There are tons of benefits for gamers and Rockstar Games to have GTA Online be a standalone title.
Ever since its release, the game always required players to own GTA 5 to play the game. It's not uncommon to see situations like this occur in other video games, but GTA Online has been around for a long time now. It's been nearly eight years since the title was released, which means new and returning players buy GTA 5 to play the game.
Fortunately, that won't be the case anymore. Once GTA 5 is released on the PS5, players will get GTA Online for free for the first three months. Of course, that sparks the discussion of whether or not GTA Online should have always been a standalone title, to begin with.
How GTA Online being a standalone title is a great idea
GTA 5 is a fantastic game, but not everybody is interested in playing it. $60 or so just to play GTA Online is a fair cost, especially since other games like Red Dead Redemption 2 have Red Dead Online available for $19.99. So GTA Online would likely be cheaper than $60 if it was a standalone title.
If a player likes to download games digitally, then having GTA Online as a standalone title would save them precious storage space. Even saving a single GB would be worth it for some gamers, especially those with too many installed games.
Why some players won't like GTA Online being a standalone title
Before discussing several reasons why some gamers would love to have GTA Online as a standalone, it is vital to examine why some gamers don't like the idea. For starters, it seems like GTA Online will still be around for several years.
Fans of the GTA series who are sick of GTA Online will despise the idea of it hogging all of the resources for another generation. The game is unlikely to be released just as a standalone title if it won't have significant updates in the future, especially since the Expanded and Enhanced Edition of GTA 5 will have its own new features.
Logically, there is some truth to the argument. As long as GTA Online is still massively profitable to Rockstar, they will keep milking it for what it's worth.
Why GTA Online works as a standalone title
Just as fans hate it when Rockstar milks GTA Online, it's an equally valid reason to keep doing so. Having it be a standalone title allows Rockstar to do more with it without worrying about the off-chance that it will affect GTA 5 somehow.
Having GTA Online as a standalone game would allow the publisher to experiment more with it. For example, they can more easily monitor how many people are buying GTA 5 solely to play GTA Online and how many people would gladly skip buying GTA 5 just to play GTA Online.
As previously mentioned, there will be less of an issue with storage space since the standalone title won't need all of GTA 5's assets to work correctly. This could also allow Rockstar to pump a lot more content into GTA Online if they're planning for massive expansions.
It will be an easier way to play GTA Online
GTA 5 is a masterpiece of a game, but loading it and selecting GTA Online is a bit of a hassle at times. If GTA Online was the only option, then players could forego not only the unnecessary loading screens, but they could also hop into GTA Online much quicker.
Note: This article reflects the author's views.