It seems things are not all well at Rockstar Games, as development of the Expanded and Enhanced port of Grand Theft Auto 5 for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S hit another snag. First announced in 2020 and planned to launch in November 2021, E&E got delayed once already to March 2022. Now, it seems that a delay to April or May is impending.
This news comes from known data miner and industry informant @Matheusbr9895_, but certainly isn't surprising. Rumblings of trouble at Rockstar Games are nothing new, though previously these rumors and reports regarded the troubled development of GTA 6 rather than the new port. Apparently, the issues reach further.
Expanded and Enhanced will be more than just a visual touch up to GTA 5, which has already been re-released twice on new platforms. As with the Enhanced Edition, Expanded and Enhanced is packing new gameplay features and tweaks alongside the visual upgrade. Something new to E&E however is the addition of brand new content - not just to Online, but to the single player experience as well.
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However, it seems like this scope is the result of feature creep on the part of ambitious developers who decided they wanted to turn a simple next-gen update into something more. GTA 5 and Online can currently be played on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, but these are just current versions of the game running on new hardware.
@Matheusbr9895_ claims in Tweets that the original plan for the next-gen update was a simple set of patches, rolled out for free to all owners of the game's current version. This scope of using patches was then expanded - possibly not by the developers themselves, but as an order from on-high - into a full blown re-release with new features and content that Take-Two Interactive can then sell again.
· Eu recebi algumas informações Recentemente referente ao título: Grand Theft Auto V: Expanded And Enhanced.
· O desenvolvimento foi complicado. No momento segue sendo em março, Mas há grandes chances que seja adiado para Abril/Maio.
· Um Artigo R* chegando em breve.
— Matheusvictorbr- (@Matheusbr9895_) January 15, 2022
Allegedly Rockstar Games will soon be posting about this delay if it happens - the informant says that it isn't a certainty yet, but increasingly likely. Whether or not we're set to receive some sort of Newswire post about E&E regardless of the delay is unclear.
This new scope is apparently something the developers were not quite ready for. These days, with the pandemic and the ballooning of development costs and time needed to get the most out of increasingly powerful hardware, delays are the norm. As such, not many were surprised or disappointed when E&E got pushed back the first time.
However, another delay might get a rise out of a few people. Many in the community are still adjusting to delays having become a standard part of the industry, and while one has come to be expected in the AAA sphere, two might push things for those less adjusted.
That said, if it needs a delay it needs a delay - Rockstar Games isn't Grove Street Games, they won't release a title in a shoddy state. Take-Two also has a vested interest in keeping GTA Online popular and reputable, since it has been their main cash cow for years now, enjoying an anomalously healthy player base.
As the months draw closer to the release of Expanded and Enhanced - be it March, April or May - more and more details about the next-gen port are leaking, because assets and code is inexplicably hidden in current game files, despite it being a completely new release. We know that some cars are getting rebalanced and that color changing paint jobs are being added, to name some examples.
It isn't clear what elements of the game are specifically experiencing trouble with development, or if it is an overall management issue, but until official sources confirm the delay feel free to consider this merely a possibility - there is no guarantee Expanded and Enhanced will really be delayed again. Just don't be surprised if it is!