Grand Theft Auto IV

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GTA 6 leak reveals Rockstar may have finally learned a critical lesson

Time to shift gears.

Rockstar

Rockstar Games has reportedly ended production on GTA 4 and Red Dead Redemption remasters in an effort to focus on the development of GTA 6. This news comes by way of GTA leaker Tez and Kotaku. Both suggest the remasters were shelved due to the poor reception of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition, a package that was marred by a slew of technical problems and bugs. Despite the seemingly sad news that both remasters were canceled (at least for now), this could bode well for the future of Rockstar.

The GTA Trilogy remasters look like something out of a surrealist painting. Rockstar Games

Rockstar is known for creating high-quality products. It’s tough to deny just how technically proficient their marquee titles have always been.

That’s why critics and players were shocked when GTA: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition launched in November 2021 with a boatload of technical problems, bugs, and a divisive art style. The most egregious bug caused characters to have trippy, elongated fingers, making it look like something out of a nightmare. You wouldn’t expect these types of problems from any modern game, let alone one from Rockstar.

According to Kotaku, sources from Rockstar itself said the company is “hoping that folks will forget about” GTA: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition, while the renowned developer shifts its focus towards working on GTA 6.

The reception to the trilogy remasters might’ve taught Rockstar a valuable lesson: it needs to prioritize new releases rather than ports, remakes, or remasters. Sure, a remake sprinkled here and there is a welcome addition, but they shouldn’t steal the thunder from brand new games.

Grand Theft Auto V launched in 2013, 2014, 2015 (for PC), and 2022.Rockstar Games

In the early to mid-2000s, Rockstar developed and published a lengthy list of games, with multiple releases each year. As time went on, however, the cadence of releases slowly dwindled, until the company only had a small handful of projects going at any given time.

The kicker is that of these projects, many of them were remasters, re-releases, or ports of older titles, including three versions of Grand Theft Auto V (so far). This is a game that — although excellent and important — has become a running joke in the industry, as it has launched across three consoles generations since 2013.

Couple that with re-releases for Bully, L.A. Noire, and other GTA titles in recent years, and you get a release schedule that feels stagnant. In fact, the only fully-fledged brand new game developed by Rockstar since 2013 was Red Dead Redemption 2, which launched in 2018.

It’s understandable that re-releases are a way to boost a company’s revenue. But does Rockstar really need to do this? According to Sportskeeda, GTA Online generates around $800 million annually from Shark Cards alone. This doesn’t include subscriptions to GTA+ or cash earned from copies of GTA V, which has reportedly generated $6 billion since launch. The point is — Rockstar’s pockets are overflowing, and maybe now the company will publish more than one new game every five years.

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