‘GTA Trilogy Remaster Definitive Edition’ release date theories, Rockstar Launcher and more

All evidence points to Unreal Engine versions of San Andreas, Vice City and GTA III, known as GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition, launching soon.

There has been speculation about a rumoured GTA Trilogy – a collection that contains the classic PS2 trilogy of GTA titles including Grand Theft Auto 3, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – since Take-Two hinted at three new “remasters” or “remakes” back in its Q1 2022 earnings call.

Back then, the mega-publisher and owner of Rockstar Games noted that the studio is working on three unannounced “iterations of previously released titles” – though it’s been coy about saying exactly what they are. The company may have shown its hand early (before all the leaks and information that you’re going to see listed in detail below) by targeting a fan project that was reverse-engineering Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City with a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown earlier this year. That move got the rumour mill started up nice and early, sparking speculation that remakes of the three classic games could potentially be in the works.

Since then, much more information has come to light about the supposed trilogy thanks to a variety of sources: whether it’s the Korean ratings board, or Rockstar’s very own launcher, these Unreal Engine remasters are now one of gaming’s-worst kept secrets. Read on below to learn more about Rockstar’s unannounced trilogy that’s supposedly coming to modern hardware soon.

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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas credit: Rockstar Games

GTA Trilogy – Definitive Edition release date, platforms and price

The very first suggestion we heard about the re-release of the games was that the three classic GTA games was from Kotaku, who noted that the games would appear across Google Stadia, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices – making good use of how platform agnostic Unreal Engine is, then.

If true, it would be the first time ever that a game in the GTA series would be available on a Nintendo console.

At the time of writing, it’s unclear whether Rockstar would sell the games independently, or whether they’d rather go in for a package deal only. There’s currently no hint as to what price point either the individual titles or the collected trilogy would launch at.

In terms of a release date, it’s hard to say: there are two feasible options. Firstly, it stands to reason that the trilogy was intended to tie in with GTA 5‘s PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S release on November 11, 2021? If so, Rockstar may have pushed the announcement (and release) of the remasters back in order to match the current-gen version of GTA 5‘s new release date in March 2022.

Alternatively, we may see Rockstar and Take-Two eager to put something out in time for the Holiday 2021 period, and we may get a stealth drop of the trilogy sometime soon as a result of that.

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So, when is the GTA Trilogy release date? Until Rockstar or Take-Two makes a formal announcement, we do not know.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Credit: Rockstar Games

GTA Trilogy – Achievements

Part of the big data dump that was found by Rockstar Intel’s @videotech_ uncovered a raft of achievements for the unannounced games that seem to disclose quite a lot of changes to the three games.

If you’re interested, we know how many new trophies/achievements each game has received individually. They are:

GTA III – 15 new additions
GTA Vice City – 9 new additions
GTA San Andreas – 15 new additions

The Vice City icons suggest that bicycles will be added to the remaster of the 2002 game (they were added in 2004’s San Andreas, for what it’s worth). There’s also reference to Bigfoot in the San Andreas icons, too, perhaps insinuating that the lumbering cryptid will actually make it into this game after his absence was the subject of much speculation when the game originally came out.

GTA Trilogy – Unreal Engine and development

The decoded text uncovered via Rockstar Launcher also contains multiple references to “Unreal”, which suggests that all three games have been remastered with Unreal Engine. Originally, the PS2-era GTA games were developed with a middleware engine called Renderware, while later instalments from GTA 4 onwards have used Rockstar’s proprietary RAGE engine.

If the remasters are indeed in development by Rockstar Dundee (formerly known as Ruffian Games), it would stand to reason that Take-Two would use an external engine when it comes to ease and speed of development. Given Ruffian has credits on making Halo: The Master Chief Collection all shiny and worthwhile on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S, it stands to reason they (may) have been tapped up to work on the GTA Trilogy.

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