7 years ago, on 1 October 2013, Grand Theft Auto Online launched worldwide on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, starting a phenomenon that would only ever get more popular with time and reach levels of success even Rockstar Games didn't expect during development. Here we are, all these years later and still logging in every day.
Since then, GTA Online has largely been responsible for pushing millions upon millions of GTA 5 sales - though the single player portion of the game was already fantastic enough to break records during the half month or so that it was available sans Online - and keeping the game fixed on sales toplists. For more than half a decade, no amount of hyped up AAA releases could force it off the top 10.
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The numerous re-releases surely helped in. After the first release in 2013, the game hit the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in 2014 and came back for round three on the PC in 2015. The story doesn't even end there - Rockstar has announced that GTA 5, alongside a standalone GTA Online, is going to be released on Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 as well.
Over the years, a never ending stream of free DLCs and constant in-game events kept players coming back. GTA Online today is an incredibly different game than it was 7 years ago, but it is still more than recognizable. The developers have committed themselves to continued content-support, so the DLC won't be drying up anytime soon either.
It would be a foolish move too - GTA Online still drives the game's success. Not only did GTA 5 recently hit the 135 million sold copies (not counting digital!) milestone, but Take-Two Interactive considers recurrent player spending - that's fancy talk for Shark Cards - one of the company's financial pillars. This is the gift that keeps on giving, and support won't cease until that changes.
Here to at least another 7 years of GTA Online!