In a recent interview with GamesRadar, Rockstar North design director Scott Butchard talks about the future of GTA Online! Keep reading for all details...

The game is approaching its 10th anniversary this September/October and today GTA Online is an entirely different game compared to the one that arrived just after the GTA 5 PS3 and Xbox 360 launch in 2013.

Scott Butchard says:

"When I first started working on GTA Online we were still finding our feet. Essentially, we were pushing these smaller updates while working hard to bring together the first Heist, so it’s been an epic learning experience – with tons of fun and unexpected twists and turns thanks in no small part to the incredible feedback from our community.

When we started out, I don’t think we could have ever dreamed we’d still be going 10 years on. The success of GTA Online is nothing we ever expected."

The Drug Wars update has just been released and it is the latest update arrived in GTA Online. Everyone is currently waiting for the Part 2, that will include new missions and features. We wrote an article where you can find all details on the new upcoming content.

Butchard keep saying:

"Certainly, we want to make sure GTA Online updates are free and accessible to everyone, so that our entire community can experience it together. That still stands today, looking back at the start we were pushing GTA Online primarily as a multiplayer experience – whether it was cooperative or competitive, we felt we needed to get players in and have fun playing together in a shared space. As time went on, we realized so much of the experience works better when we provide more potential to enjoy the game on an individual level, and that the core experience can then be changed and improved upon by playing with others.

We started to really hit our stride when we began designing Heists to be playable with just one or two players, then building on the original experience with social spaces like the Nightclubs, or the Casino – spaces that could act as connective tissue for our players jumping from experience to experience, either with a Crew or solo."

"Every update we add gives us a chance to receive player feedback that can help us with new ideas, such as giving our gearheads a world with Los Santos Tuners and a space to house their cherished rides with the new 50-car garage on Eclipse Blvd; as well as consider how we can tweak existing content to improve the overall experience, such as cycling out modes on a regular basis. With there being such a large and varied amount of experiences in GTA Online at this point, there is always that challenge of trying to keep things fresh that’s going to appeal both to our veteran audience and any new players that may be playing it as their first bit of gameplay beyond the tutorial.

Part of the decision process when coming up with new updates is how they can complement other areas of the game as well as offering something new to engage with. Taking The Criminal Enterprises as an example from last year, we wanted to expand a number of businesses that have been in the game for years and breathe new life into them, while at the same time provide a strong set of classic missions like Operation Paper Trail for those players that like to take on story missions instead of the more business side of things."

"There are so many cool ideas and directions we can take, and it’s great to still surprise our players and give them something to be excited about. At almost 10 years old, that’s a really cool thing to be able to do.

The community’s contribution to the overall design of the game has only increased over time – our vision remains, but it’s in a beautiful partnership with the community. We still have our plans but they’re less hard locked-in than they once were to allow for this external input. We are always working to balance things in a way that makes sense for every player and play style, so that there’s always something for everyone to have fun doing.

We identify and consider so much player feedback, and we are always looking at ways to implement community requests as we continue to create new updates. Sometimes, however, what feels like the simplest fixes can be the most challenging to implement, so it might take some time for the community's desired changes to make their way into the game. Hopefully recent improvements to the game have shown that we are working to address the community’s requests as we move from update to update."

"It doesn’t always have to come from something large-scale (Alien Wars or Sprunk vs eCola events are an example), we take inspiration from comments on forums or videos and screenshots players have taken of things they’ve done in game. There’s a fun example of this that’s coming for this year’s Halloween event that makes me laugh every time, I can’t wait to see how players react to it. Speaking to last year's community-facing Heist Challenge (whereby players successfully stole a collective $100 billion of in-game money over a seven-day period), we’d had the idea of community-based objectives for a while. It’s something we wanted to present as a design choice, rather than as an externally pushed event, so it felt native to the world and the player experience.

Naturally occurring, community-led events like green vs purple really solidified how important these could be and that they were something we should be looking at more - the idea of everyone coming together and pulling in the same direction to complete a shared goal is great, and it’s something we will continue to look at more in the future. After seeing the alien war unfold, we certainly wanted to explore ways that we could tap into similar rivalries and allegiances across the community. It was fun to add in for a limited time and see players change up their regular playstyle for a while and also give us a chance to give out some rewards unique to that moment."

Summing up, Butchard hinted to a new Halloween Event that will take part this year in GTA Online. People is still waiting for the Drug Wars Part 2 update as previously said, as long as obviously to GTA 6 which we know is in full development at the moment. We will keep you updated on everything as new information becomes available, thanks for reading!

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