In its latest financial earnings report, GTA owner Take-Two suggested the upcoming mobile port of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive edition has been delayed.
The anthology title, which collects remastered versions of GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas in a single bundle, was originally released late last year. It dropped on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, as well as last-gen consoles. Rockstar announced (opens in new tab) it'd be coming to iOS and Android devices in the first half of 2022.
But a new financial document (opens in new tab) now lists the game as scheduled to launch during the 2023 fiscal year, delaying its release to as late as April 2023 (thanks, VGC (opens in new tab)). Rockstar needs to launch the game next month to hit its original launch window. Given that we’ve seen no pre-release marketing material over the last couple of weeks, we don’t expect that’s going to happen.
A welcome delay
It looks likely that the GTA Trilogy’s mobile port will launch later than Rockstar had initially expected, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. When the game launched last year it was lambasted by critics and players alike.
A score of technical glitches undermined the game’s performance across systems, while several stability bugs caused the game to frequently crash in its early builds. Its artistic direction also raised a few eyebrows, with character models redrawn and several classic locations remodeled. But while the changes were in keeping with the stylized exaggeration of the original games, they took the collection in a visual direction many fans weren’t happy with.
Rockstar’s decision to pull the original games from online storefronts only exacerbated the bitterness of fans. Not only had they been served a collection that was technically flawed and artistically strange, but purists couldn’t even purchase the original versions to play instead. Rockstar was eventually forced to backtrack, offering disappointed players a free game as compensation, and even apologizing (opens in new tab) for the poor state of the release.
Four months after the trilogy’s release, Rockstar released a hefty update that drastically improved the games’ performance. It resolved numerous bugs and introduced a handful of stability improvements, finally addressing the most egregious technical faults that had littered the game since launch.
In light of those launch problems, the delay of the GTA Trilogoy’s mobile port shouldn’t be quite so dispiriting. That Rockstar is taking extra time to develop the title is a good indication that the collection will release in a much better state on mobile than it did on console and PC. Be thankful, then, that when you return to Grove Street on your tablet, you’ll probably be able to do so smoothly.
Rockstar might not totally care, though. The Trilogy was a huge commercial success despite its litany of glitches and technical issues.
It’s probably healthy to take a similar perspective to other development projects, too. Bethesda recently delayed Starfield, announcing the much-anticipated sci-fi RPG will now be hitting shelves in 2023 rather than this November. Excited fans will be disappointed they have to wait several more months to get their hands on the game, but at least they’ll have some time to think about what they actually want from it.