Rockstar is known for garnering mixed reviews from its fanbase. On the one hand, Grand Theft Auto V is still one of the most popular games across multiple platforms almost ten years since it was released in 2013. However, for much of the past decade users have been calling on Rockstar Games to work on releasing GTA VI. In its place, there has been a slew of updates for the online element of GTA V including new places to explore and a whole host of additional missions. This has kept a lot of the community happy, but there have been multiple calls to boycott the game in an attempt to push the developer into creating a new instalment of the much-loved series.
GTA Fan Forums Online
You only need to look at the GTA Reddit thread to realize how much Rockstar has divided their fans. Some fans are content with playing GTA Online as long as updates are regularly released in order to keep it fresh. Meanwhile, other users are denouncing Rockstar for being greedy and lazy. With such a divide within the community, it’s no great surprise that the latest release from Rockstar was met with mixed reviews – even from some of the people who previously supported GTA Online.
The Announcement of GTA Enhancements
A few months ago instead of the long-awaited announcement of GTA VI which was rumored to be debuting on the PS5, Rockstar announced yet another re-release of GTA V with “enhancements” that basically boils down to slightly improved graphics and controls and potentially a few extra missions, this time for PS5 and Xbox Series X. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Rockstar also announced a new membership programme – GTA+. The game already has an extensive offering of mini-games and levels – even the Diamond Casino & Resort whose slot machines rival the range of those found on slot sites like these, so it made sense to Rockstar Games to simply enhance this existing offering rather than try to come up with something brand new. Of course, as with anything like this, there has been a mixed reaction with some fans disappointed there isn’t a brand new version, while others are still getting their head about GTA+ and the fact this is a paid subscription service.
A Look at GTA+
Paid subscriptions are nothing new in the GTA franchise. GTA Online is included free with all copies of GTA V for both PS4 and PS5 but a PlayStation Plus membership is required to access the online services. It seems that Rockstar has now gotten in on the action and decided they’d like a chunk of the paid subscription market. The worst part about the new GTA+ subscription service is that it introduces a play to win model that’s only accessible to the very few people who have managed to get their hands on the latest consoles.
GTA+ membership gives members $500,000 each month, the ability to claim properties around the map, unlock gameplay updates that you missed out on by not having GTA on other consoles and special member-only upgrades and bonuses. The service launched at the end of March and to say that reviews have been mixed is an understatement.
What Do Fans Say About The Paid Option?
First of all, there are a group of players that fall into the “why is this worth paying for?” box. The bonuses that were touted at the announcement boil down to some more in-game cash which is easy to come by if you’re willing to grind, some special clothing, free auto shop paint jobs and an upgrade to your yacht if you have one, as well as receiving a new car and liveries ahead of the release to everyone else. One Reddit user pointed out that most regular players are already rich in-game and don’t need the bonuses. Game reviewer, Spider-Vice pointed out that for some newer players there could be something within the membership benefits that they find appealing to their gameplay. They said “From my understanding, GTA has a clear target audience of casual players who have no desire to grind”, but went on to criticise that the ability to buy Shark Cards had inflated the in-game economy to the point that most things in-game are overpriced. While a few Redditors begrudgingly echoed Spider-Vice’s sentiments, most disagreed.
Ultimately, what Spider-Vice says is right – this new membership programme provides a way for casual players that don’t want to work towards earning in-game rewards a way to get a one up. There’s no huge benefit for regular players, and that’s OK.
Having said that, GTA+ represents the latest in a long line of moves that have resulted in players boycotting the game and branding Rockstar Games as sell-outs.
The Future of GTA Releases
Although there is nothing certain about the future of GTA releases, it does seem that Rockstar Games are keen to simply enhance existing versions of the game rather than releasing something brand new. However, that doesn’t mean that this won’t change in the future. Despite the fact that GTA+ has had mixed receptions, it is likely that more computer games will start to offer paid subscriptions and the option to spend real money within games so this is something that the likes of Rockstar Games are likely to continue with.
Fans have been vocal about this latest release which means that without too much effort Rockstar Games will be able to research players’ thoughts and feelings and in theory use this to plan the future release of any GTA games. Listening to fans will allow them to tailor any decisions around keeping a majority of fans happy, which is pretty essential if the game is to continue with the levels of success it has seen in the past.