‘GTA V’ PC Launch Issues Point Towards Disturbing Trend

Grand Theft Auto V launched this week, and what was supposed to a celebration in the best of PC gaming became just another checkmark on a list of recent buggy launches. Assassin’s Creed Unity, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Driveclub: all games that have launched with horrific results in terms of consumer ability to play the game. GTA V wasn’t nearly as bad as some of those, but for a game that was delayed to make it better, it begs the question: how could it release with so many issues?

For many fans, GTA V unlocked on Monday. And for many of them they were able to log into Los Santos and really enjoy a great game at higher graphical fidelity and a framerate unattainable on console. Rockstar even told Gamespot that Grand Theft Auto V on PC is the “ultimate version” of the game. However, for the fans who were greeted with errors instead of being able to play GTA V, it was just another broken PC game.

Grand Theft Auto 5 PC Screenshot
When the game works, it's a sight to behold. GTA 5 is easily one of the more beautiful games on PC.

One of the errors, the “failed zlib call” error is particularly infuriating. According to Rockstar, the only way to fix this is to completely download and resintall the game if you bought it through Social Club or another non-Steam outlet. An error that causes consumers to download all of GTA V‘s 60GB worth of data is completely unacceptable as a customer. While bugs and issues in the game are going to persist, nothing is perfect after all, for an error to greet fans after downloading the whole game at start up, only to have to re-download, it sure doesn’t feel like the “ultimate version.”

If Rockstar didn’t have a history of buggy launches with the game, it would be one thing, but the original launch of GTA Online was also met with disastrous results. Servers that wouldn’t let players play a game they paid money for mired what many have been hailing as the best Grand Theft Auto yet. The launch of the PC version, especially after the delays, should have been a way to make up for all that. Instead, you have some fans who have had to reinstall GTA V multiple times to get the game they purchased and waited nineteen months for it to even work.

Thanks to a reddit user, the “failed zlib call” GTA V error might be able to be fixed without a full re-download. (Note: This fix worked for me so far.) But the fact remains that a user-submitted workaround should not even have to exist. These games should work day one, and for many that simply isn’t the case. While GTA V is certainly one of the best games in recent memory, many players will always remember the issues they had to fix in order to just make Grand Theft Auto V work. And that simply shouldn’t happen.