Yesterday, Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition disappeared from sale on PC less than 24 hours after launch. At the same time, the Rockstar Games launcher also fell offline – the only place where the PC version was available.

Now the launcher is back, but the Definitive Edition cannot be purchased or played while Rockstar “removes files that were inadvertently contained in these versions”.

It was tempting to wonder when the remasters disappeared if it was their fault be a buggy, ugly mess. That’s not why Rockstar stated on Twitter:

“The Rockstar Games Launcher is now online, but GTA: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition cannot be played or purchased because we are inadvertently removing files contained in those versions,” the message said. “We apologize for the inconvenience and hope that we will soon have the right ones.”

Shortly after the release, a dataminer discovered that the PC version supplied with songs removed from the game due to licensing problems. The game will not play these songs, but they will stay in the files. Another player too discovered uncompiled code in the filesso that people can see comments made by the programmers of the original game, for example.

This is not the first time Rockstar has had issues with “cut content” that is still present in the shipped versions of Grand Theft Auto. In 2005 the Hot Coffee “mod for GTA: San Andreas re-enabled an abbreviated sex mini-game that was still in the game files, causing enormous media controversy, its re-evaluation in the United States, and its removal from sale in some countries. It’s worth noting that in this case the Definitive Edition was not produced internally by Rockstar, but was outsourced to Grove Street Studios.

I look forward to the games returning to the store so I can buy them and check out the crappy character models for myself, but it feels especially terrible that the game isn’t currently available to those who have already bought it either . What a mess – and the complete opposite of what you would expect from a supposed “Definitive Edition”.

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