Not too long ago we posted a poll which sought to gauge how much interest the community actually has in Story DLC for GTA 5. The topic has been pretty much a staple discussion in the community ever since the game launched three years ago. Since then, rumors have risen and died down, community movements gained steam and slowed down, and Franklin’s voice actor strung us along a few times.
But with internet communities being notorious for transforming into echo chambers for the vocal minority, the question remained: do players actually want single player DLC? Is the larger GTA 5 audience interested in further story content, or is everyone fully invested in the juggernaut that is Online?
So, being one of the most popular fan sites dedicated to GTA, we posed the question to our readers – do you want to see Story DLC? Naturally, the question wasn’t a simple “yes/no” affair since it would hardly bother anyone if the DLC was made and released. Instead, the question was framed around whether fans would want more Online DLC, or some Story DLC at long last.
After giving the poll – which also ran on Facebook – over 10 days to cook up the community’s verdict, it’s time to reveal what the players actually want to see in the future of GTA 5. And we doubt it will really surprise anyone.
The absolutely overwhelming majority of players wants to see Story DLC developed and released for GTA Online. Something that was surprising, however, is the high number of players who play and care about single player exclusively – meaning these players don’t touch Online.
We collected a total of 1,046 votes on the poll, while the Facebook tally comes in at 190 (both at the time of publishing). Of the 1046 people who voted on the website, a massive 477 voted that they only play Story mode, and don’t play Online at all – this being the biggest group. A further 439 players expressed interest in single player DLC while also playing Online. Only a little over 100 voters didn’t want to see Story DLC, of whom the majority only plays Online.
On Facebook, the ratios are similar. Of the 190 who reacted, only 23 don’t care about Single Player DLC, while the remaining 168 want to see the single player campaign expanded, combining the votes of those who don’t play Online at all with those who do but still want to see Story DLC.
|Which DLC would you prefer for GTA V?|
|I want some new story content, I’ve had enough Online DLC||45% (557 votes)|
|I only play story mode, I want some story DLC!||43% (539 votes)|
|Give me more Online DLC, I’m finished with story mode||5% (57 votes)|
|I only play online, of course I want more Online content!||7% (83 votes)|
|Total||100% (1,236 votes)|
While in the grand scheme of things, this group of 1207 voters is an impossibly tiny fraction of the whole GTA 5 audience, the ratios are far too clear to be ignored. With support for Story DLC being so utterly overwhelming, it’s a solid bet that the same opinions trend among the wider audience for the game, in spite of Online’s success.
On the one hand, we can dismiss this small number in the face of the multiple millions of players who log in to GTA Online every week as giving an inaccurate representation of what the mainstream audience wants. Yes, Shark Cards are selling insanely well, in spite of the vocal members of the community often criticizing them. Yes, there has been no word of Story DLC in spite of the vocal members of the community demanding it for three years. But.
But. Let’s all remember the launch of GTA 5 for a moment, shall we? The game turned a profit within hours and broke $1 Billion in revenue within the first three days. Back then, Online wasn’t even live yet, and the multiplayer mode was viewed with suspicion by most fans. Even Rockstar, by its own admission, didn’t have big plans for the mode and expected it to only be played by a small portion of the fanbase.
Let’s also remember that the voice of the players matters to Rockstar. The Bikers DLC is proof of this, as the announcement of that particular update was preceded by a fairly popular petition to add biker themed content to the game. Not only did Rockstar satiate this desire, but they included pretty much every proposed feature drafted in the petition.
The number of votes in this poll may not be too high, but it does confirm the trend that we’ve seen hints of in the community for years. No matter how many Shark Cards are sold, no matter how many individual players log in to GTA Online every week, no matter how many free updates are release, there will always be demand for more story content.
While today, GTA Online has become an unstoppable juggernaut of popularity, becoming the central financial pillar Take-Two Interactive leans on, it’s important to keep its roots in mind, and that historically, GTA was always primarily a single-player series, with multiplayer being a relatively recent addition to the franchise.
Rockstar created something truly amazing with the immersive and vibrant world of GTA 5’s story mode. It’s no surprise that the game’s single player portion is what gained all the praise from critics and players in the early days after release. GTA 5’s solo campaign is worth revisiting with new content, and the player base knows it.
While it’s true that from a business standpoint, the unfortunate truth is that making paid Story DLC just might not be worth it as much as making Online updates is, it’s clear that there is demand for such content among the players. In the end though, it’s likely that the economic factor will win over this demand.
Even though Rockstar Games is spread out over several studios, chances are that funding is primarily being funneled into the development of Red Dead Redemption 2. Since it’s release is set to sometime next year, the development on the game is near to being wrapped up. That, in the AAA game industry, can only mean one thing: the crunch. This means that the RDR2 project is in need of major funding.
Granted, the kind of revenue Take Two is pulling each month, they have some to spare, but between funding 2K’s multiple projects while also constantly developing updates for GTA Online doesn’t leave much wiggle room, and a Story DLC would be a bigger investment.
Obviously, if we’re talking about paid DLC – and we are – then players expect more content. If Rockstar would release single player DLC for GTA 5, it would have to be a hell of a lot bigger than anything Online ever got. That means new game mechanics, a lot of new vehicles, more voice acting, more motion capture. More detail and planning would be required for the storyline, there would be more animation work and the costs would just keep racking up.
In all likelihood, if Rockstar were to expand the single player experience of GTA 5, they would also expand the game’s map in order to make the DLC feel substantial enough to warrant a price-tag after the community has been “conditioned” by three years of free updates to accept having to pay for the content. This would be a massive undertaking on their part.
Unfortunate as it may be, it’s very likely that proof of demand for single player DLC will simply prove how many fans will end up being disappointed. The industry as a whole is continually moving towards a more multiplayer oriented direction.
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