Rockstar Games (2021-present)
Rockstar Games, Inc. is an American video game publisher based in New York City, United States. The company was established in December 1998 as a subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive, using the assets Take-Two had previously acquired from Bertelsmann's BMG Interactive. They're best known for publishing the Grand Theft Auto, Midnight Club, Red Dead and Max Payne franchises.
Why They're Not Rockstars Anymore
NOTE: Many of these reasons and actions can be attributed to excessive executive meddling on Take-Two's part.
- Like all other hated companies (i.e. EA and Ubisoft), they went greedy.
- They only care about and milk the Grand Theft Auto series to death and ignore their other franchises like the Manhunt, Midnight Club, Max Payne, and Bully franchises. They even cancelled Bully 2 because of this.
- The infamous "Shark Cards" in GTA Online, which, you have to pay these in order to gain money easily in GTA Online. Grinding in GTA Online is an extremely sluggish process, even completing the biggest heist available, the Diamond Casino heist, will only yield you around 1 million dollars, and some of the best vehicles and assets in the game costs around 3 million.
- This has been partially remedied with the Cayo Perico heist, though even that doesn't help when it comes to dealing with inhumanly accurate enemies, and their pistols doing more damage to you than any other weapons. Worse, you can't carry more loot unless more players are available to collect it as well.
- Rockstar launched their premium subscription service for GTA Online, titled GTA+, with exclusive perks and Shark Card offers for GTA+ players. Sound familiar?
- They and the voice actors parted ways on bad terms. For example, after Michael Hollick (Voice and physical actor of Niko Bellic) argued with Rockstar over him not being paid enough after his work for Grand Theft Auto IV; he received $100,000 in total for his work while the video game grossed $600 million in total. As a result, Hollick refused to do voice acting again in Episodes from Liberty City.
- Crunch culture is running rampant. Sam Houser himself is a workaholic, and expects his employees to do the same. During Red Dead Redemption 2's development, they forced their employees to work 100 hours per week.
- Rockstar and Nintendo didn't have a good relationship with each other, as up until 2021, they refused to release the GTA titles on their consoles (excluding the handhelds), and only a select few of their games were released on said consoles, like Chinatown Wars on the DS, Bully: Scholarship Edition and Manhunt 2 on the Wii, and L.A. Noire on the Switch.
- Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition, which includes GTA 3, San Andreas and Vice City, was released on the Nintendo Switch in November of 2021.
- Similarly to Bethesda constantly re-releasing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, they have re-released Grand Theft Auto V too many times. Considering that the game released in 2013 and is available for three different console generations, this can be seen as them trying to milk the game as much as they can before they release a new Grand Theft Auto game.
- Their obsession with GTA Online got so bad that they had to confirm that GTA VI would have single-player in an interview though shorter
- On the subject of Grand Theft Auto, they haven't released the last game in the 3D Universe (or III) era, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories for mobile devices, despite all the previous GTA III era games (minus GTA Advance) being released on there.
- Speaking of mobile, Rockstar always outsources the porting job to the infamous Grove Street Games (excluding Liberty City Stories which was ported by Lucid Games). Said ports (excluding GTA III and Vice City) always end up being unplayable due to frequent crashing and tons of bugs and glitches. Ironically, Rockstar had decided to hire them again to remaster the Grand Theft Auto Trilogy, despite them ruining the mobile, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 ports of GTA San Andreas. Seems like they haven't learned anything.
- They have been releasing all the Saints Row-esque stuff to GTA Online such as jet bikes and flying DeLorean DMC 12s. Thinking about this through, they ended up (unironically) ripping-off several gameplay mechanics, from an ex-GTA clone, who used to try to rip off the original pre–2008 GTA games.
- Despite that, they still have fanboys who always defend them and their abysmal features they add in GTA Online.
- They are also toxic towards companies who make games like GTA, and even bash them out for making the game. While most clones are good enough depending on its content, these fans completely ignore that and insult said game.
- People have been kicked out of the GTA Online lobbies for no reason. It's rather easy telling how bad the admins are.
- Rockstar hasn't made any changes to the chaotic PC port of GTA Online to alleviate hackers and modders plagued into the official servers.
- Even back then, they have a handful of sub-par games like Earthworm Jim 3D under their name.
- Their PC ports (except for Max Payne 3 and Grand Theft Auto V) are poorly optimized or programmed for example: while GTA III, Vice City and San Andreas run somewhat fine at 30FPS (25FPS without mods), they can be glitchy if you uncap the framerate without using mods, the built-in Widescreen option are also poorly implemented and has lots of issues such as misaligned crosshairs, and running on newer version of Windows (after XP) causing mouse to not working properly unless pause and unpausing multiple times or using mods to fix the issues. GTA IV runs poorly even on powerful GPUs without any tweaks and mods, aswell as lacking anti-aliasing support. In Bully, at times the textures won't even load and crashes on modern PCs. Red Dead Redemption 2 suffers from stuttering, texture pop in and frequent crashes. To make matters worse Rockstar doesn’t bother to fix these issues (though RDR2 was updated and now the port is improved).
- They included the Rockstar Social Club Launcher on PC to their games, which uses an online authentication process similar to the infamous SecuROM DRM. No internet connection means the game will give you an activation error message and you won't be able to play their games on PC, further hampered by their pathetic launcher.
