In a recent play-through of Fortnite’s latest season, gaming enthusiast Zack Zwiezen tuned into something noteworthy – the addition of new songs on the in-game radio. This detail not only added a pleasant surprise to his gaming experience but also sparked a conversation about the potential for other games to adopt this approach.
A prime candidate for this, as Zwiezen suggests, is the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series by Rockstar Games. The GTA franchise is legendary for its curated radio soundtracks, an element that has added depth to the player’s immersion and enjoyment over the years. The ongoing success of Rockstar in handpicking songs for in-game radio stations and clubs has been a defining characteristic of the series.
In the context of GTA’s most recent iteration, GTA V, launched in 2013, this curatorial success has somewhat faltered. While the game introduced a groundbreaking, always-online multiplayer mode called GTA Online, the musical tracks have largely remained the same since the game’s release. This static music selection, which players have been listening to for a decade, lacks the freshness of its Fortnite counterpart.
While playing Fortnite, Zwiezen discovered that the in-game radio regularly updates with a diverse mix of old and new songs, contributing to a dynamic and engaging player experience. By comparison, GTA Online’s decade-old pop hits have started to feel a little outdated.
It’s worth noting that Rockstar has not been entirely silent on the music front in GTA Online. They added a selection of songs in 2021 and have included new dance music in previous updates. However, these sporadic updates, while appreciated, don’t necessarily hit the mark of delivering popular radio hits in a consistent manner.
Taking a leaf out of Fortnite’s book might be a significant improvement for future games like GTA VI, as Zwiezen suggests. By consistently updating the in-game radio with new, hand-picked tracks, Rockstar could keep the game world feeling vibrant and inviting to players. This approach would maintain the unique atmosphere Rockstar is known for, while adding a touch of modernity that reflects the ever-evolving music scene.
However, a balance would need to be found to prevent any potential dissonance between the static world of GTA VI and changing music trends. With careful curation and a more dynamic approach to in-game music, Rockstar could provide a consistently fresh and immersive gaming experience, all while staying true to their unique vibe.