GTA Online has been one of Rockstar's most valuable properties and a true example of how the 'games as a service' model can truly succeed. GTA Online has been able to not only stay relevant but also boast of one of the highest player-base counts in all of online gaming.
The 'games as a service' model implies that a game, over time, evolves and is a constantly rewarding product instead of a definite, one-time purchase. This allows for studios to add more content in the game, and usually, as part of a season pass or paid DLC.
However, GTA Online's updates and other new content is available for free, requiring no further purchase than merely a copy of Grand Theft Auto V.
Rockstar implements microtransactions by way of Shark Cards, which is essentially a cash bonus for players looking to get a leg up on the competition.
GTA Online Shark Cards: All you need to know
Shark Cards are available in a variety of places such as the PlayStation Store for PS4 players, or Steam for PC players, or even the Rockstar Games Launcher. There are a variety of Shark Cards available, that payout differently in GTA Online.
Types of Shark Cards in GTA Online
- Red Shark Cash Card = GTA$ 100,000
- Tiger Shark Cash Card = GTA$ 200,000
- Bull Shark Cash Card = GTA$ 500,000
- Great White Shark Cash Card = GTA$ 1,250,000
- Whale Shark Cash Card = GTA$ 3,500,000
- Megalodon Shark Cash Card = GTA$ 8,000,000
Shark Cards have been a significant point of contention in the GTA Online community as players have often cited them as 'pay to win' style mechanic. However, since Rockstar doesn't charge for content updates, Shark Cards somehow justify their existence.
However, players can often end up with better equipment and progress quickly as a result of Shark Cards.