Gamers have poured countless hours into Grand Theft Auto V and GTA Online since Rockstar Games released their now-iconic crime adventure in 2013. Whether players have been striving to buy a specific sports car with a huge price tag, unlock a certain clothing item, or purchase an enormous apartment, many of them have spent almost a year’s worth of time wreaking havoc on Los Santos.
When GTA 6 finally does roll around, do players want the slate wiped clean, or do they want to retain the thousands of hours they've invested in GTA Online?
Inverse asked our readers to respond to a poll asking what features they want to see the most in GTA 6, a game that’s been confirmed to be in development even if Rockstar hasn’t formally announced it. As of this writing, 6,999 readers have responded, and one question in particular starkly split fans: Should your GTA Online progress carry over to GTA 6?
More than 6,900 fans answered this specific question and only about 59 percent of them felt that their items and levels should carry over, while the other 41 percent were either indifferent or simply didn’t care about starting an all-new chapter of GTA Online from scratch.
For now, GTA Online players still have plenty of time to enjoy the fruits of their criminal labor. Sony Interactive Entertainment and Rockstar announced that GTA 5 and GTA Online will be available on the PlayStation 5 in the second half of 2021. That means the GTA 6 announcement is still a ways away. But even when Rockstar finally takes the wraps off its new crime epic, there’s hope that gamers’ GTA Online progress won't’ disappear overnight.
Rockstar only recently announced that it would stop supporting GTA 4 Online servers in February, which resulted in players losing their in-game progress. But GTA 5 vastly eclipses GTA 4’s popularity, so there’s reason to believe that Rockstar might keep its game servers running longer than they did for GTA 4. GTA 4 is estimated to have sold 25 million copies in its lifetime sale, compared to GTA 5’s 130 million copy milestone it reached in May 2020.
GTA Online’s incredible popularity, deep-rooted modding community, and the fact that it has made Rockstar over a $1 billion serve as further evidence that Rockstar most likely won’t immediately shutter its budding online community. But eventually, Los Santos will go dark.
When GTA 6 does come out, it will almost certainly have its own online mode that Rockstar will want to make as big, if not bigger, than what GTA Online is right now. This will likely take an ample amount of its developers and resources to get off the ground, which means they’ll need to divert attention away from GTA 5.
So GTA 5 will eventually need to shut its doors, which will most likely result in players losing thousands of hours worth of items and progress. But if Rockstar’s handling of GTA 4 means anything, the company won’t just turn its back on GTA 5 from one day to another. It’ll most likely fizzle out after GTA 5 Online players have already been lured away to something bigger and better.