Rockstar Scrapping GTA 4 And Red Dead Remasters Is The Right Move


GTA 6 should be Rockstar's main priority.

July 9, 2022

It has been 14 years since Niko Bellic arrived in Liberty City in Grand Theft Auto 4, and 12 years since John Marston did the government’s bidding by going after members of his former gang in order to save his family in Red Dead Redemption. After a period of time, it’s not uncommon for games to receive a makeover and go from rougher textures to a more modern-day look and feel, but in the case of Grand Theft Auto 4 and Red Dead Redemption that no longer appears to be an option according to Rockstar Insider Tez2, who has a solid reputation for accurate leaks (such as GTA’s heavy rifle returning in GTA Online’s The Contract DLC).


“As per a reliable source with clear accuracy on Rockstar plans, remasters of GTA IV and RDR1 were on the table a few years ago, but Rockstar chose not to proceed with the projects in mind,” said Tez2. “The poor reception of the Trilogy DE [Definitive Edition] might be a reason behind that decision.” The insider also tweeted that Rockstar had not started development on the remakes. Despite the Definitive Edition of the Grand Theft Auto trilogy selling around 10 million copies, it was largely criticized by both critics and the public. Thomas Williamson, owner and CEO of Grove Street Studios, posted on his LinkedIn that the team only spent two years remastering the game, and it shows.

RELATED: Rockstar Reportedly Scrapped RDR and GTA IV Remaster Plans a Few Years Ago

Even Rockstar itself admitted that the collection did not live up to its standards. The company released a statement on its website after the game’s release in November of 2021 apologizing to fans. “Firstly, we want to sincerely apologize to everyone who has encountered issues playing these games. The Grand Theft Auto series — and the games that make up this iconic trilogy — are as special to us as we know they are to fans around the world. The updated versions of these classic games did not launch in a state that meets our own standards of quality, or the standards our fans have come to expect,” said the company.

While fans really want a remaster of GTA 4 and especially Red Dead Redemption, this is probably the right move by Rockstar. By deciding not to remake these games, they are showing their fans they have listened to their criticism in regards to the GTA trilogy remasters. If they themselves nor Grove Street can take the required amount of time to properly polish up these classic games in the way they deserve, then they shouldn’t bother, and now they know just how loudly fans will make their feelings known (well, after buying over 10 million copies of the widely derided trilogy).

With GTA 6 in the works, it’s comforting to know that Rockstar are giving the much-awaited game the attention it needs. Rockstar can’t afford to let it suffer the same fate as the remastered trilogy did. Did the fallout from the Definitive Edition trilogy give Rockstar the wake-up call they needed, or is it just coincidental timing? Perhaps they’ve learned now that it’s OK to focus on one project at a time to ensure it works properly, looks good, and gives people a memorable experience.

Kotaku has apparently received word from another Rockstar insider that GTA 4 and Red Dead Redemption may yet get remasters after GTA 6, and that’s great, but it’s important for Take-Two and Rockstar to not rush things and focus on a game that it hopes will come to define this generation for all the right reasons.

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Nick Battaglia

Nick Battaglia is a Features Writers For DualShockers with a specialty in writing about accessibility in video games. Though his gaming journey began with Super Mario Bros. 3, he finds himself wandering Los Angeles looking for a Galaga cabinet to spend his time in front of. When he's not spending quarters he can be found returning the Lakers back to prominence in NBA 2K.

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