When Grand Theft Auto V was announced during the PS5’s game reveal it was a surprising thing to many who were left wondering if we had ever seen a Remaster of a Remaster before. At the same time, Rockstar’s move to bring its popular (some would say “Too” popular) game to, yet another generation of consoles was not entirely shocking either.
GTA V sells, it has been selling non-stop for seven years, across two console generations, and the only odd thing about the game at this point is that Rockstar has yet to make a Switch version of the game. Odd indeed.
With 130 million units sold (and counting) GTA V stands proudly as the second-best selling video game of all time, and because of it, Rockstar feels and probably can coast for a decade without delivering a proper sequel. In some ways Rockstar is with GTA V in the same spot that Bethesda is why their own Elder Scroll Scrolls V: Skyrim game.
Both games were once in a generation commercial and critical successes (GTA V more so than Skyrim commercially). It is hard to imagine how either company can top either game going forwards, and the expectations for the excellence of both follow ups is massive.
Video Games these days have incredibly long development cycles, thanks to rising budgets and the increasing complexity of technology. Most people who flamed Rockstar in social media for “trying to sell us GTA V again” fail to understand that Rockstar is just coming off a massive (near a decade long) developmental cycle of Red Dead Redemption 2.
In many ways RDR2 is much more impressive that GTA V ever wise, the realism and its visual fidelity within its open world simulation is unparalleled in the genre. It is understandable then, that GTA V will likely not see a release until at least 2022-23 with would mark five years from RDR2’s release which in turn marked 5 years from GTA V’s own original release.
A former Rockstar Games producer, Darion Lowenstein, explained on Tik Tok why Rockstar has yet to unveil the long awaited GTA VI,
“Honestly, from a development standpoint, there are a couple of good reasons. I’ve made a lot of games for new consoles, it’s really hard. Tech is constantly changing, and it’s really hard to make a AAA game at launch. Second, like I said before, the constantly updating a pre-existing game, making it prettier, is WAY cheaper, way easier than an all-new one. So, if I had to guess, GTA 6 just isn’t ready, and GTA 5 will provide a lot of income, and an experience everyone already knows and loves, within a year of the PS5 launching.” -Darion Lowenstein
Basically, if the game keeps selling, Rockstar will keep “Remastering it” while they work on the development of GTA VI. It makes sense. Perhaps we gamers shouldn’t be so rash to judgement, after all, as far as Remasters go the PS4 and Xbox One versions of GTA V are much improved from their PS3, and Xbox 360 counter parts. That said, I have no doubt GTA V will continue to sell incredibly well on both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X for years and years to come.