Once again, as so often happens in the world of games, a clumsy retailer making a store listing public too early is all that's needed to spoil a surprise - though in this case, the surprise is definitely not a welcome one.
Rockstar Games may have finally officially announced Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition, but they didn't reveal anything else. Now, the pricing has been leaked.
In a listing posted by Base.com - and then subsequently swiftly scrubbed from the site - it was indicated that Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition would be sold at full AAA MSRP. Not only that, but on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, it would be subject to the divisive and contentious next-gen price hike, bringing the game up to $70/£70. On other platforms, the game will be $60/£60.
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Now, on its own, this wouldn't really be an issue - remasters that completely rebuilt the original from the ground up with new assets have been sold at full price before and it is a defensible position. The fact that we're getting three games here, each of which are content rich and award winning titles lauded as some of the best games of their era, possible ever, definitely helps.
However, when you pair up this pricing scheme with the fact that The Definitive Edition won't look better on current-gen consoles than other platforms, that Rockstar Games is pulling other versions of these GTA titles from sale and that Take-Two has been aggressively taking down modders making their own enhancements to 3D era games, it all starts to get stinky.
The $10 extra charge for playing on a current generation console has been at the center of a major debate in gaming ever since this gen kicked off, but usually there is a tangible improvement involved, with current-gen versions being notably better looking. With The Definitive Edition, as far as we know we're getting the same experience on every platform, so this does not apply.
Additionally, Rockstar is going to be taking down GTA 3, Vice City and San Andreas from storefronts before the release of The Definitive Edition, meaning fans won't be able to buy the originals, or any of these games separately - if you want to buy any of the three, you're stuck with one full priced option.
This revelation, while not certain - sometimes stores put placeholder info into listings, and maybe the AAA full price was just a temporary default - has already sparked a boycott movement. Fans are encouraging players to quickly buy the cheaper, individual, non-remastered versions of these games while they still can and skip The Definitive Edition when it launches.
Ultimately you're still giving your money to the same company, so while this is effectively voting with your wallet, it is an... odd form of resistance. In any case, if you do want to digitally own any of these GTA games in un-remastered form, time is running out.
We still don't have a release date for Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition.