Ever since Grand Theft Auto III hit the PS2 back in the early 2000s, the venerable Rockstar Games franchise has cultivated and subsequently maintained a spot among the elites of the competitive video game landscape. Each new game in the series has effectively served to expand on the previous one, further opening up GTA's famous open-world scope as the available console technology continued to improve in its own right.
Perhaps the biggest leap for GTA as an overall brand came with the 2013 arrival of Grand Theft Auto Online, a multi-player online extension of Grand Theft Auto V. GTA Online has since taken on a life of its own, overcoming growing pains at launch to become an immensely popular part of the GTA universe. Unfortunately, all good things must eventually come to an end, and GTA Online is apparently no exception.
Gaming Bolt is reporting that during a recent industry gathering, Strauss Zelnick - CEO of Rockstar's parent company Take-Two Interactive - had the following to say about his plans for the game's future or, in this case, possibly lack thereof:
“We do expect GTA Online’s results to moderate because October will be three years since we released it. Not only was it not our intention that GTA Online was permanent, but it’s important that it not be permanent. We have to rest the franchise at some point.”
While Zelnick's statement doesn't give any indication as to when GTA Online will enter its "rest" period, it's understandable that the franchise would need to take a break sooner or later. After all, one assumes Grand Theft Auto VI is planned to hit shelves at some point in the not too distant future, and it's likely hard to make any progress on creating the next installment in the GTA franchise while the Rockstar North development team continues to be consumed with creating new modes for GTA Online. Also, as popular as GTA's online extension has proved to be with fans, supporting it in perpetuity wouldn't really make sense from a business standpoint, especially with its free-to-play nature. At some point the franchise has to move on, and Zelnick clearly realizes this.
That all said, GTA Online remains far from gone at present, and Rockstar has announced a brand new game mode for release next week. Entitled Further Adventures in Finance and Felony, the mode allows players to build and maintain a full-on criminal empire, all while gaining power and control over Los Santos' always thriving underworld scene. Basically, Finance and Felony seems to be GTA Online's unofficial attempt to enable players to unleash their inner Tony Montana, consolidating money and prestige while crushing all those who stand in their way. Of course, those playing the mode will probably wish to avoid going down in a hail of bullets next to a mountain of cocaine. GTA Online may not last forever, but it's likely to go out in a blaze of glory.
Grand Theft Auto Online is available now for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Windows PC. Further Adventures in Finance and Felony will be released on June 7th, 2016.