The release of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition has not gone well. In fact, we have separately described it as a “mess” and a “trainwreck” that has left fans pining for the original versions, which were delisted when the trilogy came out. Today those fans got some good news: Rockstar is bringing the classic versions back.
“Firstly, we want to sincerely apologize to everyone who has encountered issues playing these games,” Rockstar wrote. “The Grand Theft Auto series—and the games that make up this iconic trilogy—are as special to us as we know they are to fans around the world. The updated versions of these classic games did not launch in a state that meets our own standards of quality, or the standards our fans have come to expect.”
An update regarding the unexpected technical issues with Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition. https://t.co/YP4pkOLQmG pic.twitter.com/AsfYPuMI0dNovember 19, 2021
It's not giving up on the remastered trilogy, promising that fixes and improvements will be delivered in future updates. In the meantime, however, the “classic versions” of Grand Theft Auto 3, Vice City, and San Andreas will be returned to the Rockstar Store as a bundle. Even better, anyone who owns the GTA Trilogy, or who purchases it through June 30, 2022, will be given the classic games for free.
The return of the original games is good news. Less happy is the reaction to the sorry state of the trilogy among some fans, which has led to developers of the trilogy “being harassed on social media,” Rockstar said. “We would kindly ask our community to please maintain a respectful and civil discourse around this release as we work through these issues.”
Rockstar said it will release another update as soon as the classic GTA trilogy bundle is available again. There's no word about whether the games will be returned to Steam as well—I've reached out to ask and will update if I receive a reply.