Rockstar’s greed

The scandal behind the new remastered Grand Theft Auto Trilogy.


CC BY-NC 2.0

A plane flying over Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

By Lindsay Hunter

Small content creators get inspiration from famous triple-a game publishers all the time. For example, the famous farming simulator Stardew Valley was inspired by another: Harvest Moon. Fans are passionate about the games they spend so much time playing, and sometimes they take their inspiration into their own hands and begin coding.

This was the case with a team of modders in the Grand Theft Auto modding community when they began to remaster the original GTA trilogy and other games. This trilogy is nostalgic for many fans, and Rockstar, the developer of the GTA franchise, had not announced to the public at this time that there would ever be an official remaster. 

This group of modders took up the name GTA Underground. They worked together as a team for six years on this massive project to bring all of the GTA maps together, improve graphics, and add more new content. 

Remodding the original games was not easy and they had to reverse engineer all of their work, delving into the code of old GTA games. Lead developer, dkluin, began this project back in 2014, at the age of 14. GTA Underground was not a simple copy and paste job, it was very intricate and introduced many new aspects into the game that the original GTA Trilogy had never touched.

Rockstar’s parent company, Take Two, eventually stumbled upon this massive project that the GTA community was raving about. Fearing that it would take away the spotlight from their unannounced remaster, Take Two took up legal action on behalf of Rockstar. They used a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to take down GTA Underground and any other classic mods that any other GTA fans worked hard on. This was a devastating blow for the entire classic GTA fanbase, they had to give up their entire project and anything associated with it.

Rockstar Games finally confirmed the current-gen remasters of classic games GTA 3, Vice City, and GTA: San Andreas after nearly a year of leaks and speculation, and the GTA: The Trilogy trailer set a release date for November 11. This was announced shortly after GTA Underground got taken down.

Another successful triple-a publisher, Bethesda embraced modding in their games, the most notable games being Skyrim and Fallout. Bethesda implemented menus into their games that allowed the player to browse hundreds of mods created by the community. Overall, this brought Bethesda’s community closer together because they had the opportunity to bond together over the creation of mods. 

Rockstar is no longer the shining publisher its fans once saw it as. After Take Two took action against its own fanbase, fans are having a hard time supporting Rockstar. What used to be considered the best games of all time have now fallen off the podium and lost their esteem. 

Rockstar didn’t listen to their fans when they begged for GTA 6, and instead are making them pay $60 for a remaster! Furthermore, they delisted the older, cheaper games in an effort to make fans pay more money. Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition will always have a negative appeal from now on.