry for the disruption and hope to have correct ones up soon.
Some gamers theorized that the company had accidentally released audio files containing music that had not been relicensed. Others guessed that there was uncompiled code included in the release, exposing internal processes. Most who had seen anything from the game, however, knew why it was down.
November 19, 2021
A full week after the PC version of the games were removed from the store, Rockstar finally addressed the reality of the issue. Of course, the problem was not accidental files, but a chaotic release. The company released a statement saying,
Firstly, we want to sincerely apologize to everyone who has encountered issues playing these games.
The Grand Theft Auto series - and the games that make up this iconic trilogy - are as special to us as we know they are to fans around the world. The updated versions of these classic games did not launch in a state that meets our own standards of quality, or the standards our fans have come to expect.
We have ongoing plans to address the technical issues and to improve each game going forward. With each planned update, the games will reach the level of quality that they deserve to be.
They promised updates to fix the issues, which have already begun to roll out. They also promised to return the original games to the PC store, making them available for free to gamers who purchased the new versions. It seems like they had hoped a fix would be quick, allowing them to pretend it was a bad bundle that caused them to pull the games. But, in reality, the fix looks like it will take some serious time and will release in drips, so access to the classics is a good middle ground option.