When Rockstar officially announced Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition it wasn’t too surprising. Rumors had been swirling for months that something like that was in the works and it was cool to finally know we’d be getting some new, potentially modern, versions of the original Grand Theft Auto. However, it did seem a little weird that this game was being made at all with how readily available those three games are on digital stores, as it has rarely been difficult to find any of the PS2-era GTA games.
Rockstar must be aware of how easy it is because it turns out that they’re going to make it very difficult to find the current versions of those games in the near future. With the announcement of a GTA remaster on the way it’s going to lead to the delisting of the current games from digital stores. Via their support page.
With the October 8, 2021 announcement of 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, previous versions and bundles featuring these titles will be removed from console and PC digital retailers as of the week of October 11, 2021.
This isn’t necessarily surprising because the new version is being put out on modern consoles, it is kind of a bummer. For one, these remasters are supposed to be a “definitive” version of the original trilogy. Doesn’t that mean that changes will be made? What if someone wants to play the original game in its original state? Well, if they didn’t buy it before it’s delisted then they better hope to find a physical copy, because that option doesn’t seem like it’s going to be available anytime soon.
This decision by Rockstar is leading to some fans discussing the idea of game preservation and if it’s okay for a developer to just release remasters and erase the previous games from existence. While that is a valid point, the counter to it would be that most GTA games sold thousands of copies and are available for relatively cheap. Just as an example, Grand Theft Auto III is currently $20 on Amazon and can also be found used for as low as $2. It might be difficult to play the game, with the need for a working PlayStation 2, but copies of the game are not exactly scarce.
All of that said, it’s still disappointing to see Rockstar choose to make a decision like this. Hopefully, it’s only a temporary one to increase sales of the Remastered Trilogy and eventually those original games will become available again in their original state.