Despite how long it’s been since the last Grand Theft Auto game, GTA 6 is not needed yet. The success of GTA V has proven to be long-lasting, and it has kept fans engaged for a very long time. It’s a near certainty that Rockstar has plans to release a new title in the series at some point, but there’s plenty for players to enjoy in the meantime.
Recently, there has been a lot of buzz around the potential reveal of the next entry in the series. As it’s been over seven years since the last one, fans are expecting some news regarding what’s next soon. It’s hard to ignore the fact that the PlayStation 2 had three GTA games (3, Vice City and San Andreas), whereas GTA V has been on three PlayStation consoles once the PS5 version releases.
1. GTA Online
The online component of GTA V has remained popular for years and has received regular updates. However, this has come at the cost of less support for the single-player as no story DLC has been released. It’s clear that the online mode has allowed Rockstar to make a lot of money through virtual currency with good player engagement, and they have ensured fans that support will continue into the future.
Updates for the experience are still being released with The Cayo Perico Heist, which was released in December 2020. This has also been alongside regular new community-made and official jobs, events and storylines. GTA Online has also been announced as a standalone product for the new generation of consoles, with it being free on PS5 for the first three months.
Even though it might seem like Rockstar is just milking the game for all it’s worth, the fresh supply of content is generally well made and can provide hours of entertainment alone or with friends. New players are swarming to the game every day, and there’s plenty to keep longtime fans occupied, which is why I think GTA 6 is not needed just yet.
2. Sales Are Still High
The popularity of the online mode is one factor that has contributed to GTA V maintaining high sales figures. In 2019, Rockstar sold 20 million units, the best year since it launched in 2013. From Rockstar’s perspective, there’s very little motivation to get GTA 6 out as soon as possible. They can take their time while the last game brings in the money. Whereas from the consumer’s point of view, it shows that there’s still a desire to play the current iteration. This is likely due to the regular online updates as mentioned earlier but also because of the updated releases on last-gen consoles, PC and the upcoming current-gen release.
This popularity is also evident online on YouTube and streaming sites such as Twitch. Videos of playthroughs and online gameplay have remained common, but there are also factual videos, analyses and discussions, speedruns, role-playing and mod-related content.
3. Modding Community
Speaking of mods, the modding community in GTA V has grown as time has gone on. There’s a huge variety of gameplay, and graphical changes, modes, challenges and unique takes on other videogames, films or TV shows that can be created through mods. While this is only accessible for players on PC, it still offers up new and unique ways to have fun. Of course, all of this is fan-made, and new mods are made all the time, met with varying degrees of popularity. As mentioned earlier, the hugely popular role-playing modes require mods to be installed.
4. GTA V Still Holds Up
I’ve been talking about GTA V a lot, and that because it still holds up really well. In part, this is because of the updates/remasters that have been released on newer consoles and PC over the years, but it also because of the quality of the game itself. Even seven years later, the sheer enjoyment of speeding around Los Santos, listening to the radio and messing about with NPCs rarely gets old.
It’s not only the open-world fun that remains a draw for gamers, but the story and specifically the satire has continued to be relevant. Often the story will poke fun at hipsters, millennials, rednecks and many more. The modern world portrayed in the game still hits very close to home with our obsession and reliance on technology, the perception of some about immigration and the overall style and aesthetic. So GTA 6 is not needed for the purpose of updating the themes of the narrative.
It’s often the case that after a few years, games like this can become outdated both visually and gameplay-wise. However, GTA V has continued to impress even if we’ve all played on those same streets for hundreds of hours by this point.
5. More Time to Meet Expectations
It’s no secret that we have all been desperate for a new Grand Theft Auto game for years now; however, that also means that expectations are incredibly high. We don’t need GTA 6 if it just ends up being a rushed and buggy mess, as seen with other highly anticipated releases. More time is needed to ensure that expectations are met. However, with more time spent on developing, the more excited and eager fans will become, leading to a lot of pressure on Rockstar, so it’s an unfortunate endless cycle.
What we need is a sequel on par with Red Dead Redemption 2 compared to its original. Even though there were three GTA games on the PS2, the innovations in gameplay mechanics and graphics were very minimal between the three titles, and most of the criticisms were directed at the controls and technical issues. With so many incredible experiences available nowadays, all demanding your attention, it’s even more important to stand out from the crowd.
A potential 6th entry of the series could completely reinvent and revitalise the open-world genre, but it will need time, and thus we don’t need it yet. Rushing developers and forcing them into a crunch culture is something that should never be considered the norm, and everyone needs to allow them to work effectively and in a healthy environment.
You can guarantee that if the game was announced tomorrow, I’d be the first onboard the hype train; however, the purpose of this article is to control our expectations at least for a short while so we’re not disappointed after every press event when there’s no new information. The reveal will eventually happen, and there’s plenty on offer with GTA V to keep us going. We can continue to speculate about the game’s setting, new features and possible release dates until the eventual reveal of the game, whenever that might be, but GTA 6 is not needed just yet.