Grand Theft Auto 5 was unusual for the series in that it introduced a full-fledged separate—but related—online experience called Grand Theft Auto Online. Although set in the same locations as and sharing content with GTA 5, GTA Online is largely a distinct experience, putting player avatars in a GTA world.
And players loved it.
GTA Online has been hugely successful for Rockstar, with online purchases contributing to a huge chunk of the company’s profits. They continue to support it with new content and updates, and fans continue to play. Rockstar would be crazy to abandon such a profitable model, so there is little doubt that an online Grand Theft Auto will exist alongside GTA 6 as well. The only question is how.
There are three basic models Rockstar could follow when it comes to GTA 6 and GTA Online. First, GTA 6 itself could be an entirely online game, rather than a separate single-player experience. Despite several rumors about this—in part fueled by GTA 5’s lack of story DLC—it’s unlikely. Too many players want an offline, single-player Grand Theft Auto experience for Rockstar to abandon it entirely.
Second, a new GTA Online could accompany GTA 6. It would most likely take place in GTA 6’s setting, share content with it, and in general be to GTA 6 what the first GTA Online has been to GTA 5. However, this theoretical “GTA Online 2” would face the problem of attracting players who have already built up characters in one GTA Online game.
And third, the current GTA Online could continue. There is, after all, no reason Rockstar needs to drop support for a successful game (in fact, that might be a terrible idea) or run two different GTA Online games concurrently. While the current model might feel old when compared to a new game, GTA Online could even expand to include new settings and content used in GTA 6. That might be the best of old worlds—it could have the content of a new GTA Online without abandoning the content from the original.
How do you want GTA 6 to handle GTA Online? After all, it’s highly likely it will continue in one form or another. Does one of these three models appeal to you more than the others? Is there one you definitely don’t want to see? Is there a fourth possibility we haven’t considered?
Let us know all your hopes for GTA 6’s online component in the comments below.
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