If new reports are to be believed, then leaks are the least of Rockstar Games' problems regarding Grand Theft Auto 5's Expanded and Enhanced edition. The next-gen port, which has already been delayed once, is allegedly facing difficulties in development and might see yet another delay - about which we're set to hear officially soon.
Coming from industry insider and data miner @Matheusbr9895_, the issues with E&E seem to be one of scope. The data miner claims that the original plan the developers had for a next-gen update was to release a smaller suite of mainly visual and technical improvements as several free patches, meaning owners of the game's current version wouldn't have had to pay extra.
It's important to note that Grand Theft Auto 5 and Online are available currently to play on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S - these are just compatible versions of the game in its current form. It does benefit from the more powerful hardware of the new consoles, but isn't specifically upgraded to take advantage of the extra juice.
Since the initial plan involved free patches, things would have been smooth sailing for fans - they'd just download a regular update like any other time, and the game would look better if they were playing on newer consoles. Presumably if any of these visual upgrades would affect the PC version as well, they would have been rolled out there too.
However, at some point in development the scope changed - we're going to guess that was an order from higher-ups, with Take-Two smelling another opportunity to make some money. GTA 5 has already been re-released twice on new platforms following the initial Xbox 360 and PS3 launch, which were both financially successful.
· Eu recebi algumas informações Recentemente referente ao título: Grand Theft Auto V: Expanded And Enhanced.
· O desenvolvimento foi complicado. No momento segue sendo em março, Mas há grandes chances que seja adiado para Abril/Maio.
· Um Artigo R* chegando em breve.
— Matheusvictorbr- (@Matheusbr9895_) January 15, 2022
Apparently while Take-Two is keen on selling you GTA 5 for a fourth time, someone there doesn't think a few graphical improvements will cut it anymore, so GTA 5 Expanded and Enhanced is also getting new content - hence "Expanded". Since GTA Online is getting new content constantly, this mainly concerns single player.
It seems that ever since the scope increased to a full-on new release, Rockstar has been facing difficulties. @Matheusbr9895_ claims that another delay is very possible - though not yet certain - and that we might soon learn that E&E will miss its March release window and drop in April or May instead. If the game does get delayed, we should be getting official confirmation soon via the Newswire.
Rockstar Games having development struggles is nothing new - not only was Expanded and Enhanced delayed once already, the constant turbulence of leaks, rumors and reports about GTA 6's languish in development hell paint a rather ugly picture of what's going on behind closed doors.
While there is still a distinct chance that Expanded and Enhanced will hit its March release window, we definitely wouldn't be surprised if this news about a delay would turn out to be accurate. AAA development studios are struggling worldwide to deal with a multitude of issues, most of which have been brought on by the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Delays have become part of the norm for the industry.
Considering the March release window, we would have expected there to be more information and marketing about E&E already, which further reinforces the assumption that a delay is coming. Several details are sill not known, like the nature of the additional content, and in what form - if any - the new content, features and improvements will be available on PC. Will it be a paid upgrade? Will it be exclusive to the current gen consoles?
Next-gen updates for the big AAA hits of the past few years have become a common sight, and many studios try to make sure that these updates land in a polished form - these are usually flagship titles being released on the hottest new platforms, so they have a vested interest in keeping them reputable.
Take-Two also has a vested interest in keeping their major cash source, GTA Online, reputable. Going standalone when E&E launches, the company is betting on the multiplayer mode to continue its unprecedented streak of success throughout this generation at least. As such, extra time to polish is probably warranted.
Fans had better keep an eye out for any official word from Rockstar Games, because if GTA 5 Expanded and Enhanced does get delayed, we'll hear about it soon.