The Rockstar Games Launcher has been offline since 8:23 pm on Thursday evening due to ‘maintenance’. As a result, new Rockstar games can no longer be installed and online games cannot be played. The ‘maintenance’ follows shortly after the release of the GTA remasters.
Rockstar wrote Thursday on Twitter that the launcher was taken offline to perform ‘maintenance’, without providing additional details. Friday morning 10.55 am the company said it was still working on the Rockstar Games Launcher. At the time of writing it is still offline.
Presumably taking the launcher offline is a reason for Rockstar to temporarily stop the sale of PC games. That launcher is required to play the games. Whoever would buy the games now, therefore, cannot play them. The Internet Web Archive shows that Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition is no longer for sale on Rockstar’s web store since 8:35 p.m. Thursday evening. Other PC games, such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and GTA V, are no longer for sale via that web store.
Taking it offline for maintenance is striking, as Rockstar released the remastered version of the GTA trilogy on Thursday. Since the release, players on Reddit, for example, have been complaining about the quality of the games. For example, some characters are said to look worse than in the original versions, there are complaints about how rain looks in the game and some complain about the handling of cars. Users also complain about the performance of the originally 17 to 20 year old games. Even if the games on the current-gen consoles are played in Performance mode, the framerate would remain at 35 to 40fps.
However, the three games are still available for purchase and play on other platforms. It therefore does not seem that these quality problems are a reason for Rockstar to take the launcher offline. Including Vadim M. writes on Twitter however, that the game shipped with uncompiled main.scm files, which include developer comments. In addition, in the games find the music tracks which Rockstar can’t play in-game for licensing reasons. Rather, these seem to be reasons for Rockstar to take the launcher offline and discontinue sales.
On Thursday, the remastered versions of GTA III, Vice City and San Andreas were released for the PC, PlayStation and Xbox consoles. The physical versions of the games should be released on December 6. The remasters will also come to iOS and Android next year.