GTA Online Standalone Is Coming Due To GTA 5 Sales Saturation

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick says that GTA V has sold so many units that the company is willing to experiment with new ways for bring in players.


Rockstar Games' plans to launch a standalone version of Grand Theft Auto Online were prompted, at least in part, by sheer market saturation for Grand Theft Auto 5.

"As you sell that many units, you will at some point arrive at the conclusion that you've saturated for purchasing the title," Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said at a Morgan Stanley technology conference. "At that point you're willing to experiment with the possibility that maybe there is another way to bring people into the online experience. Make it super-low friction, low price point. Sure, you don't have access to the original single-player experience, but you do have access to an online world. Our view is perhaps that's a different market and that's a way to expand the player base."

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He said the company's experience with putting out Red Dead Online as a standalone release, apart from Red Dead Redemption 2, was a proof-of-concept. That gave Red Dead Online its biggest month since launch, and the people who get in using the online experience might upgrade to the full version too. He sees it as an opportunity to bring in a larger player base, which then helps feed long-term success.

The standalone version of Red Dead Online is regularly priced at $20, but it was 75% off for the first several weeks, bringing it down to $5. We might see a similar approach for GTA Online, but Take-Two and Rockstar have not announced release or price details.

Grand Theft Auto Online has sold 140 million units, and often makes the top ten in NPD sales despite having been out for several years already. Take-Two has often boasted that its GTA Online microtransactions have served as a boon for the company, which may help to explain why we still haven't heard word on a GTA 6.

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