Rockstar Games doesn’t need your game sales to make money off you. Microtransactions are the future.
With a little help from Rockstar Games, the PS5 reveal event began with a bang. Well, technically, it was a few bangs as Rockstar created an explosive new trailer to confirm that Grand Theft Auto V will be coming to next-generation consoles in 2021.
PS5 players are the big winners here as Rockstar will release a standalone version of GTA Online exclusively on the console in the second half of the year. This standalone GTA Online release will be free and exclusive for the first three months after its launch.
This partnership with Rockstar is a beefy addition to a PS5 lineup that has several other, heavy-hitting third-party partnerships. Ghostwire: Tokyo and Deathloop, two single-player titles published by Bethesda, will be timed exclusives on the console.
The GTA V PS5 reveal also allowed Rockstar to show its hand and confirm that it no longer cares about game sales. Money made from microtransactions is what it really cares about, and now everybody knows it. Why else would Rockstar release GTA V on a third console generation?
Making GTA Online free on PS5, if only for a few months, opens the game up to so many more potential microtransaction buyers. Over time, these players may spend far more on microtransactions than they would just to buy a copy of the game. This idea has helped Rockstar to make billions of dollars from its multiplayer.
This is also why Rockstar chose to offer GTA V for free on the Epic Games Store. It doesn’t need to get people to buy the game when giving them the game for free is so much easier and makes a far larger amount of money.