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Why Android and iOS versions of GTA games are ultimately a good idea

There's money to be had if Rockstar plays their cards right (Image via Rockstar Games)
There's money to be had if Rockstar plays their cards right (Image via Rockstar Games)

Android and iOS ports of GTA games were once a thing, but it seems like Rockstar Games has stopped working on that for a long time.

The mobile market is one of the best places for any video game company to thrive. The amount of sheer profits some video game companies make through gacha games and other apps is insane, which has led some businesses to focus more on the mobile world than on consoles.

Unlike those businesses, Rockstar Games continues to work with the GTA franchise to great success on PC and home consoles.

The publisher released some of the older GTA titles to Android and iOS, but other titles, like GTA Vice City Stories, are still missing from the platform. There are no announcements for other GTA games to be adapted for mobile devices. With that said, this article dives into some titles Rockstar Games should adapt for mobile.


Why Rockstar should focus more on Android and iOS versions of GTA titles

Imagine playing GTA 5 officially on one's phone (Image via Pinterest)
Imagine playing GTA 5 officially on one's phone (Image via Pinterest)

Focusing on the mobile market is all about making a profit and the potential for more significant earnings. Even though it's not fully realized today, establishing one's business can lead to massive gains down the line.

Rockstar's current business model on Android and iOS

Some of Rockstar Games' titles on mobile devices (Image via Rockstar Games)
Some of Rockstar Games' titles on mobile devices (Image via Rockstar Games)

Rockstar Games has companion apps for their recent AAA titles and some old GTA titles on Android and iOS. Apps like Grand Theft Auto: iFruit and RDR2: Companion are free to download and aren't intensive on a person's phone or tablet.

These apps aren't heavy on MTX, and they're not the most profitable apps on the Play Store. They're there solely to help out players, incentivizing those players to spend more on their respective games.

GTA San Andreas is one of the most successful games Rockstar has on Android and iOS (Image via Rockstar Games)
GTA San Andreas is one of the most successful games Rockstar has on Android and iOS (Image via Rockstar Games)

The more interesting topic of discussion is related to Rockstar's library of games. Currently, they have the following titles on the Play Store:

  • Bully: Anniversary Edition ($6.99)
  • GTA Liberty City Stories ($6.99)
  • GTA Chinatown Wars ($4.99)
  • GTA San Andreas ($6.99)
  • GTA Vice City ($4.99)
  • Max Payne Mobile ($2.99)
  • GTA III ($4.99)

That's it. There's also a Grand Theft Auto V Manual, but that's not very interesting to discuss given it's a free manual.

Usually, mobile games tend to be the most successful when they're free and have microtransactions. Most mobile gamers would rather play a free game they like and spend thousands of dollars on it rather than buy a random game outright for almost $5. The GTA games sold well, but more could be done to maximize their profits.

Maximizing profits

It's quite the investment to make (Image via Ongab.ru)
It's quite the investment to make (Image via Ongab.ru)

One problem the GTA series has is that it doesn't translate that well into the mobile market. There aren't too many opportunities for microtransactions, which means that Rockstar Games won't capitalize on their games' popularity.

Fans tend to hate microtransactions in video games, but it's been proven to work time and time again. It's not like Rockstar is any stranger to the business practice themselves, as GTA Online is a massively successful game that includes them in the form of MTX.

How to benefit from implementing more GTA games in mobile markets

GTA Online on phones would be a license to print money (Image via Rockstar Games)
GTA Online on phones would be a license to print money (Image via Rockstar Games)

If there were a single GTA game that would do well on Android and iOS, it would be GTA Online. Past GTA games on Android and iOS have proven that GTA can work reasonably well in the gameplay experience. The game wouldn't need to introduce new microtransactions as Shark Cards are enough to entice players.

There is a separate discussion about whether it would be wise to work on GTA Online for mobile devices this late into its lifespan. That would depend entirely on Rockstar Games' current plans for the title and whether they plan to keep Online around when GTA 6 will be released.

GTA 5 would sell well if Rockstar got it working (Image via Rockstar Games)
GTA 5 would sell well if Rockstar got it working (Image via Rockstar Games)

Still, GTA Online shares many similarities with GTA 5, which means that working on one game will also make significant progress for the other. GTA fans love GTA 5 (after all, it's been ported so many times throughout the generations), so there will be many people who will buy the game to play it on the go.

Technically speaking, playing GTA 5 on the go is fairly limited right now. Since it's not available on the Nintendo Switch or other mobile consoles, there will be a niche for it.

Downsides to consider

Porting isn't that easy (Image via Rockstar Games)
Porting isn't that easy (Image via Rockstar Games)

Naturally, porting games over to mobile devices takes time and effort. That would cost Rockstar Games a hefty lump of money, especially since downscaling games like GTA 5 and GTA Online would be a herculean effort. However, video game companies should take risks at times for the potential rewards.

The mobile market will continue to grow as the years go by. It is better to establish oneself in the market now than wait several years when one's competitors are already ahead.

For comprehensive guides and walkthroughs, check out SK GTA Wiki

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Edited by Srijan Sen
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