Take-Two CEO and Rockstar Games owner, Strauss Zelnick, has spoken about the importance of ensuring remasters aren’t lazy cash grabs. The statement comes as Rockstar gears up to release a remastered version of Grand Theft Auto V later this year and potentially, a rumored remake of the three PS2-era GTA titles as well.
Grand Theft Auto V has garnered plenty of success and made sure to keep players engaged over the last 8 years. Even though the game has already been available across two different console generations, the game hasn’t run dry on content. With new updates, the game has managed to stay incredibly relevant and it’s likely the new version will do even more to stand the test of time.
At the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference (via VGC), CEO of Rockstar’s parent company Take-Two Interactive, Strauss Zelnick, spoke about how important it is to deliver worthwhile remasters as opposed to ‘simple ports’. Take-Two helped 2K Games release a pretty substantial remake of Mafia last year, bringing the game to a new audience. “Remastering has always been a part of the strategy. We’ve done differently than the competition – we don’t just port titles over, we actually take the time to do the very best job we can making the title different for the new release, for the new technology that we’re launching it on. So, we improve the technology, we upgrade the visuals, and we make performance enhancements. And that’s why I think our remastered titles typically do so well,” said Zelnick.
Zelnick went on to talk about how Grand Theft Auto V will be getting its third port later this year but noted his confidence in Rockstar’s ability to make it substantial and worthwhile. “We’ve done great with the Mafia series, for example, and Grand Theft Auto [V] is now heading into its third generation which is incredible,” he said. “It was a standard-bearer when it was launched, it continued to be the standard-bearer in the second generation, we’ll see how Grand Theft Auto does in the next generation. Obviously, I’m confident that Rockstar is going to deliver just a great experience, but you can’t do that if you’re just doing a simple port.”
Zelnick’s answer isn’t really PR-speak, either. There’s truth to it, despite some people being annoyed at Rockstar’s insistence to continue re-releasing Grand Theft Auto V. The game’s leap to Xbox One, PS4, and PC brought a bunch of new content, including a properly fleshed-out first-person mode. The POV change was so well-received, it even made its way into Red Dead Redemption 2. With Xbox Series X and PS5, the game will not only benefit from performance and graphical upgrades, but Rockstar has also promised exclusive new content for the platforms alongside continued updates on PC.
During a previous Take-Two earnings call Zelnick was asked about older Grand Theft Auto games getting remastered, to which he said it’s a “great and encouraging question” before saying he’d let Rockstar handle answering it on its own time. Rumors have suggested that the three PS2 Grand Theft Auto games are being remade, but nothing has been confirmed. Should these rumors prove to be true, it sounds like Rockstar will be giving these games some proper treatment rather than just slightly higher-resolution ports with improved controls. With the 20th anniversary of Grand Theft Auto 3 approaching, it shouldn’t be long before fans can get some sort of confirmation.