It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to hear confirmation Grand Theft Auto 5, a game released in 2013, will not get a single-player expansion, however disappointing that may be.
Now, though, and from what I can tell is for the first time, Rockstar has explained why GTA 5 ended up without a big story add-on.
In a Q&A with Game Informer, Rockstar director of design Imran Sarwar said the company didn’t think single-player expansions for GTA5 “were either possible or necessary”.
Rockstar had released single-player expansions for previous Grand Theft Auto games and Red Dead Redemption, and very good and successful they were, too. But in a post GTA Online world, a world in which the online portion of GTA5 continues to bring in millions of dollars each month, a single-player expansion for GTA5 never materialised.
“No, it was not really a conscious decision, it’s just what happened,” Sarwar said of the lack of single-player expansions.
“We would love to do more single-player add-ons for games in the future. As a company we love single-player more than anything, and believe in it absolutely – for storytelling and a sense of immersion in a world, multiplayer games don’t rival single-player games.
“With GTA 5, the single-player game was absolutely massive and very, very complete. It was three games in one. The next-gen versions took a year of everyone’s time to get right, then the online component had a lot of potential, but to come close to realising that potential also sucked up a lot of resources. And then there are other games – in particular Red Dead Redemption 2.
“The combination of these three factors means for this game, we did not feel single-player expansions were either possible or necessary, but we may well do them for future projects.
“At Rockstar, we will always have bandwidth issues because we are perfectionists and to make huge complex games takes a lot of time and resources. Not everything is always possible, but we still love single-player open-world games more than anything. I don’t think you could make a game like GTA5 if you did not like single-player games and trying to expand their possibilities!”
So that’s that. GTA5 won’t get a single-player expansion. But Red Dead Redemption 2 may. Speaking of Red Dead Redemption 2, Sarwar said the rollout of updates for GTA Online may change a little in order to encourage players to to try Red Dead Redemption 2 and its mystery online portion.
When asked how much life is left in GTA Online, Sarwar replied:
“We don’t yet have a fixed end point in mind, but the rollout of updates may change a little in order to encourage players to try Red Dead Redemption 2 when it launches. It would be great to have players splitting time between two incredible worlds, but we shall see how things evolve.
“One of the enjoyable things about working on a project like this is that you can iterate quickly, and change and evolve plans fairly quickly too, so we don’t have to be as clear in our plans as with other projects.”