Every time players look at GTA V still being in the Top Sellers chart, whether on Steam or the PlayStation Store – they almost forget that the game is nearly 8 years old now. There is not a shred of a doubt as to whether Rockstar Games hit it out of the park or not, when it comes to GTA V and Online (which is also excellent).
Yet, perhaps, the credit for its relevance today might actually partly belong somewhere not associated directly associated with Rockstar Games. The reason why GTA V still charts high on Twitch streams as well as in retail is majorly down to one singular reason – GTA RP.
RP (or RolePlaying) is one of the most popular ways to experience modern games, and perhaps Grand Theft Auto V is essentially the perfect game as a platform for RP. Servers such as FiveM and NoPixel capitalized on the potential for Roleplaying in Grand Theft Auto and thus started the revolution that eventually became Grand Theft Auto RP.
GTA RP – Perhaps the best thing to happen to the series since Grand Theft Auto III
To first get things straight – this is not a knock on the excellent Grand Theft Auto Online or the fantastic Grand Theft Auto V Story Mode. But Grand Theft Auto RP is the sole reason why the game has had such a major presence in the zeitgeist today.
Not restricted to just the US and Europe, RP has been a major hit within the Indian Subcontinent as well. Servers like SVRP (Subversion RP) and Hyper Town RP (HTRP) have taken over the multiplayer scene within the region – with thousands of players tuning every day – and even creating hours upon hours of engaging RP content for streaming.
The rise in popularity didn’t come out of nowhere, as RP as a way to experience games, has been around for a long time. With players banding together to create a collection of mods in order to transform a game into essentially a platform for Roleplaying.
GTA RP has absolutely taken over the conversation around Grand Theft Auto today, to the point, where some actually prefer it over Rockstar’s own Grand Theft Auto Online. But that isn’t exactly bad news for Rockstar – if anything, it provides the studios with some quality intel to work with.
How does GTA RP help Rockstar Games?
There is no doubt that Rockstar has a particular affinity with Online multiplayer – especially given the magnitude of success displayed by Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Online. The pair have raked in more money for Rockstar perhaps more so than proper, full-fledged single-player games in the past.
So it’s safe to assume that whatever Rockstar’s plans for GTA VI is, Online is going to be a major part of those plans. What GTA RP has essentially done for Rockstar is to provide them with a great alternative to the standard Online formula they already had working for them.
This doesn’t mean that Rockstar will be diving headfirst and transforming Online into a Roleplaying game first and foremost – but they will likely adopt some features. The appeal of RP also comes from the fact that the game evolves over time to include new elements and features – but the focus is always emergent gameplay.
Emergent gameplay is something Rockstar will be looking to capitalize on and is something they could have their eyes set on for the sequel. Grand Theft Auto Online already showcases a healthy degree of emergent gameplay on the back of the game’s open-ended mission design.
So, in short, GTA RP provides Rockstar Games with one of the most comprehensive feedback as to what their Online mode currently lacks. But more importantly, it provides Rockstar with what they haven’t had in the last couple of decades – areal competitor in terms of quality and value.
Given that Grand Theft Auto practically has had no competitors for the last decade or so, it is ultimately good that the gaming community themselves provided Rockstar with the competition they need.
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