GTA Online’s Lack of Crossplay is Major Missed Opportunity

Grand Theft Auto 5, along with its wildly popular multiplayer mode Grand Theft Auto Online, has redefined the expectations of longevity and consistent relevancy within the video game sphere. The game has now seen individual releases across three generations of consoles, typifying the unheard of demand that the title still retains to this day.

With Grand Theft Auto Online recently being given its own standalone release for current generation consoles, along with Grand Theft Auto 5, many improvements were introduced in the form of fidelity enhancements and fresh in-game content. However, it is difficult to see the lack of a crossplay option within the new release of Grand Theft Auto Online as anything other than a glaring omission.


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The Success of Grand Theft Auto Online


Releasing originally for the PS3 and Xbox 360 in September 2013, Grand Theft Auto 5 redefined what fans could expect from the GT franchises The intricate detail and groundbreaking scale present within the game helped Grand Theft Auto 5 become the best-selling title of all time in 2017, although this title has since been taken by the equally defining Minecraft.

An additional and possibly unintended level of success, however, was also present within the game’s online mode. Simply named Grand Theft Auto Online, multiplayer has grown to rival various other highly popular games within the multiplayer gaming sphere. Bringing in annual profits of hundreds of millions of dollars via microtransactions every year, the community-driven success of GTA Online has understandably thrust the game to the relative forefront of Rockstar’s focus.

This success is undoubtedly the main source of inspiration for Rockstar recently releasing the standalone version of Grand Theft Auto Online for the current generation of consoles. With just how popular the game is across both PlayStation and Xbox, as well as PC, this standalone re-release would have provided the perfect opportunity to implement crossplay capabilities for Grand Theft Auto Online.

The Success of Crossplay Within Contemporary Gaming

xbox series x and playstation 5

The modern tendency for crossplay support within bigger online titles is a technical marvel that has proven to be very successful. What was once considered an optimism pipe-dream is slowly becoming an industry standard, much to the applause of fans across different platforms. The ability for players to unite and play with, or against, each other across a variety of the most popular consoles opens up the possibilities, and more importantly the demographics, for games in an early manner.

Players need only to look to Call of Duty’s dominating take on the Battle Royale formula, Warzone, to conceptualize the beneficial effects of crossplay capability. The successful online competitive shooter saw over 60 million concurrent players playing Warzone Within just two months of its initial release in March 2020. While this skyrocketing figure was aided by the near-global lockdowns due to Coronavirus, it remains that the inclusion of massively crossplay aided the sense of communal competition and the broader demographic pool which saw the game become so successful.

Despite Warzone and Grand Theft Auto Online differing in core gameplay and genre, they are both equal in the prestige and wide-spanning communities that they possess within the gaming discourse. It would make sense that the same crossplay-derived joys experienced by Warzone would easily translate to Grand Theft Auto Online In the same capacity, with the opportunities crossplay could provide being endless.

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What Crossplay Could Introduce to Grand Theft Auto Online

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Despite the concept of “console wars” being a now relatively archaic concept, the element of tribalism and (mostly) friendly banter between PlayStation and Xbox players is still a worthy factor of consideration when examining crossplay. Putting these two groups of players within the chaotic sandbox that Grand Theft Auto Online has been known for would have only increased the buzz and organic development of the game’s popularity. Players only have to look back to the infamous alien war of Grand Theft Auto Online to note that the playerbase doesn’t need an excuse to take sides against each other.

Outside the sandbox and freedom of the game’s overworld, the missions and linear gamemodes of Grand Theft Auto Online would have been a perfect environment to introduce crossplay. Crossplay functionality could have seen the implementation of PlayStation vs Xbox missions, in which two different teams from each respective console compete against each other in races, and even deathmatch modes.

This formula could have even been applied to the heists of Grand Theft Auto Online, fostering an environment where opposing crews representing each console could compete directly against each other for the attractive loot that heists involve. With the competitive nature of Grand Theft Auto Onlinethe element of tribalism that opposing console playerbases would bring would definitely be a main selling point of crossplay capability.

Potential PC Crossplay for Grand Theft Auto Online

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The hypotheticals of Grand Theft Auto Online should not be limited to just consoles. In recent times, Grand Theft Auto Online has sheen a sharp rise in popularity on its PC port, primarily through the intense online popularity of role-playing servers within GTA Online like NoPixel. Although potentially logistically difficult, the advent of Grand Theft Auto Online for the current generation of more high-powered consoles could have seen crossplay between console and PC as an additional benefit.

The accessibility for Grand Theft Auto Online mods, and the introduction of the popular role-play system to console players, would only serve to compound the longevity of the title even further. With how long Grand Theft Auto 5 and its multiplayer has been at the forefront of gaming, the implementation of crossplay may yet be introduced somewhere down the line.

Grand Theft Auto Online is available now for the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.

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