Rockstar has made it clear Grand Theft Auto Online isn’t a secular experience, it’s going to have its own dedicated team which will constantly be adding new content as time goes on.
Grand Theft Auto Online supports 16 player matches at a time. You can either enjoy the highly detailed open world of Grand Theft Auto V or you can engage in conventional multiplayer matches such as team deathmatch and racing. You’ll even be able to cooperatively embark on missions to rob banks thanks to Max Payne 3′s returning “Crews” system.
With that in mind, could this mean it could come over to next-gen consoles? GTA Online is sharing many of the traits we’re seeing in various next-generation games with social aspects such as Bungie’s Destiny and Ubisoft’s The Crew. The trailer refers to GTA Online as a “shared world” which is almost word-from-word the term Bungie used to describe Destiny.
Grand Theft Auto Online is also releasing at a later date of October 1st instead of shipping with the main game which launches on September 17th as the company revealed on its site earlier today.
To say GTA Online is ambitious is vastly understating what this game is all about. It’s not just the add-on multiplayer to the main game, Grand Theft Auto Online is quite clearly something in its own league. Rockstar will be giving us the freedom to do just about anything we can think of. Do you want to fly planes with your friends? Do it. Do you want to skydive together? Do it. The list goes on.
Lets look at this statement issued by Rockstar on GTAV’s webpage.
“Grand Theft Auto Online is a dynamic and persistent online world for 16 players that begins by sharing gameplay features, geography and mechanics with Grand Theft Auto V, but will continue to expand and evolve after its launch with new content created by Rockstar Games and the Grand Theft Auto community.“
We’ve had the Xbox 360 since 2005 and the PlayStation 3 since 2006. You don’t need to do the maths to know those are two really old console life-cycles as far as entertainment products go. There’s no debating that they’re old consoles but they’ve both aged incredibly well. Rockstar is very adamant about Grand Theft Auto V remaining a current-gen game due to the systems still having the power to make the game.
However, more and more is going to be added to Grand Theft Auto Online so what’s the limit for the PS3 and 360? Will Rockstar be able to put all of this into two old consoles? Rockstar certainly seems confident and it does have a well deserved reputation as a quality developer but all of this could surely benefit from the next-gen consoles. Couldn’t it?
GTAV and GTA Online are two separate games so it’s quite possible to port over the multiplayer but even then, it’s not really a simple port. Grand Theft Auto Online features cloud gaming and expansive content creation. In an interview with CVG, Rockstar North President Leslie Benzies explains how players will be able to create content and then upload it to the Cloud for others to play. We’ve seen this kind of sharing before with games like LittleBigPlanet 2, Infamous 2 and Far Cry 3 but these games all had their features from the get-go. From what we understand from Rockstar, Grand Theft Auto Online is going to last a long time but not all of it will be there at launch. Benzies explained how complex the content creator is so instead of throwing it all out there and hoping users work it out, Rockstar will feed it to us piece by piece.
Benzies also explains how the only limitations to Grand Theft Auto Online are the size of the discs and how much memory they have to implement changes and features into the game. With porting it to the next-gen, Rockstar would arguably have way more room to manoeuvre with memory allocation. So much more could be added and after all, the game doesn’t need to be confined to a disc, not with a new emphasis on digital downloads lately.
The President of Rockstar North hints at some exciting possibilities with the plans of the game’s expansions.
“We’re just going to add on new things to it, new places all the time. We’ve set this up so there are no limitations,” he said. “The only limitation is the size of the disc and how much memory we’ve got,” Benzies explains. “We could, if we wanted, simulate the entire world, different countries, whatever. Whether we do that or not… But we’ve got a bunch of old stuff that we’re toying with using.”
This quote alone could mean so many different things for the future of Grand Theft Auto Online. The creation of different countries, entire worlds. All of this could be amplified by next-gen consoles. It would just make sense.
There’s the completely legitimate argument of the install-base of the 360 and PS3. GTAV would sell a lot more on current-gen consoles than it would on next-gen consoles because people already own those systems. However, it’s very clear Rockstar has plans for Grand Theft Auto Online. It doesn’t sound like this will be a game with various sequels such as “GTA Online 2.” By adding more content, Rockstar will only need to make it bigger and bigger.
Moving to the next-gen with the bigger memories of the PS4 and Xbox One could only serve to benefit an ever-growing Grand Theft Auto Online.
This is just one argument for a move to the next-gen for Grand Theft Auto. Do you have anything to add? Do you disagree? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to know what you think.
George Sinclair is the Chief News Editor for Analog Addiction, the home of the latest news, reviews and previews. You can find George on Twitter but you should be sure to follow the OFFICIAL Analog Addiction Twitter as well!