Rockstar Games spent years developing Grand Theft Auto V and its multiplayer component GTA Online. Now that the game is out, though, Rockstar wants fans to take the lead in guiding its development.
Aaron Garbut, art director at Rockstar North, told Edge that user feedback will play a large role in how GTA Online changes over time.
"What I love about our GTA Online plans is that the game is no longer static. We can continue to add these things and evolve. That’s even more exciting these days, where through forums, Reddit, etc, we have a real direct connection to the people playing the game. We can respond to what they are into and what they hate more than ever. It’s something that really suits the way we work, the way we’re always trying to adapt the experience and avoid walking blindly down a set path."
GTA Online allows groups of players to cause havoc in Los Santos and the surrounding areas together. They can kill each other in deathmatches, test their driving skills with races, or team up for co-op missions. The money they earn can be used to buy additional cars, equipment and properties.
The multiplayer had a rocky launch, with many players completely unable to log in for several days. Bugs caused character progression to be wiped out, negating hours of gameplay. Rockstar ultimately gave players heaps of in-game cash to smooth things over.
Now that they've stabilized GTA Online, Rockstar has begun releasing new content. The first add-on, the Beach Bum Pack, provided new Jobs, vehicles and customization options. Last month they rolled out four capture-the-flag style modes with 20 new missions. All of this content was released free of charge.
The most important post-launch move by Rockstar was releasing the Content Creator. This toolset allows players to create their own deathmatches and races. Rockstar spotlights the best missions but players are in the driver's seat here. They're building the missions, sharing them with the player community, and rating each others' creations. So far players have built over 1 million custom Jobs, much more than Rockstar could ever release on their own.
When Rockstar released the Content Creator, they noted that it was still in beta. It's likely that they'll continue adding features to the toolset over time. I wouldn't be surprised if players will be able to create their own Capture matches soon.
While players are shaping GTA Online, Rockstar is revisiting the single-player world of GTA 5. This year they intend to release the first campaign DLC.