GTA Online will always be brought up in conversations surrounding the value of a single-player-like experience within typically multiplayer games. The history of Rockstar Games has been one entrenched in single-player games, having gained most of their critical acclaim with such titles.
From GTA to Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar Games have largely been renowned for their contributions to single-player games. However, the audience and the industry have lately responded more positively to online multiplayer games.
This is what prompted Rockstar Games to embrace online games in their most treasured franchise - GTA. The company currently has two ongoing online multiplayer games - GTA Online and Red Dead Online. Both have been incredibly successful, but there is a large section of the fanbase that feels alienated.
Having said that, Rockstar may have just found the right balance between an online multiplayer and a solo experience.
Is GTA Online a great solo-only experience?
Heists are one of the major reasons why GTA Online is an appealing prospect for any game enthusiast. They are PvE missions that one can play with their friends and crew, making for an extremely fun and social experience.
At the same time, the core heist experience is one that is also massively enjoyable while playing solo. Rockstar have proven this with their success in Story Mode and in GTA Online.
Rockstar Games have been receptive to their audience and recognized that a lot of players appreciate the solo aspects of GTA Online. Certain activities, businesses, and missions can be completed solo, and many choose to experience the vast expanse of the online experience all by themselves.
Recognizing that demand, Rockstar Games released the Cayo Perico Heist - which was the first heist in the game that could be completed solo.
The success of the Cayo Perico Heist
Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two Interactive, recently stated that Rockstar have proven that they can balance both multiplayer and single-player experiences.
He was obviously referring to the Cayo Perico Heist which, according to stats, was played completely solo by 50% of players. This cements the fact that there is a high demand for single-player experiences, even within online multiplayer games.
Zelnick went on to explain how Rockstar, as a company, refused to buy into the idea of single-player games being "dead."
Rockstar has shown continuously, with 2018's Red Dead Redemption 2 and the Cayo Perico Heist in GTA Online in 2020, that there is a high demand for single-player experiences.
Is GTA Online fun when playing solo?
One of the major reasons why many players choose to experience what is typically a multiplayer game all by themselves is the unnecessary risks of playing with other users.
Modders, cheaters, and griefers contribute towards an environment where players feel like their efforts go to waste time and time again.
This is why many users choose to play much of GTA Online all by themselves, sticking to activities that don't involve other players. While that isn't the typical way the game is meant to be played, it can still be incredibly fun.
Many players appreciate the fair grind of the game and how it rewards the most industrious players. For instance, completing Air/Vehicle Cargo missions while playing solo is as rewarding as it is satisfying.
It guarantees both the rewards of the activity and the challenge of playing without much help, while also eliminating the unwanted elements of a GTA Online session.
Therefore, GTA Online has existing value - and not just potential - as a solo experience.