- They released their same game (yep, you guessed it, Grand Theft Auto V again) when they first revealed their trailer for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X, calling it "Expanded & Enhanced". Both the PlayStation trailer and Rockstar Games trailer have way more dislikes than likes, which shows how completely out of touch they've become. Take-Two Interactive may be bad, but now Rockstar Games have shown how little they truly care about their own community and fans, if at all. Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk mocked them for that on Twitter!
- Furthermore, they decided to charge extra for the 9th gen versions of GTA V as if it was a separate game, instead of making it a free upgrade for existing owners of the PS4 and Xbox One versions.
- Plus, this version of the game is almost the same as the enhanced edition, which makes it more worthless compared to said version which was a massive upgrade from the PS3/X360 version.
- Their customer support is utterly useless. You can't file a ticket at all since there's no option to do so (and when there is, they often use their bots to make automated responses for them), and their phone number is worthless. And when you do get their email address, responses are almost always met with silence. Worse, their Twitter account is next to useless because no matter how damning the evidence you provide to them, they will basically never respond whatsoever and will outright ignore them. Or they'll use their generic responses with equally-generic solutions that basically never work, further evidencing their lack of care towards their own fans.
- Despite claiming that they have absolutely no interest in appealing to the far-left (aka SJWs) and complaining about how cancel culture makes it harder to develop satirical video games without offending people, they contradicted that statement by changing Phil Cassidy's shirt design in GTA Vice City from a confederate flag (which is commonly associated with racism and slavery during the Civil War) to a skull in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition, making them look like hypocrites. However, in GTA V, there are still some Confederate flags, which might be removed in future versions due to them succumbing to social justice.
- There were rumors that they're going to cut the controversial content from the original trilogy, which, confederate flag aside, turned out to be false. Sure, the Confederate flag is a symbol of the horrible villains of the Civil War, but keep in mind that GTA is a satire of the real world, and there are still many confederate supporters in the real world.
- After a Polygon article claimed that a transgendered NPC in Grand Theft Auto V were a "transphobic" representation, Rockstar responded by removing the trans NPC (as well as other transphobic content) from the Expanded and Enhanced release of GTA V which goes against the satirical tone of the game.
- Because of this, fans fear that Grand Theft Auto IV and its episodes (which have tons of LGBT satire, especially TBOGT) will be fully changed.
- They have announced that GTA VI . That's not to say that a GTA game can't be done without satire, the problem is that satire is one of the things that gave GTA its own identity in addition to its well-written plots and gameplay.
- Most features that they announced in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition can be easily added using mods.
- To make matters worse, the original Trilogy is delisted on Steam, the PS Store and Xbox store meaning that players who don't like the Definitive Edition or because of their legacy mods (which requires the original Trilogy) are incompatible with the Definitive Edition, or because their PC can't run the new Definitive Edition, they would either have to buy an old console (PS2, original Xbox, etc...) and a copy of the Trilogy for these consoles or pirating, or find rare legal PC copies of the original Trilogy instead on their PC.
- And even worse, the Trilogy on mobile is now delisted on Google Play in some Eastern European countries, while Vice City is delisted in the UK.
- Speaking of the Definitive Edition, its release was a launch disaster, with players complaining about obvious bugs and terrible graphics.
- A day after the game launched, the Rockstar Games Launcher servers went down, making the PC version unplayable. When the launcher came back online, PC players found out that Rockstar decided to temporarily delist the Definitive Edition due to numerous bugs and containing "unintentionally included" files, but in doing so, they also revoked ownership of the compilation from those that purchased it without offering a refund, which is illegal in certain countries, like parts of Europe and the United Kingdom.
- They refuse to fix certain bugs or patch certain discontinued unlockables, such as the Goal Attacks no longer registering or the Audi R8 4.2 FSI quattro (Type 42)'s availability in Midnight Club: Los Angeles.
- Red Dead Redemption 2 still was a success.
- But of course, much like Grand Theft Auto V, Rockstar Games deliberately abandoned Red Dead Redemption 2 by making all content to be exclusive for Red Dead Online. And to further add insult to injury, Rockstar Games deliberately abandoned Red Dead Online in favor of Grand Theft Auto Online, even though Red Dead Online, and the base game Red Dead Redemption 2, is still quite young.
- Unlike their sister company, 2K, they didn't focus on loot boxes, though it still doesn't excuse them for forcefully shoving in Shark Cards and deliberately making vehicles in Grand Theft Auto Online be horrendously expensive.
- After Take-Two Interactive attempted to discontinue OpenIV, heavy fan backlash occurred and Rockstar re-released it along with an apology (though of course, this is basically Rockstar Games being pragmatic about it and not because they care about OpenIV).
- They have taken a lawsuit against the Luna mod menu.
- Before Grand Theft Auto Online went downhill in 2016 and hit their reputation hard, they and the GTAO itself used to be good and have enough qualities to be on the Awesome Games Wiki.
- Despite their parent company (Take-Two) supporting NFTs, Rockstar, on the other hand, mocked NFTs in the Grand Theft Auto Online Contract DLC, where Lamar Davis called them "non-fuckable tokens", proving that they are indeed against NFTs.
- After long years of waiting, they announced and confirmed the long-awaited Grand Theft Auto VI.
- However, the overall reception was mixed-to-negative, with fans rightfully worried that the game will be abandoned in favor of monetizing Grand Theft Auto Online, or Grand Theft Auto Online 2 in this case, and deliberately abandoning Grand Theft Auto VI altogether for selfish and greedy reasons in favor for their Online version.