Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition has finally been officially announced, but even so we still don't know a lot of official details about it. We don't have a release date yet, beyond knowing that it is coming later this year, for example. Plenty of those details have leaked though, with pricing being among the latest.
Known for their consistent tendency to keep details under lock and key until the last possible moment, Rockstar Games only just officially announced The Definitive Edition recently, telling fans to stay tuned for details in the coming days and weeks. The platforms were announced, but pricing and release information was withheld so far.
The former was possibly leaked, and since we're talking about an early store listing (which got hastily deleted) as opposed to hearsay or a report from some insider, it's much more likely that the information is legit. Base.com accidentally made a listing for the game public, which showed that on both PS5 and Xbox Series X/S Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition will be $70/£70.
Not only does this mean that the remastered versions of these classic GTA games will be sold at full AAA price, but they will be subject to the next-gen price increase that has been so controversial since the launch of the new consoles. On other platforms, The Definitive Edition will cost $60/£60 - still AAA pricing, but without the hike.
Since The Trilogy in its current un-remastered form is vastly cheaper, coming in at $16.99/£16.99 on some platforms for example, this reveal has kicked up quite a bit of dissatisfaction. Rockstar Games stated in the reveal of The Definitive Edition that current versions of GTA 3, Vice City and San Andreas will be removed from storefronts - including individual versions and The Trilogy.
Essentially, they are wiping away any older, cheaper versions of the game, making it so that from release the only way to buy these games will be as the full-priced The Definitive Edition. If someone only wants one of the three, or is okay with paying less for the non-remastered original version, then they are out of luck.
Some fans are hoping that the listing, which was quickly removed from Base.com, just had preliminary placeholder info, and that the website just defaults to AAA full prices on listings from certain publishers unless changed. Since the listing wasn't supposed to be public yet, there is a small chance this was all accidental and the actual pricing is more favorable.
That said, few fans are holding out hope. Rockstar Games and parent company Take-Two Interactive have worked up a sort of reputation when it comes to business practices, and most fans anticipating the release of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition would be disappointed by the $70 price tag, but not surprised.
In the wake of this information surfacing, many in the GTA community have begun encouraging fans and gamers interested in the remasters to instead buy the individual classic versions of GTA 3, Vice City and San Andreas instead while they're still available and boycott The Definitive Edition when it launches - provided this high price is accurate.
As pointed out by fans in the community, it isn't necessarily the price itself in a vacuum that's an issue. At face value, we're looking at three full-length, content rich open world titles that are praised as some of the best in the genre. They've also been completely rebuilt from the ground up in a new engine with new assets, if leaks are to be believed. The value is definitely there.
The problem here is twofold - one, as far as we know, there is no difference between The Definitive Edition on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, and the other older platforms. Playing on newer consoles won't get you better graphics with this remaster, so paying more for the exact same game that didn't cost more to develop is shady.
The other issue is that Rockstar is also nuking the old versions. If the cheaper, individual, non-remastered versions of these games would stay in circulation, then the high AAA pricing of the remaster would be an easier pill to swallow - it would be an option. This way, the whole situation stinks of the publisher trying to force people into buying the more expensive product by removing alternatives.
That whole fiasco of Take-Two hunting down modders making their own graphical enhancement and remaster mods for these games despite not earning any profits also left a sour taste in the community's collective mouth.
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition is, as a game, a very exciting prospect both for old fans looking to relive the days of those classic games without having to take off the rose-tinted glasses, and for newer fans who missed out back then. However, it seems that Rockstar and Take-Two are hell bent on poisoning the whole affair with their business practices.
Classic versions of GTA 3, Vice City, San Andreas and The Trilogy are still available on most storefronts for the time being.