The Cayo Perico Heist, Grand Theft Auto Online's latest and biggest DLC, introduces the the most complex and ambitious heist for us to undertake, complete with optional setup missions that affect the challenges you face in the finale. More importantly, it is the first heist that can be completed solo, without a team - and a recent interview reveals more such content is on the way.
Though not marketing itself as such, GTA Online is essentially an MMO, with multiplayer content - be it co-op or PvP - taking center stage. All sorts of competitive game modes pit players against one another in a variety of gameplay situations, while Heists represented the most challenging cooperative content where players teamed up to complete a mission they couldn't do alone.
Even the content that is generally done alone was designed in a way to encourage or even necessitate interacting with other players. The business gameplay model on which most major DLCs in the past few years were built is best enjoyed when left alone, allowed to ferry your goods in peace.
However, sell missions and sourcing missions can only be done in public lobbies in order to add to the challenge of having to deal with players keen on raining on your parade. Promoting community interaction is great, but people are also often horrible, so making it mandatory is bothersome. Players went out of their way to find out how to get into public lobbies all by themselves to circumvent the issue.
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It seems Rockstar has heard the voices of players who don't roll with a crew or just prefer solo content - according to Director of Design Production Tarek Hamad and Design Director Scott Butchard. Speaking to GQ in a recent interview, the pair talked about The Cayo Perico Heist and the road forward for GTA Online.
I think you can see that with Online and I think going forward we’re going to inject more of that singleplayer element in there.
GTA Online has had a contentious history with single player content after years and years of uncertainty regarding single player "story" DLC that was promised but never delivered. Rockstar initially planned to continue the story of Michael, Trevor and Franklin, but the unprecedented success of the multiplayer mode rearranged priorities. According to the latest reports, the early assets for the story DLC were recycled in The Doomsday Heist.
Now, it seems Rockstar figured out a way to have its cake and eat it too - we will get single player DLC, but it will be within GTA Online. This means that Rockstar will be able to cater to solo players while still adding new content to Online that needs to be bought with GTA$, fueling the extremely lucrative microtransaction business.
In what may be even more of a bombshell answer, when asked whether Rockstar will continue to tell single player stories in GTA Online, Hamad replied with "Absolutely", which makes us even more hopeful for the appearance of more in-depth narrative content hitting the game in the future. This is an angle we've talked about at length in the past already, and would seem to be a logical way forward in 2021 when GTA Online goes standalone.