Rockstar will remove GTA titles from digital retailers next week, impacting re3/reVC unofficial ports
Rockstar officially announced yesterday that they will be launching remastered versions of GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas. As part of this launch, the game publisher announced they will be pulling all three games from digital retailers next week. This could impact unofficial ReVC/Re3 reverse-engineered ports of the games, which require gamers to own a legit copy of the games in order to retrieve the necessary assets. That’s additional trouble for these ports, already in the middle of a lawsuit initiated by Rockstar.
GTA 3, San Andreas, and Vice City remastered, will launch on current gen consoles
The remastered version will be launched under the name “GTA The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition”. It will include GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas, and will launch on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. A launch for iOS/Android is also planned for mid 2022.
While a lot of gamers will probably welcome these remastered versions, this announce happens while Rockstar are currently suing some fans of their games who have ported it to the Nintendo Switch and other platforms (including the PS Vita), via the ReVC and Re3 projects.
At least this confirms what everybody thought: a remaster is coming, Rockstar intend to milk the cow. And that also apparently means threatening open source projects that could eat into their margin. My personal take: the company has such low confidence in the quality of their upcoming remasters, that they are afraid an open source project could actually outrun it with enhanced graphics, bug fixes, mods, and the like. I expect the remastered version to be a cash grab. That’s just my opinion, of course.
In my opinion, the Rockstar lawsuit has no legs because the reverse engineered versions of the GTA games are explicitly requiring a legit copy of the games, and do not use any Rockstar Intellectual Property. Unfortunately, being right and being out of trouble are two separate concepts when it comes to a lawsuit. The reverse engineered versions of the games have been pulled from github, then put back, then pulled again, and it’s become increasingly harder to find them.
The PS Vita versions of Re3 and REVC still float on the intertubes but we’ve been asked by their creators to avoid sharing any link at this point.
Should you get GTA 3, Vice City and San Andreas while they’re still available, to play on your Switch/Vita?
According to an official announcement, Rockstar will be pulling GTA 3, San Andreas, and Vice City (as well as bundles containing them) from digital retailers next week. The announcement reads:
With the October 8, 2021 announcement of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and the Rockstar Games Launcher, previous versions and bundles featuring these titles will be removed from console and PC digital retailers as of the week of October 11, 2021.
Players who purchased these titles previously will still be able to download and play them on their respective purchase platforms.
If you want to run the open source versions Re3 or ReVC on your Vita or Switch (assuming you can find the compiled binaries, wink wink cough cough), you do need a legit copy of the Android version of the games. Those can still be bought from Google Play today, but this might not be the case anymore, soon.
So, should you get those, or wait for the remasters ? In both cases, you’re giving your money to a company that spits in the face of modders and tinkerers, so it’s a hard choice. But if you badly want to run the game on your PS vita, now might be your last chance to do it in a semi legal way. On the Switch however, at this point you might as well wait for the remastered version.