With 2016 behind us many are looking forward to the new year. And with it having become something of a cultural phenomenon to regard 2016 as a thoroughly shitty year, people look to 2017 with hopes that things will be better – and players of GTA Online are no different.
That said, GTA Online hardly had a bad year in 2016, as we elaborate on in this post. Amid the hackers having been cleaned off PC and a bunch of free DLC being added, Rockstar closed a strong year for their hyper-popular multiplayer game – and the sales data reflects this.
With our own end-of-year-awards wrapped up, it’s time to look forward instead of backward, having officially stepped into 2017. Seeing as Rockstar plans on keeping GTA Online alive and strong through 2020, this year’s upcoming release of Red Dead Redemption 2 probably won’t put a dent in the flow of content.
We’re pretty much entirely in the dark, save for an unconfirmed leak, as to what to expect from GTA 5 in 2017. That said, the patterns that have emerged in previous years allow us to make a few educated guesses. Here are our predictions for the new year, and the changes it will bring to the game.
More CEO themed DLC
The whole white-collar-crime theme has been dominating GTA Online for over a year now. It all started with the fantastic Executives and Other Criminals back in late 2015, only to be expanded upon with Further Adventures in Finance and Felony, as well as Import/Export most recently. Really, that dude with the typical mafioso face and iconic scar who adorned the cover-art for all three updates has become almost as recognizable an icon of the game as the three protagonists.
Rockstar really hit gold with these updates, each adding great new ways to make cash in GTA Online. While both Finance and Felony and now Import/Export had a bit of controversy around them with some among the players outright hating the new systems, the majority of the fanbase appreciated the new content, as evidenced by Import/Export winning our DLC of the Year poll.
We doubt Rockstar will drop this theme in 2017, considering how much potential there still is to it. For all we know, enterprising players will rank up from CEOhood and become candidates for the mayor’s office of Los Santos. Imagine the PvP opportunities of having to sabotage the campaigns of rival candidates!
There will be Police DLC
The release of Bikers proved that Rockstar is listening to the fans. Players have been clamoring for more biker themed content pretty much since the game launched, even creating a petition that included a rough design draft containing gameplay features. Not only did Rockstar deliver on this DLC, but the features almost entirely match those laid out in the petition.
The only other potential DLC theme that has been requested as many times as Bikers, if not more, is Police themed DLC. GTA 4’s beloved Cops ‘n’ Crooks mode never did make a return in GTA Online, not even as a mere Adversary Mode, however, players kept the dream alive in the LSPDFR mod.
That said, a proper DLC, putting players in the shoes of corrupt cops doing cop things would be extremely well received by the fanbase, not to mention being a great new take on classic GTA gameplay. If we shout loud enough, you can bet on Rockstar hearing.
There will be no Story DLC
In spite of it being clear that the demand is massive, it’s pretty obvious that we can bury any hope for a singleplayer expansion ever being made for GTA 5. We still wish Rockstar would prove us wrong on this, however from a business standpoint, making paid story content just isn’t a sound choice, when the same resources could be spent on making several GTA Online updates, which would, in turn, drive up microtransaction sales, thus generating more revenue than paid DLC ever would.
Unfortunately, this is the face of the AAA industry currently, and very likely going forward. Ever more frequent are multiplayer-only, or multiplayer focused games where the story mode is nothing but a glorified tutorial, added simply as an afterthought. While GTA 5’s singleplayer mode is full of content and lovingly crafted, chances are things would be a lot different had the game been released today. Let’s be thankful for what we’ve got – we can always scratch that solo gaming itch with RDR2 when it comes around.
GTA Online’s Map Will Be Expanded
While this might seem unlikely on first glance, we’ve recently explored how the map of GTA Online is quickly growing too small for all the content Rockstar is jamming into the game with the free updates. In order to compete with the game’s age, as well as the high-profile release of RDR2, Rockstar will need to make a big splash in GTA Online to keep the game relevant.
A big splash is one thing, but dropping a new island and playable area into the ocean next to Los Santos is guaranteed to make a tidal wave. While many think Liberty City is the logical choice, it is much more likely that Rockstar will give one of the other San Andreas cities a modern makeover and drop it into the same physical space as the current map, connecting the two with a bridge. Such a significant and major update would once again turn the spotlight back to GTA Online, attracting new players and wooing back those who quit.
What predictions do you have for GTA Online in the coming year?
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