Often the quality or success of a game is measured by its longevity (other than, you know, sales and generated profit). Usually AAA games have a “lifespan” of 3-4 years. This lifespan denotes the amount of time during which sales are relatively constant and don’t drop suddenly. Naturally, multiplayer games with a dedicated following and content support from the developers have significantly longer lifespans, especially if they garner a cult following.
GTA Online isn’t an MMO in the traditional sense and has some rather unique structuring. Add to that the high possibility of the next installment of the franchise dropping in a few year’s time, also meaning the next iteration of the Online component, and you’ve got some solid indications that GTA Online will go under in the coming years.
Rockstar has other plans though. As far as they are concerned GTA Online is here to stay. Whether or not the next GTA game’s Online component will be standalone or an expansion we don’t know. Operating on the theory that it will be standalone, meaning that GTA Online will more or less stay what it is today with smaller DLCs dropping every now and then, Michael Pacht predicts the game will still bring in a solid US$250 million yearly until at least 2020.
2020. That’s seven years after initial launch. Plus, note the words “at least”. The most surprising thing about this is that it will likely come true. GTA Online’s playerbase is only ever growing with the passage of time. The constant stream of new free content has been constantly pushing the value of the game up, with the frequent discounts pushing its price down. Sales are steady with no sign of decline and people are buying massive amounts of Shark Cards.
When do you think that the sales and player base of GTA Online will begin to decrease?