GTA 5 Expanded and Enhanced re-rated for PC heralding re-release

Rockstar Games is adamant about making you pay for GTA 5 again and again - unless this PC re-release comes free for current owners?

Grand Theft Auto 5 is seemingly dead set on challenging The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim for the crown of getting the most re-releases on new platforms. Following the recent release of Expanded and Enhanced on Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5, Rockstar might soon try to get PC players to double dip as well with an upgraded re-release.

When Rockstar revealed the next-gen ports of their mainstream hit that already saw two re-releases since its 2013 launch, only the two current console families were ever mentioned. There was no word of a PC release of Expanded and Enhanced, or whether the improvements will come to this platform as well. Since the PC isn't bound by hardware generations like consoles are, it wouldn't make sense to gate off any new options or content.

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Even so, E&E launched on consoles with exclusive content and features - as far as the Xbox One and PS4 go, this does make sense. When the Enhanced Edition launched on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, it featured improvements, mechanics and new content that wasn't available on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but this made sense due to hardware limitations at the time. Now, thanks to the ESRB we might know why Rockstar is once again gating off content despite there being no technical reason to do so in the case of the PC.

This most recent re-release of GTA 5 just got re-rated by the board, with 'Windows PC' being added to the platform lineup alongside PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S on the official website of the ESRB. In lieu of any official news on the matter from Rockstar, this has kicked off a wave of speculation - understandably, as everyone is curious what shape E&E might take on PC in terms of pricing.

Hao's Special Works offers current-gen players exclusive vehicles, upgrades and time trials.

If you look at the re-release with the eyes of a PC player, there are fewer benefits on display. Thanks to a broader selection of graphical options and access to graphics mods, visual improvements (that may not even be improvements if you have a beefy rig) are hardly a strong selling point, which leaves the UI overhaul, Career Builder and exclusive Online content - which, so far, is Hao's Special Works.

Sentiment among fans is split - there are plenty of jokes going around about how Take-Two will try to sell people a game they already have, again, at full price and many players are expressing disappointment and fatigue that GTA 5 is being "milked" so excessively.

At the same time, others point out the price decreases for E&E on current gen consoles, how Rockstar released the ports at deep discounts initially and put the standalone version of GTA Online on sale right off the bat, while even giving it away outright on PS5. Considering that the game's main revenue stream is microtransactions, the name of the game here is having more boots on the ground - so slashing the initial buy price is something the company is absolutely willing to do.

Players were wondering if the new features would make it to PC.

We realistically see this playing out in one of two ways - ideally, current owners of GTA 5 on PC will receive all the improvements and access to new Online content that comes with Expanded and Enhanced as a free update; many game companies have opted to make their own next-gen upgrades free, usually to the tune of great public approval.

The other scenario - arguably more likely, depending on how cynical you are - is that existing GTA 5 owners on PC will be offered the E&E upgrade at a lower price, rather than it being a completely new product you need to buy again at full price. This could mean that fans would look at a $5-$10 upgrade fee of sorts to get access to all the new content, both current and going forward.

If E&E does come to PC, this means that Online will split off into its own entity on this platform as well. This will likely go hand in hand with the de-listing of the 'old' version of GTA 5 from all storefronts as Rockstar makes the transition into this new era.

Leaks are one thing, but ratings boards amount to official news - so it seems that GTA 5 is getting an upgraded re-release on PC. As for the details, those have yet to be revealed.

Aron Gerencser
Gaming at least as long as he's been walking, Aron is a fan of all things sci-fi and lover of RPGs. Having written about games for years, he's right at home reporting most of the breaking news in the industry and covering the happenings of the e-sports world. Graduating summa cum laude from Università degli Studi Guglielmo Marconi with a BA in Media Production, Aron has been a game journalist since 2014. When not writing, editing or playing, Aron is building models which you can find on Instagram.
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