In what seems to be a new practice, Rockstar has started organizing special, possibly randomized sales for specific players that run alongside the global sales which are part of the weekly events. Players have reported getting discounts on single vehicles, while others had entire selections to peruse. But what is behind this?
The first report we spotted was on a GTA Online Subreddit where a user posted a screenshot of the Osiris being 50% off in spite of it not being part of the current rotation of sales. A number of other players in the comments sounded off as having also received the same bonuses, while many others lamented being left out.
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Currently, the targeted sales include the Osiris, the Hakuchou Drag and Baller LE at 50% off through the 22nd of March. It seems that these targeted sales are somehow related to those randomized Shark Card discounts being sent out to players via e-mail, in that they never go out to every player at once.
Usually when Rockstar hosts global Shark Card promos, they don't cut the price but rather increase the amount of in-game cash each Card is worth. It's only through targeted discount emails that players can buy the Cards at a lower price.
One theory would have been that an algorithm tracks players' purchase trends and 'calculates' which car they're most likely to desire, and deals them a targeted discount on that vehicle. However the fact that everyone who was targeted got the same discounts whacks this theory home.
It's possible that either those players who haven't bought much of anything in-game are given discounts as an incentive, or players who usually buy a lot of stuff are given discounts on those vehicles which are statistically owned the least - which would be off in the case of the Osiris. This is why we think the rolling of the targeted sales is entirely random.
On the other hand, Shark Card discounts are likely shot out purposefully to both those people who never bought a Shark Card and those who buy them frequently. If someone never dropped money for it, a "one time" special discount might push them over the edge, whereas returning buyers might buy even more during the sale since, hey, they're going to buy them in the future anyway, right?
In any case, more discounts is never something to deride. Let's just hope that the next time there is a targeted sale the Shotaro is included as well.