Grand Theft Auto 5 is the most successful video game of all time, easily eclipsing 100 million copies sold to date. This phenomenal success is even above and beyond what Rockstar usually sees, and it’s kept the game surging for years since its release.
GTA 5 has seen a wealth of content added on in GTA Online, but it’s never received any kind of single-player DLC. This is a big change from GTA 4, which had too substantial add-ons with The Lost and the Damned as well as The Ballad of Gay Tony.
Rockstar has traditionally been a single-player focused studio, so it’s odd that GTA 5 has never had additional content. There are a few reasons for this, however, and GTA Online sits at the very top of them.
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GTA Online’s Success Stopped Single-Player DLC
At some point in time, Rockstar did have plans for single-player DLC in GTA 5, however, the success of GTA Online put a stop to those plans. In 2019 two leakers that goes by Tez2 and Yan2295 detailed some of Rockstar’s original plans to Eurogamer. Here’s what they had to say about the DLC,
What Rockstar was planning to do with the single-player DLC can be compared to adding a whole new map expansion,” said Tez. “They had plans to redesign 80 or 90 per cent of the map to fit a specific theme – one of the episodes was supposed to feature a zombie apocalypse. Rockstar would make changes to the whole map to fit the zombie apocalypse theme.
The Diamond Casino & Resort was supposed to come to the game via both single-player and multiplayer, but after the release of GTA 5 plans changed. A 2016 lawsuit revealed that GTA Online had made over $500 million in microtransactions alone, and that was just by 2016. Those are astounding numbers by any regard, and the multiplayer has only continued to gain traction in the years since, giving Take-Two a revenue boost in 2019. The success of GTA Online was far greater than Rockstar had expected, and subsequently, the demand for new content continued to rise. The success of GTA Online started taking up more and more resources, and eventually became the singular focus for GTA 5, especially considering Rockstar was moving onto other projects.
Rockstar Shifted Focus to Red Dead Redemption 2
While Rockstar started pouring resources into GTA Online, the focus moved to the next project, Red Dead Redemption 2. It was five years between the release of GTA 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2, and the latter took an incredible amount of time and manpower to develop; a Kotaku report shed light on the harsh crunch during the game’s development. Keep in mind that during this time Rockstar also ported GTA 5 to the PS4 and Xbox One, while implementing a first-person mode.
With support for GTA 5 tied up with multiplayer and porting, and Rockstar wanting to move on to the next project, there simply weren’t enough resources for single-player content. These facts were confirmed in a 2017 Game Informer interview with Rockstar design director Imran Sarwar. Of course, now it’s likely that Red Dead Redemption 2 will likely follow the same fate as Grand Theft Auto 5, only seeing support for Red Dead Online for the years to come.
Next: GTA 6 Confirmed As Rockstar’s Next Game, Still Early In Development
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