GTA Online on PS5 will finally split the game off of GTA5 into a standalone app

The first announcement during Sony’s The Future of Gaming stream today concerned Grand Theft Auto. While it wasn’t the announcement of GTAVI that everyone was hoping for, it was still significant. GTA Online on PS5 will be free to PlayStation Plus subscribers when it launches alongside an expanded version of GTAV. That indicates that Rockstar Games is finally splitting off GTA Online into a separate, standalone title that players can launch directly into.

Since its release in 2013, GTA Online has been tethered to GTAV. However, even though GTA Online takes place on the same map as its single-player companion, most players consider them to be two separate entities. It makes sense then, as we move into the next generation of gaming that Rockstar would finally separate the two.

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GTA Online‘s microtransactions are more fitting for a free-to-play game, not one that costs $60. By splitting off GTA Online into a F2P title, Rockstar can attain an even larger player base and justify the purchase of Shark Cards. The studio can also release content like new maps and locations independently of its single-player titles without accusations of taking away from the game’s solo portion.

Splitting GTA Online from GTAV also helps to futureproof the game. Eventually, there will be a GTAVI. However, with GTA Online as its own separate application, Rockstar doesn’t have to worry about the difficulties of crafting an entirely new multiplayer for each new Grand Theft Auto title it releases. Instead, GTA Online can be updated separately, and additional content from new GTA titles can be added as desired.

Surprisingly, Rockstar has waited this long to spin GTA Online off as a separate title. It makes sense as marketing and content updates have already separated GTA Online and GTAV for years. It’s a smart move, and it sets GTA Online up for a bright future without the baggage of being tied to GTAV.