Grand Theft Auto Online, has recently made headlines following the launch of its San Andreas Mercenaries update. The update added new features, including fresh heists, missions, and vehicles, which were well-received by fans. However, what didn’t sit well with them was the removal of nearly 200 cars and motorcycles from the in-game marketplace. A portion of these vehicles are now irretrievable, while some have been relocated behind a paywall, GTA+, a new monthly subscription service by Rockstar.
GTA+ is a premium subscription priced at £4.99 per month. The subscription delivers a range of perks such as periodic in-game cash bonuses, markdowns on in-game items, complimentary properties, and as of recently, access to some of the vehicles previously scrubbed from the regular market. But while the subscription offers numerous benefits, it has also stirred up controversy. Gamers now have to shell out a monthly fee for access to vehicles that were originally unlockable via standard in-game progression. Rockstar, however, has hinted that the removed content may occasionally return in other forms within the game.
The controversy was further fueled by the exclusivity of the GTA+ service to Series X/S and PS5, thereby excluding PC, Xbox One, and PS4 users from accessing these vehicles. This decision was met with significant backlash, as a large chunk of the gaming community felt left out, sparking concerns about the game’s future accessibility and fairness.
Despite owning the vehicles already, players were advised not to sell them off just yet. Although the vehicles are not lost from their garages, the uncertainty surrounding the changes makes it prudent to retain these vehicles. This has led to a new dynamic in the in-game economy, one where previously lesser-used vehicles might now become more valuable.
The decision to remove these vehicles was justified by Rockstar as an effort to simplify the in-game shopping experience. The culled vehicles were labeled as “lesser” by the game’s developers, and it was claimed that the majority of players rarely used them. Despite this reasoning, the decision was met with frustration, particularly among new players. Many of the removed vehicles were affordable and suitable for players who had not yet invested significant time in completing missions and heists to accumulate in-game wealth.
This move by Rockstar stands in stark contrast to other game-related news from the studio. In a recent development, a new trailer for the 15th-anniversary remake of Grand Theft Auto IV has been released. The trailer has been met with enthusiasm and nostalgic excitement, serving as a stark reminder of the franchise’s deep-rooted legacy in the gaming community.
The recent changes have stirred up mixed feelings within the Grand Theft Auto Online community. As players adapt to the new landscape, the controversy surrounding GTA+ highlights broader discussions in the gaming industry about in-game purchases and accessibility. Only time will tell how these changes will shape the future of Grand Theft Auto Online.