With its crime sandbox gameplay and vast, detailed open world, Grand Theft Auto 5 was the best selling game of 2013. Not only this, but it became the sixth best selling game of all time and lodged a total of seven Guinness World Records to its name including the title of ‘the fastest entertainment property to generate $1 billion.’
The game was even described by Guinness as proof that gaming had finally gone from a niche hobby to the big time, meanwhile the game’s impact was so great that it also sparked debate across the world about video games, their impact on our behavior and the changing face of entertainment as a whole.
And that was all set to flare up again when it seemed confirmed back at E3 in June that GTA V would be making its way to PS4, Xbox and PC, doubling down on the great graphics and varied activities that made the original version great in the first place. But that was somewhat dampened last week when Rockstar announced that the PC version of the game would be arriving several months later than its console counterparts.
Initially, Rockstar offered no explanation for the delay and instead just stated the January 27, 2015 PC release date alongside the console dates without further comment. However, PC gamers argued that it was not something to be swept aside, and the backlash has somewhat forced the developer into providing a statement.
“We’re glad to see so many of you are excited for the upcoming release of the new versions of GTAV and we look forward to sharing more details with you soon. We are also incredibly excited to be bringing GTAV to the PC, but the game requires a little more development time in order to ensure that it is as amazing and polished as possible. Please do stay tuned as we reveal new features and information about all the new versions in the weeks ahead.”
While the statement doesn’t elaborate much on exactly why the PC version of GTA V needs “a little more development time”, the accusatory fingers have already been pointed. Some gamers argue that this is platform holders Microsoft and Sony working behind the scenes to spite PC gamers, but the real reason is likely a lot more technical (and nowhere near as simple).
Unlike the fixed specs of a console, PCs have a variation of builds. From graphics cards, sounds cards and the amount of RAM a PC might have, it can be difficult for even a big team like Rockstar to optimize a game for all of the different possibilities – it’s something that thwarted the PC release of GTA IV making it a buggy mess that lacked in the graphics department on even the best graphics cards. The backlash to GTA IV’s PC failings was fairly severe and it’s something that Rockstar would want to avoid a second time around, especially given the high expectations of GTA V.
There’s still a long wait to see if that extra time in the oven does pay off for GTA V on PC and cynics will certainly have their say in the run up to the game’s release, but until Rockstar reveals more info, or another glitzy trailer, all we can really do is sit and wait.