This week Rockstar announced the worst-kept secret in gaming: remasters of Grand Theft Auto 3, Vice City and San Andreas.
In doing so, Rockstar confirmed its plan to delist the originals from all digital retailers on PC and consoles from next week, replacing them with Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition across multiple storefronts.
The decision to delist these classics is a blow to video game preservation and obviously bad for player choice, but it seems unlikely Rockstar will budge on this – not any time soon, anyway.
And so, fans have flocked to Steam reviews to suggest people buy the originals now before they lose their chance – potentially forever.
“Make sure your ass owns the trilogy before it gets nuked off Steam,” wrote Pink Diamond in one GTA 3 Steam review.
“Buy this before it’s delisted in the next week,” said GrunkleBran in a Vice City Steam review.
“Buy it before it’s removed,” user park said in a San Andreas Steam review.
Fans who already own the games are also using Steam reviews to wave goodbye. One in particular stood out to me, from a Steam user with an incredible 2780 hours on record with San Andreas:
“I gotta say with all the time I’ve put into this game speedrunning, modding and whatnot that this is the best I’ll ever have playing a GTA game, this game means alot to me with a great story, good world and tons of stuff to do and find. “
“Good bye, old friend,” Steam user Dime wrote in a GTA 3 review. “Rockstar is going to remove you from Steam so the Definitive Edition can make money for them. Thanks for the memories …”
GTA 3 is 20 years old, Vice City 19 years old, and San Andreas 17 years old. The versions of the games available to download now on Steam, the PlayStation Store and the Xbox Marketplace are not the true originals. The version of San Andreas available to buy on the Xbox download store, for example, is the Xbox 360 version playable on Xbox One and Xbox Series X and S via backwards compatibility. The version of Vice City available to download on the PlayStation Store is the PlayStation 2 version converted to run on PlayStation 4. To get the true original experience, you’ll need a PS2 and a physical copy of each game, and nothing Rockstar does next week can prevent people from going down the eBay route.
In Rockstar’s announcement, it said Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition will be available for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and the Rockstar Games Launcher. It didn’t specifically mention Steam, which suggests the originals will be removed from Valve’s platform and replaced with nothing.
Rockstar’s warning said the previous versions and bundles featuring these games will be removed from digital retailers as of the week of 11th October. We don’t know the exact date they will be delisted, but if you’re interested in owning them, today’s your last day to buy them digitally.
Of course, anyone who’s bought any of the previous versions will still be able to download and play them on their respective purchase platforms after they’re delisted.