Rockstar has finally officially confirmed the existence of the Grand Theft Auto – The Trilogy, a remaster of three classic GTA games for all platforms.
The trilogy’s existence was rumoured for months, and earlier this year Kotaku confirmed via multiple sources that the remaster was in the works for multiple platforms including the Switch.
In late September, the South Korean ratings agency added further fuel to the fire with an official listing for Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition, and on October 9 Australian time, Rockstar officially confirmed the trilogy’s existence.
Here’s Rockstar’s announcement in full:
In honor of the upcoming anniversary, today we are excited to announce that all three games will be coming to current generation platforms later this year in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and the Rockstar Games Launcher on PC. Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition will feature across-the-board upgrades including graphical improvements and modern gameplay enhancements for all three titles, while still maintaining the classic look and feel of the originals. We’re extremely excited to share more about these groundbreaking titles in the coming weeks — stay tuned!
To prepare for launch, we will begin removing existing versions of the classic titles from digital retailers next week. For more information, please visit Rockstar Games Support. In addition, Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition will be coming to iOS and Android in the first half of 2022.
For the past year, rumours have swirled on Twitter, Reddit, and various message boards that Rockstar was working on remakes or remasters of classic, PS2-era Grand Theft Auto titles. These rumours only grew in popularity as Rockstar’s parent company, Take-Two Interactive, used DMCA takedowns to remove classic GTA mods from the internet while announcing that the publisher had three remastered games in development. While Kotaku can’t confirm what all of those teased remastered titles specifically are, we can confirm via corroborating details from three sources that GTA remasters currently in the final stages of development.
According to our sources, the remasters of Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto San Andreas are using Unreal Engine and will feature a mix of “new and old graphics.” One source who claims to have seen a snippet of the games in action said that the visuals reminded them of a heavily-modded version of a classic GTA title. The UI for the games are being updated too, but will retain the same classic style. No details were shared about gameplay, but Kotaku has been told these remakes are trying to stay true to the PS2-era GTA games as much as possible.
Rockstar Dundee, a Scottish outpost and one of the newest studios at the company, is leading the charge on developing the remakes. Another source explained that the studio is heavily involved in not just the remasters, but is even helping Rockstar on developing the next-gen GTA V ports that are due out later this year. This lines up with information I had heard last year, after the studio was purchased by Rockstar Games. Before becoming Rockstar Dundee, the studio was Ruffian games and had previously worked on Crackdown 2, Crackdown 3 and assisted with development on the Master Chief Collection.
Originally, it seemed that these remakes were going to be packaged together and given to players who purchased the upcoming next-gen ports of GTA V and GTA Online as a sort of bonus or “thank you gift” from Rockstar. Then plans changed, and the remastered trilogy was scheduled to be released earlier this year. However, plans have changed again, and now the remastered titles are planned to launch around late October or early November for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, PC, Stadia, and mobile phones, although Rockstar confirmed the mobile launch won’t happen until 2022.
For fans who are more interested in other classic Rockstar games getting remastered and rereleased, sources tell me that Rockstar has plans to develop new ports of games like Red Dead Redemption. But the future of these remastered games depends on how well these initial re-releases sell.
However, for now, Rockstar is focused on getting these three remastered Grand Theft Auto games out the door alongside the GTA V next-gen ports. Dundee is leading development, and many other studios across Rockstar’s vast network of teams are also pitching in on both projects. According to one source, everyone shifting to support these titles is one major reason why Red Dead Online has seen fewer and smaller updates. But if all of this pans out it might be a very exciting year for fans of classic GTA games.