GTA Online's The Contract update canonly takes place in late 2021.
There isn't an exact date given, but every GTA Online update since Gunrunning has occurred in GTA Online in the year the update happened. For example, the Gunrunning update came out on June 13, 2017, and Agent 14 references 2017 as the active year. Previous updates took place in 2013 before GTA 5's story happened.
The Contract took place sometime in 2021. It is worth noting that Dr. Dre losing his phone canonly occurred in 2020, around the time of The Cayo Perico Heist.
2021 is when The Contract's story events take place in GTA Online
Here is a general timeline of the important events for The Contract's story:
- Dr. Dre's phone was stolen sometime in late 2020 during The Cayo Perico Heist
- The GTA Online protagonist buys an Agency and meets Franklin in 2021
- They manage to get back Dr. Dre's stolen phone and unreleased music in 2021
- Lamar founded LD Organics in 2021
- Various vehicles from The Contract are released in 2021 and 2022
Thus, the bulk of the story occurs in 2021. The vehicle-related events are tied to the real-life releases, in which GTA Online players get a new vehicle from The Contract every Thursday (until it runs out).
The Contract's characters throughout the years
The Contract features several familiar faces from GTA 5's single-player story mode, such as:
Lamar has been seen a few times in GTA Online, but the other two characters make their debut here. Franklin Clinton looks a little older and has now started a family with Tanisha. He still keeps in contact with Lamar, and he's continuing to live a successful life established since the end of GTA 5's story.
Franklin's relationship with Tanisha also suggests that her marriage from GTA 5 with the doctor (Jayden) didn't last. Tanisha is never personally seen in The Contract, but she is alluded to in several instances:
- There is a red Pfister Astron with the license plate that reads "TAN1SHA"
- The Agency Security Guard may randomly mention that Tanisha came by
- The Security Contract, Triad Lieutenants, directly references her by name
Chop is a Rottweiler, a dog breed that typically lives between eight and ten years. He doesn't die in GTA Online's The Contract, but there is a cutscene that teases it, only for players to find out he's high off of LD Organics.
Gamers can see Chop at the Agency, where they can see he has several gray hairs. They are even allowed to pet him. He is also present in the mission, Seed Capital, where he bites a random Vagos, with Franklin and Lamar proud that he is still a ferocious fighter.
The Contract's events in the future for GTA Online
Events in a GTA Online update remain tied to the year the update was released. In this case, it means that a player playing through The Contract's content in 2025 would still be canonly doing activities that took place in late 2021.
The same thing happens to previous updates. For example, Agent 14 will also mention 2017 in the Gunrunning mission, Mole Hunt.
Q. Which update did you like more?
The Cayo Perico Heist