The latest GTA Online update removes 200 cars and locks some of them behind paywalls, showing that players can’t trust live-service games. While these types of games can be done well, for the most part, gamers are subject to manipulative tactics from corporations and this is a prime example.
Fans were initially excited to get the San Andreas Mercenaries update, as it initially promised plenty of content to play through. According to Kotaku, the update did add new missions and some quality-of-life improvements that fans would enjoy. However, it also removed over 180 cars and motorcycles without warning.
Granted, Rockstar Games did say that they would remove “lesser-used” vehicles but this is ridiculous. What makes this worse is that these vehicles are now only available through paywalls that only GTA+ subscribers can use. Rockstar even showed off the “exclusive” pack on their website, with many fans annoyed at the “lesser-used” cars only being available here.
If anyone is wondering why people are so cynical about any upcoming live-service game, GTA Online just gave them the biggest reason why. Bad enough that Rockstar is already charging for special in-game currency and DLC but making previously free content paid DLC is disgusting.
While gross, we really shouldn’t be surprised at the lows Rockstar Games went to. Similarly, Activision Blizzard turned every copy of Overwatch 1 into Overwatch 2, promised fans an exclusive PvE mode that has since been canceled, and is now making them pay an extra $14.99 for permanent access to Story Missions.
Before it made everything free, Crystal Dynamics’ Marvel’s Avengers also reduced the XP players were gaining because “they were progressing too fast.” This is probably why no one has high hopes for Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League since it can do some similarly deceptive things.
Live-service games are dying and the actions of GTA Online, along with all these other games, show that’s a good thing. Sure, Rockstar’s game will still make money and MMORPG titles like World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy 14 are just as exploitative but they haven’t lied too badly to fans yet.