Roleplaying in GTA Online: why is it still hitting 7 years later?.

A long, long time ago, the Rockstar North division published GTA V. It was 2013, in the middle of September, and the game was published on PS3 and Xbox 360. The intention of the developer was to promote the game and then present a couple of DLC’s , following the same dynamics seen in GTA IV.

But there was something that changed everything: GTA Online, a little spinoff to play with friends. Its success went from less to more to the point of becoming a GAS (game as a service): the publisher focused its resources on new modes, events, clothes, vehicles or weapons, it was ported to PS4 and Xbox One – it will too on PS4 and Xbox Series X — and became the publisher’s golden goose. To this day, it is already the second best-selling game in history.

Roleplaying in GTA Online: why is it still hitting 7 years later?

We remind you that you can enjoy watching streams of GTA Online (and the other most popular games currently) on the Nimo TV platform.

A success that finds its reason in a mode that Rockstar had not even contemplated: Roleplay mode. Roleplay is just one of the five great GTA Online modes: FiveM (individual mod), PVP (player versus player), RP (roleplay), Race (races and competitions) and PVE (player versus environment in missions created by Rockstar itself ).

Roleplaying in GTA Online: why is it still hitting 7 years later?

Roleplay is playing assuming another identity, interpreting the characters that we have invented, acting in line with how we think these avatars would act. A consistent personality. You have your mobile with your contacts, your health meters and ale, to survive. From attending a communion to saving a hostage from the clutches of four crazy people. Creativity sets the limits.

What’s more, in Roleplay mode our avatar has needs (affective and biological), work ambitions or a series of goals that bring this concept closer to The Sims and other social sims like Second Life. GTA V puts the open world, the city alive. And the players turn this environment into a home where they can forge an alter ego and role-play.

Roleplaying in GTA Online: why is it still hitting 7 years later?

And where does this come from? It all started in the show floors where our player loaded game. Every time you create a character for GTA Online you must create a token with a series of requirements such as your paternal genes or your ideal job.

But some players didn’t want to go out on missions, steal and fight, just chat, share ideas and turn those floors into meeting areas, to laugh while, on the other side, they watched football or Big Brother. Little by little this modality gained its own entity: servers were created and the most advanced modders build stories around their characters.

Roleplaying in GTA Online: why is it still hitting 7 years later?

Emotional bonds develop and great jokes are improvised that end up in months. Today, the Roleplay mode is our own game, where we can go out to work as a local policeman in Seville, our 8 hours, attending to the citizens with care, respecting the traffic laws or imposing our own law, if we survive.

Because that’s another: playing Roleplay means respecting some minimum rules of coexistence. Beyond seeing a handful of streamers putting on funny accents, there are vital rules for everyone to play. A much deeper and more sophisticated experience than the base game itself.

An unprecedented success

And for those who doubt the attractiveness of this mode, here are some facts: if GTA raised a fortune during its first months, the numbers have not diminished: in the main international markets, GTA V never falls below the fifth position in the sale grid.

Roleplaying in GTA Online: why is it still hitting 7 years later?

Just take a look at this year’s data: January and February 2020, first place. March in fourth place, April in fifth, back on the podium and the last two months in third place.

When the Epic Games Store gave away GTA V last June, the store’s servers were crashed for 24 hours. Discord records spikes every time popular streamers start role-playing in GTA. And we are talking about a game that came out in 2013, let’s not forget, next to Bioshock Infinite or Assassin’s Creed IV.

The best streamers and servers in Spanish

All of this is feasible thanks to the many communities that have stepped up to turn roleplay into an individual cosmos.

Roleplaying in GTA Online: why is it still hitting 7 years later?

In Spain we have dozens of streamers like summit1g, with millions of followers focused on the adventures of their characters. Although the vast majority of youtubers made the leap, during the past months, to Valorant or Warzone, COD’s battle royale, figures like Auronplay or Perxitaa do not know how to leave Los Santos. His characters Gustavo and Schedule are already two myths of the big city, like Emilio or Segismundo.

The same can be said of Vegetta777, Willyrex and Alexby; they all have their own series that have already become sitcoms, in short scripted episodes full of comedy, drama and delusional police situations with kidnappings included.

If you look at Latin American streamers, Argentines Joaco and Pimpeano are among the best known in the Spanish-speaking community, and their adventures in GTA V are followed by tens of thousands of people every day.

There’s more: Fronteras RolePlay, ConfinadosRP, E-Zential or MalaVidaRP are some of the most frequented servers. There are servers for violent players who only seek to kill each other; servers where there are no weapons – and they are strictly prohibited – servers where people are punished doing social work. It’s crazy.

Roleplaying in GTA Online: why is it still hitting 7 years later?

Grand Theft Auto has been with us since 1997. Their Vice City and San Andreas have marked an entire generation and their worlds have served as a mold and container for others. What no one expected, in the middle of the global confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is that we were going to spend hours following the adventures and misadventures of a handful of invented characters. A fever that, seen as seen, could well last another seven years.