Rockstar's Upcoming GTA Trilogy Remaster May Explain Take-Two's DMCA Tirade

Grand Theft Auto San Andreas
The legal hounds representing publisher Take-Two Interactive have been on the scent of Grand Theft Auto modders, barking at them with Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) take down notices. As a result, several mods hosted at Liberty City were recently yanked offline, to comply with the demand. This raises the question, why is Take-Two so concerned about mods for much older games, like Grand Theft Auto: Vice City? It could be because of remastered versions that are currently in development.

To be crystal clear, Take-Two has not announced any pending GTA remasters, and neither has developer Rockstar Games. However, rumors have been running rampant, and the rash of DMCA take down notices certainly make a lot more sense, if the publisher is planning on releasing remastered versions of GTA games.

Adding to the intrigue, sources who apparently have a favorable track record with leaking information about Rockstar titles before they get announced (including GTA Online and Red Dead Online) say that is exactly the motivation—they claim Rockstar is developing three GTA remasters, including Grand Theft Auto III (released in 2001), Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (released in 2002), and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (released in 2004).

According to those sources, they're being handled by Rockstar Dundee, a newer studio within the Take-Two family, which is tapping the Unreal Engine to blend "new and old graphics" into the remastered titles. What exactly that means is anyone's guess, but they also said the user interface is part of the remastered effort as well, not just the gameplay.

One thing I'd personally like to see is the kind of approach that's been taken with remastered versions of old school LucasArts titles, like Day of the Tentacle and The Secret of Monkey Island—in both cases, a button press toggles between the original and update graphics in real-time. That's probably far trickier to pull off in GTA games, but it would be neat if it happens.

It's also said that the plan at one point was to bundle all three remasters with remakes of Grand Theft Auto V and GTA Online, which are being retooled for modern generation game consoles. Somewhere along the line, however, Take-Two changed its mind, and will launch separately in October or November of this year for game consoles (including the Nintendo Switch), Windows PCs, and mobile phones.