Yesterday, during a big PlayStation Showcase event that featured a bunch of new games like God of War Ragnarok, we got a new trailer for the next-gen release of Grand Theft Auto V. It wasn’t very good, and the GTA community is letting everyone know about it. At one point on Thursday, GTA was trending on social media — but it was almost entirely complaints from aggravated fans. It seems Rockstar has finally broken the GTA fanbase’s faith and resolve.
GTA V’s next-gen port, often referred to by fans as the “Enhanced & Expanded” edition or E&E for short, was first announced in June 2020. At the time Rockstar was light (and vague) on details about what was going to be different about this apparently new and improved port of GTA V. All the publisher said was fans could expect “a range of technical improvements, visual upgrades, and performance enhancements” but the trailer that introduced the new port didn’t really show much to support that. Still, the community’s reaction was a mix of the usual jokes, hype, and demands for GTA 6.
Fast forward over a year later. After 14 months of nearly complete radio silence about GTA V E&E, Rockstar finally releases a new trailer that… doesn’t share any new details, doesn’t seem to show an enhanced version worth spending more money on at all, and, to add icing on the cake, there’s now also a delay for it. E&E was planned to come out in November 2021. Now it’s coming out in March 2022, nearly two years after it was first announced. This is roughly the same amount of time between Rockstar’s first GTA V teaser back in 2011 and its eventual (and first) release in 2013 on PS3 and Xbox 360. Even weirder, and frustrating to many fans as well, is how this new trailer still doesn’t show us much in the way of enhanced visuals or go into any detail about what Rockstar is improving.
According to a new post by Rockstar on its official Newswire blog, this new port of what was originally an Xbox 360/PS3 game includes “a range of technical and graphical improvements across the entire experience ” and “much more.” But many are unable to spot any meaningful differences between the new and old GTA V.
At one point, the trailer boasts of “seamless character switching” which is a feature that has been in GTA V since it was released back in 2013. Another part of the short trailer boasts about “explosive action” but the novelty of said action has kind of worn off after nearly a decade.
The silliest bit of the trailer is after all this it mentions “And much more.” Yeah, I hope so! Because so far, Rockstar isn’t just offering it as a free upgrade to current-gen owners.
Currently, the new trailer has more dislikes than likes on both the PlayStation and Rockstar Games Youtube channels. GTA-related Twitter accounts that I’ve followed for years are openly and uncharacteristically attacking Rockstar, sharing negative memes about the trailer, and openly mocking the port’s delay. Looking at comments on Twitter, Reddit, Youtube, and elsewhere, it’s nearly all negative. Even people I know who are generally positive about GTA V and Rockstar seem defeated by this latest trailer.
The thing is, I’m not sure this trailer is the main reason fans and diehard GTA players have turned so uniformly and harshly on Rockstar. Instead, this situation is more like the straw that broke the camel’s back. Red Dead Online has historically either been neglected, or worse, is barely playable. And after years of waiting for news about GTA 6, getting the billionth re-release of GTA V, and the growing resentment towards GTA Online, it seems that the PlayStation event finally broke the fandom’s collective spirit. Couple this with the stark reality that Rockstar just doesn’t release new games very often anymore, and you’ve got a recipe for an unhappy community. This is a community desperate for crumbs and Rockstar can’t even be bothered to provide them with that.
The worst part might be that, likely, all Rockstar needed to do was to show the GTA logo and the number 6. Pull a Metroid Prime 4 and just tell people to stay tuned for more, eventually. Maybe finally unveil or tease the remastered trilogy that is rumoured to be in development at the moment. The community is starving to such an extent that they’d probably be ecstatic about mere crumbs, sadly enough.
Next week is the 8 year anniversary of Grand Theft Auto V’s initial release. And with no news about what’s next from Rockstar, it’s a sad and frustrating time to be a fan. But, hey, at least we will get seamless character switching in the next-gen GTA V port, whenever it finally comes out.