One conversation that seems to be a recurring theme for online multiplayer games like GTA Online is the need for crossplay and cross-saves across different platforms. It is safe to say at this point that Rockstar's GTA Online is indeed one of their most profitable products to date, and one that seems to grow annually.
This is the sort of growth and longevity that online multiplayer games of its ilk like Fortnite, Apex Legends, or Call of Duty attempt to capture. Yet GTA Online seems to be in a league of its own, choosing to do things differently than the rest.
For one, Rockstar doesn't exactly put out roadmaps that detail the progression of the game annually, as games like Fortnite often do. The GTA publisher has often rejected the norm concerning cross-play features, which seems to be a huge priority for fans around the world.
Should GTA Online have crossplay and cross-progression?
As it stands, GTA Online does not have cross-play or cross-progression. Cross-progression and cross-saves essentially means that one's progress isn't locked to a particular platform. For instance, players can continue their GTA Online progress between consoles like the PS4, PC, and Xbox, wherever the game is available.
That would essentially mean that players have the ability to carry over their progression from other devices, should they buy a new console or a PC. However, given the difference in a PC setup compared to a console, cross-progression and crossplay are major topics of debate.
The rampant modding/cheating problem
GTA Online seems to have its hands full when it comes to cheaters and modders on PC. As of late, Rockstar has been stepping up and going on the offensive against modders and cheat services with legal action.
While legal action and policing is definitely a step in a positive direction, the lack of a proper anti-cheat system is detrimental to GTA Online. Although it does look like Take-Two and Rockstar are making headway in that direction as well.
Therefore, cross-play and cross-progression are far from an achievable goal for GTA Online currently. While players would love to continue their progress from other devices, the game's Wild West status on PC is certainly holding it back.
How does crossplay and cross-progression help players?
One of the biggest reasons crossplay is an easy concept to sell, and what makes it so appealing, is that not all gamers own the same systems. Playing online multiplayer games with friends is often one of the biggest reasons Fortnite has become a global phenomenon.
Crossplay essentially breaks down all barriers to a social online multiplayer experience, allowing PC players to play with Xbox players or PlayStation. GTA Online would certainly benefit from this as it would allow friends to enjoy a session together.
On the other hand, it might cause issues relating to the different input methods in GTA Online. However, games usually have pre-defined lobbies set up depending on the input method the player is using.
It generally helps in accelerating the matchmaking process as it technically would mean that more players are online at any given moment across different platforms.
So, should crossplay be a priority for GTA Online?
The game currently has a massive modder/cheater problem, as many streamers, content creators, speedrunners, and GTA Online veterans would explain. As long as that remains, any other feature or quality-of-life improvement certainly needs to take a backseat.
A cheating problem can often spell doom for an online multiplayer game as massive as GTA Online. Therefore, crossplay is both an unachievable reality for the game and one that is not essential to the game currently.
While other problems remain large for GTA Online, crossplay and cross-progression remain a distant possibility.