Grove Street Games, formerly War Drum Studios, is at the center of one of the biggest of this year's gaming backlashes from disgruntled fans - and that's saying something, considering how many of those we've had recently. Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition launched to criticism, outrage and technical issues, but the developers to whom Rockstar Games outsourced the remasters have committed to releasing updates and fixes.
Aside of the universal problems regarding performance issues, graphical complaints, strange faces, removed songs and cheats, missing animations, wonky rain effects and more, the biggest issues by far plagued the PC version - not only was the game pulled from sale temporarily, the entire Rockstar Games Launcher went down for over a day.
While the most pressing matters on PC have seemingly been resolved, there's still a lot wrong with The Definitive Edition, and throngs of unhappy fans are making sure the internet knows about it all. Twitter, Reddit and other platforms are awash with videos, screenshots, gifs and memes all at the expense of the remasters. It would be outright impossible for the developers to not get the message, but Grove Street Games hasn't addressed the issues directly.
However, a Tweet from Grove Street Games boss Thomas Williamson has confirmed that the team is working on upcoming updates for the game. Added to the end of a message about players "enjoying" the game and the level of scrutiny the studio is under, Williamson stated that the team is "celebrating our monumental project launch, while we work on updates."
Disgruntled fans are, of course, have some gripes with the comments as you would expect. The main point of interest here is the commitment to more updates to The Definitive Edition. Considering its current state, with major performance issues across all platforms but particularly on the Nintendo Switch, they are very much needed.
It’s so fun to see players out there really enjoying what we’ve put together for them. I’m honestly enjoying this unparalleled level of scrutiny on our studio. Today we are celebrating our monumental project launch, while we work on updates. 🙂
— Thomas Williamson (@TSWilliamson) November 11, 2021
However, the question remains - can any number of updates repair the reputation of the remasters? Gaming has had its fair share of redemption stories, where games that got widely panned at released got back up and reinvented themselves with extensive iteration - just look at No Man's Sky or Fallout 76. A collection of remasters is a different beast, though.
There is only so much Grove Street Games can do. Datamining has revealed that The Definitive Edition is actually a re-engineered version of the mobile ports the company created back when they were War Drum Studios, as opposed to being remasters of the actual original 3D era games. This explains quite a few of the issues, but also makes the chances for real improvement slim. There's only so much you can build on weak foundations.
Even if Grove Street Games would patch up Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition, it feels like there is too much bad blood to go around for technical improvements to fix. Either way, we're looking forward to seeing what these updates hold for the future of the bundle, and its reception.