PC gamers who were hoping to try out Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition have been prevented from playing the anticipated remaster thanks to the official Rockstar Launcher being down for maintenance for 12 hours, which stings enough, but it looks like further salt is being rubbed into those wounds as the PC version of the game has been pulled from the developer's store entirely.
At the time of writing there's been no official statement from Rockstar to provide an explanation, but since the game launched across other platforms, negative reviews have been flooding in regarding its quality, which hoards of disappointed fans across all available platforms.
There's some speculation that GTA: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition has been removed as a result of this early feedback, however, this could somehow be in relation to the ongoing maintenance, or simply some last-minute bug fixes. We won't know for sure until an official statement has been made, but we've reached out to Rockstar for clarification.
We thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to work on restoring services for the Rockstar Games Launcher and supported titles.November 12, 2021
The Rockstar Launcher being down isn't just an issue for any fans of the GTA series though, as even if you've previously signed into your machine and ticked the 'remember me' option, you'll be prevented from playing your entire Rockstar library.
Last night, Rockstar tweeted "services for the Rockstar Games Launcher and supported titles are temporarily offline for maintenance", adding: "Services will return as soon as maintenance is completed."
Analysis: Do you really need your own launcher?
I think it's about time for Rockstar to shift back to Steam. The Rockstar Games Launcher has been down for nearly 10 hours and I'm unable to access the games that I paid for. Frustrated about this all...November 12, 2021
Being unable to play single-player games that shouldn't require an internet connection is ridiculous, so the frustrations beings expressed across social media are more than understandable. With many developers choosing to create their own desktop launchers, there's been plenty of criticism swimming around about how convoluted this can make your desktop.
Aside from this, it also gives developers the means to create their own policies regarding refunds. As it stands, Rockstar allows you to refund a game within 14 days of purchase if it has less than two hours of gameplay, the same rules that Steam has for its own refund policy. That said, Steam allows players to launch offline games...when offline, which really shouldn't be a novel idea.
The requirement for users to have an internet connection to verify game ownership every time it's launched feels very backward, but with any luck, this incident may persuade Rockstar to look into removing this requirement from the launcher.
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Jess is a former TechRadar Computing writer, where she covered all aspects of Mac and PC hardware, including PC gaming and peripherals. She has been interviewed as an industry expert for the BBC, and while her educational background was in prosthetics and model-making, her true love is in tech and she has built numerous desktop computers over the last 10 years for gaming and content creation. Jess is now a journalist at The Verge.