GTA Online’s Success is “Nothing We Ever Expected,” Developer Says

Grand Theft Auto 5 - Xbox Series X-S, PS5_05

Grand Theft Auto 5 - Xbox Series XS, PS5_05

In spite of having released a decade ago, Grand Theft Auto 5 remains one of the biggest and most consistently successful games around, having sold over 175 million units already. That sort of success is unprecedented, to say the least, and it would be fair to say that it owes the vast majority of that to the enduring success of Grand Theft Auto Onlinethe game’s ever-present and ever-expanding online component, which is now available as a standalone experience as well.

Not even Rockstar could have anticipated GTA Online’s success, interestingly enough, and that’s exactly what design director Scott Butchard has said. Speaking recently with GamesRadar, Butchard revealed that before GTA Online kicked off, they never imagined that it would be going strong ten years on from the game’s launch, and the success it has achieved has far exceeded anything they had hoped back then.

“When we started out, I don’t think we could have ever dreamed we’d still be going 10 years on,” he said. “The success of GTA Online is nothing we ever expected.”

And as you’d expect, Rockstar seems to have no plans of slowing down, and has big things planned for GTA Online.

“Certainly, we want to make sure GTA Online updates are free and accessible to everyone, so that our entire community can experience it together. That still stands today,” he said. “Looking back, at the start we were pushing GTA Online primarily as a multiplayer experience – whether it was cooperative or competitive, we felt we needed to get players in and have fun playing together in a shared space. As time went on, we realized so much of the experience works better when we provide more potential to enjoy the game on an individual level, and that the core experience can then be changed and improved upon by playing with others.”

Rockstar has, of course, confirmed that it’s currently working on Grand Theft Auto 6, so it’ll be interesting to see how the company approaches GTA Online once the series’ next mainline game is out.

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