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Rockstar Confirms What We All Suspected About Pulled GTA Trilogy

The new release from Rockstar, "Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition," has gotten off to a rocky start, with Rockstar pulling the PC version of the game shortly after it hit digital storefronts. It turns out that players could easily access files that were meant to be deleted from the final versions of the games, and — understandably — that's something Rockstar would rather them not do.

Players went searching through the collection's code after learning that several tried and true aspects of the original trilogy had been removed. For example, several songs were found to be missing from the games' beloved soundtracks, leading gamers to wonder what else Rockstar had changed. Now, dataminers have revealed that they found much more than a few missing songs in the games' files.

As it turns out, many of the missing features in "The Trilogy" — including a number of songs with expired licenses — are still buried within the games' code, just disabled by certain scripts. Additionally, the collection's files contain internal notes from the creators of "GTA," giving fans a look into the trilogy's development. Dataminer Vadim M posted a few choice screenshots from the dev notes, including some that revealed the original racy names for locations like Prawn Island and Stacked Pizza. As noted by VGC, Rockstar is notoriously secretive about its development process, and it's likely that these notes were left in accidentally. 

Rockstar confirmed what gamers were thinking when it tweeted a statement indicating that the PC version of "The Trilogy" had been pulled so the dev could "remove files unintentionally included in these versions." Still, the game wasn't just pulled for a few notes and songs. The most infamous piece of "GTA" history made a return in an unexpected way. 

Hot coffee is back

Way back when "San Andreas" was released in 2004, gamers were shocked to discover a XXX minigame called "Hot Coffee" hidden within the code, which could be reinstated through the use of mods. But this was definitely not something you'd want to play around your parents. The "Hot Coffee" minigame was one of the most controversial events in gaming history, resulting in Rockstar paying out real money to gamers who felt offended by the minigame's existence (per Kotaku). The process of correcting a game's code was much more complicated back in 2004, and Rockstar had to recall existing copies of "San Andreas" before issuing a patch to correct the issue and avoid a dreaded "Adults Only" rating.

"The Trilogy" code still contains the minigame, according to several dataminers. Twitter user @the_agent_man posted a screenshot of the offending minigame's code, captioning the image, "Lol the code for hot coffee was left in the gta remasters." 

The dataminer provided a brief explanation for why the code might have been left in, saying, "I do code as a job, maybe this was a case of paranoia (I occasionally leave commented sections of code in for fear that a project would break)." However, considering the numerous other glitches left in "The Trilogy," it seems odd that the new version of the game would leave in something that has caused so much controversy in the past.

Fans can't access the minigame

Vadim M clarified the situation, tweeting that "the Hot Coffee code is present in every version of the game, it just doesn't work in later re-releases," and that there are " no naked/semi naked GF models" and "No Hot Coffee animations" left within the code. In other words, the minigame might have been left in, but not in any way that could be considered functional. Some commenters felt that the infamous minigame should have been left intact, considering the debauchery players can get up to in "Grand Theft Auto 5." Still, in light of Rockstar's legal trouble over "Hot Coffee," it makes sense that the minigame wouldn't be fully reinstated.

Of course, some gamers sent out a plea to modders to get "Hot Coffee" in working order, but if Vadim M's assessment is true, that won't be possible. Others simply commented that it had been years since they'd thought about "Hot Coffee," emphasizing the divide between gamers who played "The Trilogy" when each game was initially released and gamers who are experiencing the classic games for the first time.

Overall, critics and fans alike found "The Trilogy" disappointing, and Rockstar's move to pull the game from PC so soon after its release only upset fans more. While "The Trilogy" might not have had the disastrous release of "Cyberpunk 2077," it will still go down in gaming history as a rocky re-release.