How has Rockstar managed to keep GTA 5 alive till now?

GTA 5 has been in circulation for almost a decade (Image via Rockstar Games)
GTA 5 has been in circulation for almost a decade (Image via Rockstar Games)
Rajarshi Acharya

GTA 5 made history by becoming the second most-selling video game of all time. Yet this success wasn't a short-term affair, as it has managed to retain its popularity for almost a decade.

Whenever a GTA game is launched, it easily becomes the most talked about game of that year. The hype that builds up before the release of a GTA game is also unparalleled. With every GTA game, this has only increased in immensity.

GTA 5 was released in 2013 to massive commercial success and critical appraisal. Now that it's almost eight years since its release, the game is still going strong, about to relaunch for a third console generation.

Note: This article is subjective and solely reflects the opinion of the writer.

GTA 5: How is the game still so popular?

The Enhanced Edition of GTA 5 introduced a first-person perspective (Image via Luke Plunkett, YouTube)
The Enhanced Edition of GTA 5 introduced a first-person perspective (Image via Luke Plunkett, YouTube)

The sheer scale of ingenuity in a GTA game is a major reason for its popularity. When it comes to creating an open-world title, Rockstar is quite ambitious. Games like Bully and the Red Dead series stand testament to this.

Yet their games always succeed where many others have failed. Since GTA 3, there hasn't been a mainline GTA game that has not been a major success. GTA 4 had some flaws, such as reduced features, a smaller map, and a poor-quality PC port. Yet, its core gameplay and storyline surpassed its deficiencies.

GTA 5, in a similar manner, wasn't perfect by all standards. Its story has often been criticized, some gameplay elements feel worse than its predecessor, and the map becomes repetitive. However, it brought some massive changes with it, far surpassing the quality of any other GTA game before it.

GTA Online


The main reason behind GTA 5's continued popularity has been its online counterpart. Unlike the single-player mode, GTA Online was released to various technical issues and jarring reviews. This was Rockstar's second attempt at creating a multiplayer GTA experience, and it was also turning out to be a failure.

However, everything changed with the release of the Heists update. GTA Online started attracting more and more players, and it soon began bringing more profit than its single-player counterpart ever had.

More than seven years later, GTA Online has generated an insane amount of revenue for Rockstar Games. Even in 2021, when many expected the game to begin declining, it had the highest number of players ever on an update launch day.



GTA 5 RP is a recent phenomenon in GTA Online, in which various streamers roleplay in isolated servers for the game. It began growing in popularity in 2020, with servers like NoPixel becoming famous around the world.

Thanks to GTA 5 RP, roleplaying is not a niche trait anymore and has attained mainstream appeal. Various streamers also became popular alongside the rise of roleplaying in these modded servers. At present, there are multiple servers around the world, and most of them follow strict rules to maintain roleplay.

GTA 5 Expanded and Enhanced


When fans are growing anxious for a new GTA game, Rockstar has decided to rerelease GTA 5 for another console generation. The Expanded and Enhanced edition, which is supposed to launch on November 11th, will bring the popular game to the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.

At this point, fans have begun to compare GTA 5 to Skyrim, which was ridiculed for releasing so many editions. This means that players will have to put up with GTA 5 for a few more years because Rockstar hasn't yet milked it dry. With the release of this new edition, GTA Online will become a standalone game.

Edited by Shaheen Banu
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