Rockstar Games has been gradually rolling out their legacy library on new platforms over the past few years, but two games have oddly been missing from the re-releases. Now, it seems Rockstar is planning to fix this discrepancy in the coming weeks.
The ESRB ratings site has time and again been responsible for blowing the cover off an otherwise well-kept secret game, and more than once has it revealed news of a Rockstar re-release or remaster prior to it being announced.
Sure, these games coming to either current gen consoles or to mobile isn’t exactly a major release like, say, Red Dead Redemption 2, but Rockstar announces things when it does for a reason.
Nonetheless, the cat – or cats, in this case – are out of the bag, and it seems that two older Grand Theft Auto titles that were seemingly forgotten in Rockstar’s efforts to bring their older games to newer platforms are finally making that jump to PS4. One of the two was a particularly odd omission due to its popularity.
GTA: Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories have been rated by the ESRB for the PlayStation 4 recently. It should surprise no-one that their actual rating hasn’t changed from that of the originals, and the ports will still be rated M for mature.
The GTA “stories” sub-series during the 3D era were originally PlayStation Portable exclusives, designed to bring the full GTA experience to portable gaming devices with surprising success (considering the hardware capabilities of the time). Both games took place prior to the events of their associated mainline games with recurring characters and an identical map.
Liberty City Stories particularly enjoyed massive success at the time and remains a well-loved entry of the franchise, but Vice City Stories can’t complain on this front either. Both games made the jump to mobile over the course of last year.
Now, the PS4 will catch up on that front and will be carrying every single 3D era title (except for Advance, but no other platform will ever carry Advance).
Rockstar isn’t stopping there, either. Many of their older games are considered true classics and the company is capitalizing on the evergreen nature of their legacy library. As such, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne and The Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition are also coming to the Sony console.
While it might be a bit of a stretch to link everything back to this, the fact that the Xbox isn’t getting this treatment might come down to an ongoing deal between Rockstar and Sony.
This deal was first brought to public attention when Red Dead Redemption 2 was announced alongside marketing materials stating that it will get post-launch content on the PS4 earlier than on the Xbox One, making Sony’s console the ideal platform to play it on.
Ever since then, many moves on Rockstar’s part have favored Sony, including the addition of Red Dead Redemption to the PlayStation Now streaming library. Since these two games are getting updated and re-released on a Sony console only, it might go to show that their deal, the details of which are not public, may extend to a whole lot of other games and services.
Rockstar and Sony have a very long shared history, which could also go to explain these phenomena.
In the 3D era, which is when GTA became as popular as it is now, the games were always first released on PlayStation platforms and only later ported elsewhere. The Stories subseries were Sony exclusive. One of Rockstar’s in-limbo projects, Agent, was conceived as a PlayStation exclusive title.
While going multiplatform is just far too profitable for Rockstar right now, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that at one point in the past Rockstar may have considered becoming a Sony exclusive developer in the vein of Naughty Dog.
We have no release dates on these games. While we usually say not to take anything coming from a source other than Rockstar as a guarantee, the ESRB isn’t an organization that’s going to mess around with ratings, so chances are this info is good.
Keep an eye on Rockstar’s profiles for any official announcement about these ports.