In the history of video games, few franchises have got to the heights that Rockstar Games' GTA franchise has, and continues to do so.
The last decade kicked off with one of the greatest pop cultural phenomenons in GTA 5 in 2013. However, there's been a long wait for the next installment with no news on the horizon.
That is not to say that Rockstar was quiet the whole decade. Red Dead Redemption II will go down in gaming history as one of the finest AAA games of all time. Not only that, Rockstar has also heavily supported Red Dead and GTA Online. These are two expansive online multiplayer games with loads of content.
But is it time for Rockstar to, perhaps, go back to the well and focus on relatively smaller projects?
Should Rockstar develop Remastered editions for GTA San Andreas and Vice City?
If CAPCOM has proven anything in the past few years, it is that a well-made remake or remaster can be extremely successful as a proper mainline sequel.
For instance, the Resident Evil remakes are considered some of the best horror games of the past decade, and Final Fantasy VII: Remake was in contention for Game of the Year.
Therefore, a conclusion can be drawn that a remake/remaster has a lot to offer for a publisher as well as the audience. A remake/remaster for GTA San Andreas or Vice City should be a complete no-brainer for Rockstar.
The implications of a Remaster/Remake
There is a massive difference between a Remaster and a Remake, with the latter being a completely overhauled experience. For instance, Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is a Remastered version of the game for the PS4 and Xbox One. The game remains the same, for the most part, with a few graphical upgrades.
Resident Evil, on the other hand, was a complete remake of the original. It only resembles the original in terms of its narrative and not much else. The entire game has been worked on from the ground-up and requires a lot of time for development.
Games like GTA San Andreas and Vice City, on the other hand, have aged relatively well and are still playable in their current state.
While a remake on the scale of Mafia: The Definitive Edition, is too far fetched, perhaps a 4K remaster will do just fine.
However, the fanbase would definitively react better to a proper sequel.
While a remaster of classics like San Andreas and Vice City would definitely be appreciated by the fanbase, this might not be great timing. Rockstar is uncharacteristically facing backlash from its own fanbase currently. One of the reasons being the lack of a sequel in 7 years.
However, given that GTA games tend to take an extremely long time to make, this shouldn't be a surprise. A remaster after the release of a new title would definitely sit right with the fans.