How GTA Online Can Surpass its Current GTA 5 Iteration
Assuming Grand Theft Auto Online receives a complete overhaul with GTA 6’s release, there are aspects of GTA Online that a sequel could improve.
When it initially launched, Grand Theft Auto 5’s multiplayer component was still under development and was eventually delayed to accommodate the singleplayer release. However, the sprawling GTA multiplayer experience the game has become today is nothing like what Grand Theft Auto Online launched as. Surprisingly, there was a time in GTA Online’s short history where the multiplayer offering wasn’t nearly as popular as it is now. A lack of meaningful content, tons of connection issues, among other things marred the release of GTA 5’s multiplayer mode. Now, GTA Online has ballooned in size, and has quickly become one of the most popular games ever made.
As for Grand Theft Auto 6, development is ongoing and largely remains a mystery for now. Rockstar Games is reportedly not planning to release GTA 6 until several years from now, supposedly around 2025. Of course, in the meantime, Rockstar Games will continue to support the current iteration of Grand Theft Auto Online. However, it is interesting to consider how GTA Online will evolve alongside Grand Theft Auto 6’s release, because it does genuinely bring up a lot of questions. Will the existing version of GTA Online be rendered obsolete in favor of GTA 6’s version? Or will it be something far more ambitious that adopts a similar design?
An Incremental and Consistent Roadmap For GTA Online Content
A new Grand Theft Auto Online would undoubtedly have to surpass its current iteration, assuming it will be revised alongside Grand Theft Auto 6’s eventual release. Fan expectations will be high regardless, but many will expect new and innovative ways for players to similarly sink hundreds of hours into the game as they have with GTA Online currently. GTA Online’s potential “sequel” should be more than just CEOs, bunkers, and cargo run missions again, though those features wouldn’t be wildly unwelcome. However, iterating on GTA Online, fans are expecting Rockstar Games to innovate the multiplayer experience beyond what’s in GTA Online already.
Regardless of what those innovations become, Grand Theft Auto Online should still implement an incremental approach to content that the current iteration of the multiplayer mode has done. Things like offices and gun-running being immediately available in GTA Online would be fine, but releasing the multiplayer experience in a top-heavy strategy could mean plenty of lag time between release and the next big update. GTA Online did a similar thing when businesses and apartments were added to the game, seemingly out of nowhere, and the Diamond Casino update coming years after. A new GTA Online should follow a more consistent roadmap so fans know what to expect.
Matching or Expanding GTA Online’s Sheer Scope
In terms of the specific content itself, the expectation of a new version of Grand Theft Auto Online is that the multiplayer mode reaches a similar extensiveness as the current version. However, even with similar content from the features already available in GTA Online, Rockstar Games will presumably want to innovate with new modes and features as well. Whether it’s a different business metagame, various new crime missions, or entirely new criminal enterprises, there’s still plenty of potential in expanding GTA Online. Assuming the Vice City rumors for Grand Theft Auto 6 are true, a new mainline game could provide plenty of gameplay variation.
Obviously with a Miami theme, there’s plenty of potential for vice-themed activities for players to participate in. Drug-running in planes, trafficking in boats, negotiating drug deals, and other crimes typical in a Vice City setting would make sense for Grand Theft Auto Online. A new setting will always help to differentiate the culture and people in each Grand Theft Auto city, even though it doesn’t rule out similar features from GTA Online reappearing in Grand Theft Auto 6’s version. The bare minimum expectation would be that GTA Online doesn’t just consist of “bunkers and offices” again, but rather new avenues of progression that’s familiar but new.
Maintaining GTA Online’s Level of Player Customization
Regardless of what content is new or familiar, Grand Theft Auto Online needs to maintain the sheer degree of player freedom available in the game. Though the comparison isn’t entirely accurate, GTA Online’s progression and choices of business did give players MMO-like options for how they want to build their criminal empire. Of course, beyond choice of “career,” players need to be able to accessorize and customize their characters as extensively as they can already. Abundance of clothes and styles, and more importantly the ability to purchase/own several impressive cars, is pivotal to the GTA Online experience. Everyone loves to show off their collection.
Of course this is all assuming Grand Theft Auto Online becomes a whole new experience with Grand Theft Auto 6. There is the possibility Grand Theft Auto 5’s version of multiplayer will somehow be integrated with the new Grand Theft Auto Online, but it’s not likely. Nearly every Grand Theft Auto game has taken place in a completely separate city, with a new cast of characters and story. GTA Online will presumably receive the same treatment, despite the enduring popularity of its current iteration. That’s also potentially why Grand Theft Auto 6’s development is presumably taking longer, since GTA Online remains a huge success for Rockstar Games.
Grand Theft Auto 6 is in development.