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News video games 12 December 2023, 08:01

author: Marcin Przala

GTA 6 PC May Not be Rockstar Games' Priority, Says Former Studio Employee

A former Rockstar employee explained for PCGamesN why the studio behind the GTA series is prioritizing console releases.

Source: Rockstar Games.

A week ago, the gaming world held its breath when a trailer of the eagerly awaited Grand Theft Auto VI was released (prematurely). The beautifully detailed trailer provided us not only with information about the game itself, but also about the target platforms (at least for now) of the upcoming GTA.

Among the devices on which the game's debut is planned, there was a lack - without special surprise - of personal computers, which has become somewhat of a characteristic feature of games coming out from Rockstar.

The lower priority of PC compared to console versions of GTA and the studio's games in general on was mentioned on the pages of PCGamesN by one of the company's former employees, Mike York, who was responsible, among other things, for creating the animations for Grand Theft Auto V.

Sales priority

York stressed at the outset that large studios like Rockstar can afford to develop two slightly different versions of games (for different platforms), and priority is given to those that show the best sales prospects.

Rockstar's experience in this area has shown that the biggest profits are generated by console editions - particularly on PlayStation - which makes these the editions of games developed and polished first by the company.

"In the past, the PlayStation sold the most copies. Developers focused all their energy on making sure that a port to these consoles worked really well. For example, when I was working on Grand Theft Auto V, we focused on the PS3 and Xbox, but mostly we squeezed as much as we could out of the PS3. We put all our energy into it and optimized that version as best as we could."

The former Rockstar developer stressed that during his time at the studio, PC versions were treated somewhat "neglectfully".

True, they were created simultaneously with console releases, but they were not considered equally important.

"The PC version is something of a background project. There is always a PC release of the game, but it is not overly refined. It simply feeds into other games and makes them work."

And while York talks about what it used to be like at Rockstar, the lack of an announcement of a PC version of GTA 6 suggests to us that this system has remained active at the company - much like the situation a few years ago with Red Dead Redemption 2, which came out on PC not only more than a year after consoles, but also in a lamentable condition.

Challenges of the PC version

The developer points out, however, that the bigger sales of GTA in the console version is not the only reason why priority is given to these releases.

On PC, a slightly more complicated architecture also comes into play, which has to be tested for a variety of hardware specifications. And since Rockstar is supposedly keen on delivering a finished, fully functional product, the process is lengthy.

In addition, Mike York says that despite the studio's vast resources, manpower and budget are limited resources, which clearly creates the need to prioritize different versions of games.

"We don't have [enough - ed. note] money, we don't have resources and manpower. So we simply prioritize what is best for the company's profits, and let's allocate all our money to PlayStation, then to Xbox, and then to PC."

While this strategy for some gamers may seem a bit controversial, it is effective, given that Rockstar has continually been one of the big shots of the video game industry for many years.

Marcin Przała

Marcin Przała

Graduate of Journalism and Social Communication at the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow. He has been interested in games from an early age, and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Dragon Age: Origins hold a special place in his heart. His passion for electronic entertainment led to the phenomenon of immersion becoming the subject of his bachelor's thesis. Today, above all, a fan of soulslike and classic RPGs. Besides games, he likes dark fantasy literature, and for many years he has been eagerly following the English Premier League, where his beloved club - Chelsea - plays.