Grand Theft Auto V is now a decade old, a major achievement for a game that still has a large active userbase. The way Rockstar Games chose to commemorate this event, though, is quite disappointing.
Grand Theft Auto V originally released on September 17, 2013, on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The following year, it also immediately came to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with a way for gamers to move their accounts from PlayStation 3 to PlayStation 4 and Xbox 360 to Xbox One.
A Windows version was then published on Steam on 2015, and finally, native ports for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S were released last year. All of this gives Grand Theft Auto V the distinction of being one of the few online games that were played across three generations of PlayStation and Xbox.
In this regard, it somewhat shares this distinction with Final Fantasy XIV, but not really. Square’s MMORPG did make the same jumps from PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5, but not for Xbox. The Xbox Series X|S version in fact, was just recently announced to be coming Q2 2024.
Grand Theft Auto V is the biggest game release in the series so far, and in keeping with the franchise’s traditions, has also courted tons of controversy. While some criticism has been pointed at the bleakness of the story’s satirical tone, the biggest issue it had faced were the torture scenes, and how they were designed around the player’s agency.
And Rockstar’s way of commemorating all that, is a bunch of new cosmetics for Grand Theft Auto Online. As reported by Insider Gaming, there are new outfits so you can dress up like the protagonists, Michael, Trevor and Franklin. New missions will give you GTA$ boosts and extra RP. Finally ,there are new paints for cars, again to match what is found in the main game.
But here is where we get to the root of the situation. As much praise and criticism as Grand Theft Auto V has received, the real hook of the game, and the reason Rockstar gave it so many dedicated ports, is its online component, Grand Theft Auto Online.
All the new commemorative content is found in Grand Theft Auto Online, because Grand Theft Auto Online is the most financially successful piece of content that Rockstar has ever made. Many fans have speculated Grand Theft Auto Online’s success is the reason for Grand Theft Auto 6’s delays and long development period. While that definitely isn’t the whole story, it definitely was a factor.
And so, we can likely expect Grand Theft Auto 6’s to have a Grand Theft Auto Online component too. Some fans may not want it, but ultimately it’s Rockstar’s greatest success, and they will definitely sell this as the second coming of online.
Some people could say that Rockstar doesn’t seem to care much about their legacy, but at least the fans can still do that for their games.