Do fans need a GTA 3 remake/remaster in 2021?

Older games that can find new life through remasters and remakes (Image via Rockstar Games)
Older games that can find new life through remasters and remakes (Image via Rockstar Games)
Rahul Bhushan

The GTA franchise has garnered both critical and commercial success since its debut in the early 2000s.

Rockstar Games has one of the most stacked catalogs of games in the industry. Since the 2000s, the continued success of the GTA franchise, along with several others such as Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne, has placed the company at the very pinnacle of game development. This kind of position comes with its own set of pressures, expectations and opportunities.

In Rockstar's case, opportunity refers to their impressive catalog of older games that can find new life through remasters and remakes. Despite older games in the franchise, like GTA III and Vice City, having aged relatively well, a remake/remaster can definitely shake things up in a big way.

Is a GTA III remake/remaster needed in 2021?

Amid the usual chatter around GTA 6 and the conjecture surrounding its announcement, there have also been rumors of a GTA III remaster. A "leak" recently popped up on 4chan of "Grand Theft Auto III 20th Anniversary Edition."

The "leak" indicates that Rockstar is currently working on a complete remake of the seminal 2001 title. While there is obvious value to be found in a remake of older GTA titles, perhaps it won't go down as well as one might expect with fans.

There is already a sense of discomfort and dismay within the fanbase concerning the franchise. The reason primarily stems from the fact that Rockstar has maintained radio silence over the development of a sequel in the series.

As of now, GTA 6 hasn't been confirmed by Rockstar, and while that is an understandably valid decision, the feeling around remasters isn't exactly positive.

GTA 5 on next-gen consoles and the fan backlash

The PS5 Reveal Event was largely a success. Most of the announcements at the event were received positively, except for one. The announcement involving a remaster of GTA 5 for next-gen consoles did not exactly go down well with the fanbase.

Soon after, the trailer became one of the most disliked videos on Rockstar's YouTube channel. While the dislike tally isn't exactly representative of the entire fanbase's sentiments, it does reflect what a large portion of the fanbase feels.

When considered in isolation, a GTA 3 remake would set the world alight and would be very well-received by fans. Recent remakes like Mafia: The Definitive Edition have indicated fans have a genuine appreciation for older games, especially when they are brought back to life with a much-needed update.

Recent comments by Take-Two Interactive CEO Straus Zelnick indicate that Rockstar does not simply port games. This means a remaster or a remake has to be a complete re-work of the original game.

This indicates a significant amount of time in development as there is plenty of work involved with remastering a game, more so in the case of a game like GTA.

Will a GTA 3 remake be something fans are interested in?

Based on how positively fans have responded to remakes of older games like Mafia and Final Fantasy 7, it stands to reason that there is a huge demand for remakes.

Yet, players are extremely wary of the distinction between a remaster and a remake.

A remake typically indicates that the game has been worked on from scratch, including brand-new assets, mechanics and occasionally more story content. (in the case of Mafia).

A remaster is akin to the game receiving a next-gen touch-up in the form of better textures, better overall performance (60-120 FPS) and the like. It isn't a completely new game, but it is a slightly better-looking and better-performing version of the game.

This is why a GTA 3 remaster might sell a lot, but not nearly as much as a complete remake would.

All of this remains conjecture at this point, and the ball is in Rockstar's court. While fans would absolutely love a GTA sequel, recent releases only showcase that a game only benefits from longer time in development.

Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh
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