By Dani Cook
The latest trailer for Grand Theft Auto V, remastered for next-gen consoles, has received an overwhelming 80% dislike to like ratio on YouTube. The trailer was widely panned on social media, with gamers lamenting the lack of improvements on show and frustration at receiving a second remaster for the eight-year-old game instead of any news about GTA VI. The trailer also announced a delay for the remake. GTA V on PS5 and Xbox Series X was originally supposed to release this fall but has instead been delayed to March 2022.
The discontent with the recent GTA V trailer comes on the back of a recent spate of negative reactions to “money-grabbing” tactics from publishers. There has been confusion over what should and should not be a full-priced ‘remaster’ versus just a resolution or frame rate bump via a free update. Games like Horizon Zero Dawn, Destiny 2, and The Last of Us 2 have all received free updates on the PS5, which provide higher framerates, improved graphics, or a mixture of the two. However, games like Ghost of Tsushima and Spider-Man have received the full-priced ‘remastered’ treatment. While Spider-Man earned praise for its improvements, Ghost of Tsushima has received criticism for providing improvements that gamers deemed could have been done in a free update like other Sony titles.
Publishers are trying to find a balance between providing free updates, paid updates, and full-priced remasters as the crossover to the new console generation has been muddied with stock issues. Microsoft has received praise for its “smart delivery” strategy, which provides gamers with copies of games on all its platforms, with all improvements for free. In contrast, Sony was recently under fire for its choice to lock the PS4 to PS5 upgrade for Horizon Forbidden West behind the $80 Digital Deluxe Edition of the game. Gamers were in an uproar over the decision and forced Sony into a quick U-turn. Within days of the original announcement, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO, Jim Ryan announced that SIE would now be providing a free upgrade from PS4 to PS5 for all copies of the game.
The latest upset with the new GTA V trailer shows that publishers are struggling to navigate the waters of the current console generation transition and gamers are not afraid to let them know when they disagree with a direction that publishers want to take.