At this point, it’s a question of when, not if, Rockstar Games chooses to officially announce Grand Theft Auto 6. The series has garnered massive critical and commercial acclaim with each new installment, with the most recent addition to the franchise, Grand Theft Auto 5, taking the world by storm when it was released in 2013 and still remaining relevant to this day. The main question now is, what can Rockstar innovate to ensure Grand Theft Auto 6 remains a fresh and new experience?
The series has made considerable effort over the years to change up its formula as much as possible by putting gamers in control of new characters, creating vast new locations, and attempting to keep the mission variety as diverse as possible. However, once the game is completed and the credits roll, there may not be much for gamers left to do if they aren’t particularly interested in the assortment of multiplayer options and just prefer single player gaming in general.
For Grand Theft Auto 6 to avoid this possible issue, Rockstar should review its past efforts not on Grand Theft Auto 5 but the game that came just before: Grand Theft Auto 4. The narrative of said game’s main protagonist Niko Bellic was lengthy and robust, but it naturally came to a close at some point. To remedy that, Rockstar would later announce two downloadable story add-ons to the base game with The Lost and the Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony. These came at a time when DLC wasn’t quite as common for single player gaming and worked wonders in extending the lifespan of the game for anyone who had already pushed through the entirety of the main story.
Just as Rockstar has supported the multiplayer component for Grand Theft Auto 5 for years after its release, it would be just as lucrative an opportunity for the studio to show single player gamers some love and supply new story DLC as well. Open-world action games are everywhere nowadays, with other competing franchises such as Ubisoft’s Assassins Creed and Nintendo’s Breath of the Wild following up on the main release months later with new storylines for players to dive into and enjoy.
This isn’t even mentioning the myriad of competition in the multiplayer gaming space nowadays with Destiny and Overwatch that may take eyes off of the potential Grand Theft Auto 6 multiplayer modes, making it all the more crucial for Rockstar to cover all its bases and appease single player gamers just as much as fans of multiplayer. Rockstar helped usher in the genre of open world freedom in video games, so it only feels appropriate for the company to remind everyone why it is still among the best in the business. Grand Theft Auto 6’s new location will undoubtedly have a wide open space to shoot and loot within but to maintain the game’s longevity, there is always room for new content.
This isn’t even to say that more story DLC would benefit the game in strictly a business perspective but just in terms of pure creativity and world building as well. In Grand Theft Auto 6’s game world, Rockstar is sure to create an incredibly dense environment to explore with dozens upon dozens of complex and wild characters to interact with. Even with a long story mode, surely the surface of this incredible game world will have only just been scratched.
Much of the exploration post-game usually just involves leisurely traversing the landscape (running over innocent bystanders, no less) so Rockstar can inject some added purpose amid all the mayhem. The player can take control of a side character introduced in the main game and expand on their storyline or even allow access to an area as the main setting for the DLC that was previously delegated to being a cut off set piece and nothing more. Not only would this give gamers a few bonus hours of enjoyment but would further richen what Rockstar had already established in the base game.
Naturally, while more content and story can expand the world there is a danger of this changing from welcome additions to excessive fluff. If Rockstar begins creating new story DLC as frequently as its multiplayer content, scraping the bottom of the barrel to make storylines about anyone and everyone from that jogger players knocked over during a pursuit to that old lady that was run over for no reason, it would start to feel uninteresting. There is a proper balance to find here between quality and quantity but all that aside, Grand Theft Auto 6’s development would surely benefit in some capacity to borrow from Grand Theft Auto 4‘s example to throw single player gamers a bone with new missions to tackle, even if they do just revolve around going bowling with cousin Roman.
Grand Theft Auto 6 is rumored to be in development.