As things currently stand, this is a great time for Rockstar Games and GTA Online. Coming off what has been a categorically difficult year, GTA Online has been surprisingly more successful than usual.
According to comments by Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick, December 2020 was GTA 5's most profitable period since launch. Much of that success has to do with the emergence of GTA RP as a hugely popular way to experience the game, alongside the constantly evolving GTA Online.
Needless to say, Rockstar has the content and evolution of GTA Online all planned out to a tee. Yet, the game has its fair share of issues that it must deal with.
With GTA Online set for release as a standalone title, the pressure will be on Rockstar to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat and give the audience something to be excited about.
Biggest problems facing GTA Online in 2021
Cheat services and modders
One of the biggest complaints regarding GTA Online is the massive room for exploitation that comes as a result of modding. Many prominent speedrunners and streamers have taken to social media and their channels to shed light on the issues they have faced in this regard.
Even players have been pretty vocal about the issues they have faced with cheaters and modders. Rockstar seems to have taken notice of this discomfort within the fanbase and has begun cracking down on cheating services with legal action.
While there is still a long road ahead in terms of a complete solution, recent events suggest that Rockstar are moving in the right direction.
Imbalance of power
GTA Online has always had a great sell - the open world, the chaotic nature of Freemode, heists and a bunch of multiplayer shooter goodness. However, the game has always had a problem with handling power imbalances in the aforementioned Freemode.
Freemode essentially encourages players to embrace their inner villains and cause harm to other players. However, the fact that newer players will have absolutely no chance against veterans of the game makes Freemode a wasteland bereft of any opportunity.
While Freemode is one of the community's favorites, it is absolutely not a viable option for those starting out in the game. Enabling passive mode is only a temporary fix, as players must disable it to do certain activities.
Players have resorted to playing in private lobbies just to not have their efforts be in vain. This is not a very good look for GTA Online.