Grand Theft Auto 5 Turns 7 Years Old, Still Dominates


People just can't get enough of Grand Theft Auto 5, even as the game celebrates its 7th birthday.

Unless you're talking about an MMO or an unusually popular e-sport, few games stay even remotely relevant 7 years after launch - and even among those this is rare! Despite the odds, GTA 5 and GTA Online are more popular than ever.

When speaking about longevity, GTA 5 isn't just a dramatic outlier in terms of managing to stay alive with a healthy population, but it straight up shows significant growth, both in terms of active players and sales. With such a lively community that's ever growing, is anyone really surprised that Rockstar decided to bring the game to the next-gen consoles?

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Back during the holidays, Rockstar revealed the not too surprising, but nonetheless impressive stat that GTA Online clocked the highest number of unique log-ins during that period ever, meaning it beat the game's legendary launch. Considering the heightened player counts across the board due to social distancing recently, we'd bet the record was beaten since - several times even.

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According to Steamcharts, GTA Online's concurrent player count peaked this February with 267,360 players logged in at the same time on Steam alone, with hundreds of thousands or possibly even millions more playing on PC, but not through the Steam client and on consoles. This statistic has many new AAA games beat, and GTA 5 is hardly a new release.

Not that you could tell.

Boot up GTA 5 on a current generation console or a stronger PC with the settings cranked up, and you'll be drawn into a world that is still stunning from a graphical standpoint, and could easily pass as a game released in the past couple of years. Great graphics don't make a game, but they're sure nice to have, and here we have them in spades.

With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping a lot of gamers - and everyone, really - indoors, many were looking for new ways to pass the time. The gaming industry as a whole experienced a huge surge, and GTA 5 is no exception. Last month, the game broke the 135 million shipped copies mark, which still doesn't account for digital sales - which are bound to be through the roof!

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

New players jumping into GTA 5 and Online are likely to be overwhelmed at first by all the content - don't worry, we have a guide for that. The sheer volume is so staggering that even players who are veterans, stomping the virtual soil of Los Santos since 2013, probably have plenty of exploring left to do.

This is thanks to Rockstar's vigorous content support, constantly pumping free DLCs big and small into the multiplayer mode.

There's no sign of this slowing down, either. We just recently got the Los Santos Summer Special, and Rockstar has already announced that a new set of heists will arrive in GTA Online later this year as part of the "biggest update ever".

If you're just joining us, you are in for a hell of a ride. We're eager to see what kind of official celebration and bonuses Rockstar has in mind for the anniversary. Here's to 7 more!

Aron Gerencser
Aron is responsible for the bulk of the news posts that you'll find on GTA BOOM each and every day. He loves getting involved with the community and is an avid fan of all things Rockstar Games. His journey with the franchise began with GTA 2 back when it was new (all the way back in 1999), and he was a gamer even before then. Find Aron on Facebook.