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Should Rockstar work on porting GTA 4 and 5 to Android and iOS this year?

Image via Epic Games
Image via Epic Games
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Rahul Bhushan

There are a few games in the industry that can pull audiences quite like the GTA franchise as they have been equally successful across all platforms, including consoles and PC. Yet, it's been a while since Rockstar Games has focused its efforts on handheld consoles.

Back in the day, games like GTA Vice City Stories and Chinatown Wars were a massive success on handheld consoles like the PlayStation Portable. In 2021, however, handheld consoles have taken on a different form.

In many ways, mobile gaming has taken over space once held by handheld consoles and makes for perfectly legitimate and capable gaming devices. So, it makes total sense for Rockstar to bring over some of their most iconic and latest games from the GTA franchise to mobile, right? Well, yes and no.


Rockstar porting GTA 4 and 5 to Android and iOS

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Over the past few years, Rockstar Games has successfully ported many games from the GTA franchise over to mobile phones.

The games have seen moderate to huge success on the platform, and a large part of that success is the sheer nostalgia of being able to play classics from back in the day.

Games like GTA San Andreas and Vice City, while not necessarily ancient relics, are over a decade and a half old at this point, and "classic" fit those titles perfectly.

Therefore, nostalgia plays a lot into the charm of the game on mobile devices, and many bugs and annoyances can be chalked up to the game's age and the limitations of the hardware.

On the other hand, games like GTA 4 and 5 present an abnormally huge challenge for any studio. Rockstar usually delegates the porting over to smaller studios, and projects like San Andreas, Vice City, and Chinatown Wars are just about the right size.

The last couple of games in the series, especially GTA 5, can be extremely taxing to port over to mobile devices. The trade-off, then, would mean creating a lighter and less-sophisticated version of the game on mobile devices.

While it would be initially appreciated, many will choose not to opt for an inferior version of the game. Seeing that nostalgia still wouldn't be a massive factor and the novelty of playing a console game on mobile would be lost as it would be an inferior version of the game.

Thus, instead of porting over existing games, perhaps a new GTA experience tailored to handheld devices like mobiles could be on the cards.


Edited by Shaheen Banu
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