Rockstar Games now has its own game launcher, joining companies like Epic Games and EA as they have storefronts too. Rockstar has been selling its hugely popular game, Grand Theft Auto 5, on storefronts such as Steam, but could GTA 6 be exclusive to the Rockstar Launcher?
After the announcement of the Rockstar Launcher, GamesIndustry.biz asked Rockstar what this would mean for its games on other storefronts. “Rockstar declined to comment when asked whether or not this would affect the availability of its titles on other PC storefronts,” wrote the publication. While the decision not to respond isn’t a confirmation that new Rockstar games will be exclusive to the Rockstar Launcher, it’s also not a denial.
Choosing to make GTA 6 a Rockstar Launcher exclusive would only be good for Rockstar’s bank balance. The company loses anywhere between 20%-30% on each sale of GTA 5 through Steam, which is about $10 per copy sold when the game is at full price. That’s not a small amount and if GTA 5, the most profitable entertainment product in history, had been released on the Rockstar Launcher and not on Steam then Rockstar could have potentially made hundreds of millions of dollars more.
Rockstar would also be unlikely to lose many sales or face as much backlash from fans for choosing to make GTA 6 a Rockstar Launcher exclusive. Other games, such as Metro Exodus, have been criticized for becoming Epic Games Store exclusives and some fans have said that they wouldn’t buy the game because of it. It has been confirmed that Metro Exodus’ sales weren’t affected by the backlash, but Rockstar would be further insulated from backlash if GTA 6 was a Rockstar Launcher exclusive because of the size of its fanbase.
The company didn’t lose much when GTA Online launched with technical issues and criticisms about the way the company treats its developers also hasn’t stopped players from spending on GTA 5, so it’s unlikely that anything would stop GTA 6 from being a success too.