While GTA 5 is constantly being praised for how fun it is and how amazing Rockstar is for their constant updates of free DLC, in reality GTA 5 is Loading Screens: The Game with pay-to-play mechanics that fuel Rockstar’s money making machine. Let’s tear this baby apart.
The False Start
GTA 5 launched nearly four years ago and everyone and their mother was hyped about this game. Upon release, to no surprise, scored over 90s on Metacritic for its immersive gameplay and amazing story. Rockstar held back the release of GTA Online in order for people to experience the story first. With the advertisement of heist missions and manipulation of stock markets, it looked so promising.
However, this was merely a deception by Rockstar. When GTA Online launched at the two week mark, it was a complete disaster. Players couldn’t access the servers for days. When it did finally work: surprise, there were no heist missions or stock market to be found.
With Rockstar grossing over $1 billion in sales within three days of initial launch, they didn’t have a reason to care. It’s even more shady when you look at how they branded the online, GTA Online is considered a complete and separate entity from GTA 5. It’s a clever move because GTA 5’s love and ratings will never be burdened by GTA Online.
Of course, they don’t want to lose their fan-base and they absolutely want to milk GTA 5 for all its worth, so they promised constant free DLC. And they said they would bring heists in, eventually… just after they work on a re-release for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Funny enough, even those versions didn’t come with heists. It wasn’t until four months later that it released on March 10, 2015. Wait, roll that back, when did GTA 5 launch? October 1, 2013. Hmph… Oh and till this day, the stock market is still unavailable.
You may think: sure, they had a re-release, some milking there, but how does Rockstar gain anything with free DLC? Well, that question brings us to…
With the launch of countless DLCs, including the recent Gunrunning update, there’s tons of fun to be had available for everyone. But is it really available for everyone though? Most people think that free DLC is a wonderful and generous thing of a developer to do, but the truth is: there’s nothing free about GTA Online.
In order to access any of the new weapons, vehicles, corporations, clubs or bunkers, you need money. It isn’t just some casual grind for cash. It’s countless hours of work between loading screens and actually playing to even afford one item on that list.
Is it possible? Yes, with enough time, patience and a group of at least four reliable players to get you through the madness. But is it worth it? Well let me put it in perspective for you.
As part of the Import/Export update, Rockstar released the Ruiner 2000. It’s basically KITT from Knight Rider, it can jump, fire missiles and it even has a parachute: a creation of pure fun. How much is it? The lowest it goes for is $4,320,000 and that’s only after you’ve completed certain missions.
When you compare that to how much a Shark card is worth: you can buy $3,500,000 for $50. You can’t even afford one of their cars for $50. And if you didn’t want to do any grinding whatsoever, you’d have to buy the next card up: $8,000,000 for $100. That’s right, $100 of your hard earned paycheck can’t even buy you two Ruiner 2000s.
A game like Grand Theft Auto is meant for casual players, not hardcore grinders and definitely not only for people who can afford their DLC. But let’s say you’re willing to go through the hellish grind. Well, that’s another issue that brings us to…
Loading Screens: The Game
How, in nearly four years, over 20 DLC updates and two re-releases have you not fixed the loading times, Rockstar? Between the five minute loading screens and the fact that the servers are so bad it can barely matchmake a lobby, let alone sustain it, it’s too time consuming to do anything on GTA Online.
For example, just the other day I was playing GTA Online because the Independence update had launched. From the moment I started GTA 5 to the point where I made a lobby, people joined and I actually started a mission, took over an hour.
It baffles me that this is accepted by most players. People buy SSDs and even this thread questions the minimal worth of that as well as state the obvious: GTA 5 is one of the most fun multiplayer games out there, that is, after you’re done loading for four years.
I will gladly grind until my fingers bleed, but I will not be subjected to an hour of praying to the Rockstar gods for their servers to work so I can finally start said grinding. Rockstar, in this state, your game isn’t worth playing, but I have few solutions for you.
Ways To Not Be a Money Grubbing Company
If one of the following suggestions makes their way to Rockstar and is somehow magically implemented then Rockstar will, without a doubt, make mends with a community of infuriated players that can’t afford “free” DLC content.
Fix loading times
What does that have to do with Rockstar being money mongers? Well, Rockstar doesn’t gain anything whatsoever from patching this. Every update thus far included “free” DLC that players always had the option to purchase with real currency. Devoting their time to loading fix isn’t profitable, especially when players are convinced it’s worth the wait.
Even if the whole fanbase agrees that it’s an awful wait time, it doesn’t stop them from playing because of the game itself is simply too much fun. But if this was fixed, hours of loading would instead be hours of grinding therefore raking in more cash. Which, now that I think about it, is another thing Rockstar would want to avoid in order to force people to buy Shark cards.
Lower the prices of DLC content
Please? 50% – 75% off of everything would make this game possible to succeed in. Let’s face it, Rockstar is never going to do that. They love money too much. For example, the lowest GTA 5 has ever been on Xbox One is $35. It’s a three year old game. Just Cause 3 XL, released nearly 2 years ago, was around $20 during the Ultimate Game Sale and its MSRP is $90, GTA 5’s is $60.
You’d think they would give back to the community since they already made so much. Nope. Even EA, a company known for putting its business before quality of game, dropped the prices of Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 lower than GTA 5’s ever been.
Save GTA 6
For the love of all that is Grand Theft Auto, do not include any of the two previous mistakes in GTA 6. Seriously, you give the world a GTA that has none of the aforementioned atrocities then we will be in a golden age of pure endless non-stop fun. Also, set it in London while you’re at it.
Even PC Hates You Now
Did you really expect the internet wouldn’t tear you apart for taking mods from them? Don’t give us some poor explanation about protecting players. If you’re serious about “protecting” us, tell us from what. Give examples and tell us to be careful. Don’t tear down a company that actually loves what they do just to stop players from having fun without your “help.”
Oh it is so nice to see the score you truly deserve, your branding couldn’t save you this time.
While this doesn’t affect me as a console player, it further proves my point that Rockstar wants to kill every ounce of fun that doesn’t involve direct payment to…
The Greed Machine
Before GTA 5, Rockstar was one of the most beloved video game companies. Every game that they produced I bought and thoroughly enjoyed because they put so much love and effort into it. They did the same with GTA 5’s story, but GTA Online marked a whole new level of low. It’s one thing if it didn’t start off great, that’s acceptable and as a fan I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
But to see it turn into Rockstar’s personal money making machine feeding off rich kids and grinders that have the patience of a saint, it’s not the casual fun series we grew to love all these years. It has become the spawn of Rockstar’s insatiable greed.
What more do they need than the first $1 billion they made in three days? Some AAA titles combined haven’t made nearly that much. They were overwhelmed and they didn’t know what to do besides continue making more money.
Rockstar, please, remember your roots. You make games so people could have fun, stop trying to fuel your machine and let us have the fun we deserve.