GTA Online is still wildly successful even seven years after its launch.
GTA Online is part of GTA 5, one of the most successful games of all time in terms of profit and revenue. That alone would seem like a likely reason for GTA Online's success, yet it isn't that simple.
There are a multitude of reasons why GTA Online is as successful as it is. Even if the answer is obvious, it's still vital to note why players still play the game to this day.
Seven years is a long time; there would have to be several great qualities for GTA Online to still be successful. As some reasons might be subjective (with plenty of people disagreeing with reason number three due to its controversial nature), it is vital to try and stick to the objective reasons over the subjective ones.
Note: This list is subjective and reflects only the opinion of the article's writer.
Five reasons why GTA Online is still successful today
#5 - GTA is an established series
It should go without saying, but an established series always has the edge over a series with no history. Players who started with GTA 3 may be willing to give GTA Online a shot. Likewise, players who never played GTA Online might be willing to give it a try after recognizing the GTA brand.
Compare this to a brand new series with no history; players will have no idea what to expect from it. On a similar note, the developers of that game might not even have the money to develop an established franchise like GTA.
#4 - GTA Online is not its own standalone game
This ties into reason number five, but it's still worth mentioning. GTA Online is a bonus for players who own GTA 5, an already terrific single-player game absolutely worth its original price of nearly $60. Considering GTA Online is free for players who own GTA 5, it's a no-brainer that many players go to GTA Online after playing GTA 5.
Naturally, not everybody who plays GTA Online cares about GTA 5; some players solely play the game for its online experience. However, one cannot deny that several players played GTA Online due to this reason and stuck around thanks to the next three reasons.
#3 - Shark Cards
Regular players might hate Shark Cards as they are the prime representation of pay-to-win content in GTA Online. Players who purchase Shark Cards have a huge advantage over those who do not purchase them.
Shark Cards allow Rockstar Games to make a huge profit. As Shark Cards are entirely digital, the developers can release as many as they want, allowing rich players to buy multiple bundles of it.
While there are no official numbers to show how profitable Shark Cards are, it is safe to say that it helps pay for regular content updates, and it is arguably the main reason why GTA Online is still alive.
#2 - Tons of content
A game with a ton of content tends to retain players longer than games without many hours to sink into. If players beat a game, they tend to move on to the next one. Even die-hard fans get bored after a while, which is why having something to grind for in an online game like GTA Online is essential.
The base game of GTA Online was a solid start, and every update helps introduce more content to keep players entertained. As there is a difference between the amount of content a player has to play through and future updates they are yet to play, tons of content is only number two on this list.
#1 - Regular updates
It's no secret that an online game needs updates to thrive. Once a game no longer has any updates, its fanbase almost always diminishes. A dwindling fanbase equals a failure in the eyes of many, but remaining successful is no easy feat. Yet, GTA Online continues to have huge updates even seven years after its launch.
There are minor updates sprinkled in between the major ones, which helps keep players busy. In conjunction with the ton of content available, these regular updates help retain players.