Back in 2013, people were eagerly awaiting the release of Grand Theft Auto V, a new entry in the Grand Theft Auto series by renowned developer Rockstar Games. Featuring open-world gameplay, a strong cast of characters and smashing third-person action and story, GTA V quickly rose to the top of the video game charts.
The game, though, has proven to have very long legs. GTA V publisher Take-Two recently revealed in an earnings call that GTA V has hit another milestone when it comes to sales, as was recently reported on GameSpot.
Actually, GTA V has now sold a whopping 140 million copies, making it the second best-selling game of all time behind Microsoft’s legendary Minecraft.
And more proof of what a recurring success GTA V has been is the fact that the game sold more copies in 2020 than in any other year since 2013, the year it launched on Xbox 360 and PS3. The game has since been ported to PS4, Xbox One and PC. There’s also a new-gen version of GTA V coming this year, which will take advantage of the power of the PS5 and Xbox Series X (and S) consoles. This will allow Grand Theft Auto fans to enjoy the criminal adventures of GTA V’s trio of protagonists in glorious 4K resolution, and maybe with other visual enhancements such as ray tracing too.
It’s likely, though, that most people will be more excited by the fact that GTA Online will be getting a standalone release later in 2021. This will allow more people and owners of new consoles to dive into the open-world, crime-themed online multiplayer game, as they will be able to get it for a lower cost once it’s not tied to GTA V (actually, the PS5 version will be free for three months after release – Rockstar is yet to comment about the Xbox Series X and S versions though).
Because it’s pretty obvious that that GTA V’s continued popularity over the years has been due to the appeal of its online component, as many people have surely been buying the game for access to GTA Online rather than playing through GTA V’s campaign, no matter how good it may be.
And it’s clear Take-Two has made an ungodly amount of money with GTA Online via in-game purchases. Take-Two revealed the game had more players in 2020 than in any other year since GTA Online’s release in October 2013. Meanwhile, in-game purchases grew by almost 30 % year over year.
This is because while Rockstar doesn’t charge a subscription to play GTA Online, it still monetizes the game via microtransactions. Players being able to buy anything from new outfits, weapons and cars to use in the game’s setting of Los Santos using the game’s currency (which itself can be bought with real cash).
Rockstar has kept adding to the game via updates over the years too. The recent Cayo Perico Heist update adds a new island location and in-game activities to pursue (including a new heist) amongst other things.
Of course, Rockstar’s focus on GTA Online didn’t prevent it from putting out Red Dead Redemption 2 in late 2018. This turned out to be one of the highest-rated and top-selling games of 2018. Actually, Take-Two also revealed in its earnings call that Red Dead Redemption 2 has sold 36 million copies. An impressive number for sure, but the game is not likely to catch GTA V in terms of sales anytime soon, that’s for sure.
And no matter how good GTA Online (or Red Dead Redemption 2 for that matter) have been though, people have bemoaned over the years the lack of new single player content for GTA V. Its predecessor GTA IV got two expansions, but this never happened in GTA V’s case.
Also, rumors have suggested Rockstar might be working on another entry in the Grand Theft Auto series. It’s almost a certainty that GTA 6 will be a reality someday, but it’s likely that game is still years away.
Those hungry for a single player GTA experience, though, will likely be encouraged by Take Two’s boss Strauss Zelnick’s response about GTA remasters during last week’s earnings call. Actually, the man said this was an “encouraging” question, but added it would be Rockstar themselves making any announcements as reported on GameSpot.
“It’s a great and encouraging question. I’m kind of inclined to leave it more as a statement than a question”, said Take-Two’s boss, adding that “any updates on our release schedule will come from Rockstar Games”.
It’s likely a big slice of GTA V’s audience has never played the prior games. Classics like GTA: Vice City and GTA IV are excellent and surely worth a remaster, letting veterans and newcomers relive their memorable single player campaigns.
This surely is something to look forward to if it ever happens, but for now it’s clear that GTA V’s success is likely to continue for a long while yet, that’s for sure.