The launch of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition could have gone better, especially on PC. Just as the game was going live worldwide, the Rockstar Games Launcher went down for maintenance and the remasters inexplicably stopped being available for purchase on the platform. Now, both launcher and game are back up on PC.
Fans have been bashing the remasters on other platforms aplenty, with r/GTA being inundated with gifs and videos showcasing the numerous bugs and shortcomings of The Definitive Edition - the big Burger Shot burger doesn't spin! - and plenty of memes riffing on the new releases. However, no platform has had it as bad as PC.
Seemingly moments after release, Rockstar took down both the game and the entire Rockstar Games Launcher for "maintenance". After over a day of downtime, the developer finally confirmed what most people began to suspect after a bit of datamining uncovered some interesting things in the game files.
Since some people apparently did manage to download and install the game before Rockstar pulled the plug, three particularly suspect tidbits showed up - one, despite the in-game song selection of all three games being cut down due to lapsed licenses, all of the 'removed' songs were actually in the game, just with a small script disabling them. The audio format of the radio songs, as well as a way to enable them, was discovered.
Second, the developers over at Grove Street Games left a lot of cheeky, silly comments inside the game code. Now, this is standard procedure if you are a coder, but usually developers remember to take these out when the final game actually ships - especially if those comments don't shine a fantastic light on you. Some of these included instances were Grove Street Games coders referred to the original Rockstar code as "shit" and described shortcuts.
Thirdly, it turns out that all of the "Hot Coffee" files for that disabled sex minigame that landed San Andreas in so much controversy back in the day are also present in The Definitive Edition, and disabled the exact same, simple way.
Between these "unintentionally included" files it makes sense why Rockstar decided to pull the plug, however the company's lack of communication already compounded a widely panned launch and managed to reduce fans' goodwill towards them even further. That said, the developers also used the downtime to address some issues.
When the Rockstar Game Launcher went back online and Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition was once again available for sale and download, players had to install a new 4 GB patch. This patch isn't only dealing with the removed files, but also addresses some performance issues - though the games are still fairly buggy.
Rockstar Games has also issued a statement promising updates for The Definitive Edition.