Rockstar reportedly halts Red Dead Redemption remaster because of GTA Trilogy mess

Red Dead Redemption
(Image credit: Rockstar)

Nothing succeeds like success, as the old saying goes, and nowhere is that more true than in videogames. Sequels have been a foundational part of the business for years, and more recently remakes and remasters have become big, bringing our favorite games from years gone by onto new hardware. But two huge and obvious candidates for the remastering treatment—Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto 4—have reportedly been halted by Rockstar.

The problem, according to Rockstar insider Tez2, is the GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition, a remastered set of Grand Theft Auto 3, Vice City, and San Andreas, which was a full-on mess when it launched in November 2021. There's plenty of in-depth criticism and analysis out there if you want to get into it, but this pretty much covers it all:

Tez2 clarified in a reply tweet that remasters of GTA 4 and Red Dead Redemption were only in the "ideas and plans" stage, but they were planned—Rockstar was apparently waiting to see how the GTA trilogy panned out before going all-on on production. And it actually did quite well in terms of sales, which Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said "significantly" exceeded commercial expectations and provided a major contribution to the company's ongoing financial success. 

But it was also a lot of egg on Rockstar's previously unblemished face: The studio was forced to apologize for the mess, re-release the old versions of the trilogy games, and even give players another game for free to make up for it. They also probably had to listen to a lot of "busted nut" jokes, too.

Kotaku confirmed Tez2's tweet in its own report, with a little extra nuance. Sources told the site that Rockstar is focusing its effort on Grand Theft Auto 6 for now and waiting for the ugliness of the GTA Trilogy botch to blow over, but that Red Dead and GTA 4 remasters could still happen at some point down the road, after the release of GTA 6. I've reached out to Rockstar for comment and will update if I receive a reply.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.