GTA Online’s subscription service, GTA+, turns 2 but has it improved?


Rockstar Games’ GTA Online subscription service “GTA+” is officially two years old and I thought it would be a good time to take a look at how it has evolved and if it is better value now. There will have been 24 months of the service as of this week and a lot has changed.

GTA+ has received new and exclusive locations in GTA Online along with access to classic Rockstar Games which is a quite a lot since its introduction. A bunch of this change has happened in the past few months. We also have learned if it has been a financial success for Rockstar too.

An unpopular announcement

When Rockstar first announced GTA+, the GTA Online community were very unhappy. In the comments of all Rockstar’s social media posts for sometime was hate towards the new membership program.

Some of the hate stemmed from Rockstar re-releasing GTA V, again, and a GTA VI reveal not looking close. GTA Online had already been marred by Shark Card microtransactions. The community was worried Rockstar could give out overpowered content or even lock early access to DLC behind a GTA+ signup. Fans were just sick of the tired state of GTA Online and wanted the then fabled VI title set in Vice City.

Everything becoming a subscription service is not the way people want things to be but it’s unfortunately happening. It’s another source of revenue as GTA Online enters its final couple of years and fans took offence. None of the pressure put on Rockstar affected them though. The company continued with the launch of GTA+ as planned. They showed no sign of hesitation.

The same can be said for the past 24 months. There is a portion of the fanbase that still complain about it but any sort of rebellion against it has dwindled. As a website, we have always done our best to inform GTA fans of the news. GTA+ each month is news and thousands read the page of rotational perks to see what it has this month. Meanwhile Rockstar have continuously evolved and promoted GTA+; not phased by any push back.

How it has evolved

Whilst the majority of its perk types have remained the same, there has been some changes. Positive ones I’d say too. Rockstar have started to shift from many timed exclusives to longer term accessibility. We’ve seen new categories of benefits come in whilst a reduction in other areas.

When GTA+ began, there was more FOMO with what was included. Overtime especially recently, that feeling has lessened. The content they’ve added is long term or permanent and that means gamers will feel less like they’re missing out.

The new locations

The first big addition to GTA+ came in June last year. A brand new location in Los Santos opened exclusively for GTA+ buyers. The Vinewood Car Club has a bunch of uses but it is not anything worth signing up to GTA+ for really.

The next big GTAO perk was the Vinewood Club Garage capable of storing up to 100 vehicles, the largest in the game. Not many players need this but it is a good feature for those petrolheads. What’s good about it is if you pay just one month of GTA+ and add cars to that garage, you can still access them from it when you aren’t a member. Condensing all of the storage units you have into one might be a reason to sign up to GTA+.

Enhanced Taxi Services also became part of GTA+’s monthly permanent bonuses at the start of 2023 when Taxi Work launched. We’ve also seen an increase in bonuses for jobs that tie into event weeks leading to quadruple money and RP.

Rockstar have also announced more content coming to GTA+ in 2024. A new feature is coming to The Vinewood Club Garage in the form of a Vehicle Workshop. There will also be an app for your in-game phone that allows you to “facilitate even easier access to The Club’s special advantages.” Rockstar note that there is “much more to come from The Vinewood Club later this year”.

On top of all of that, a brand new “super car” will be the free vehicle for GTA+ members when the “big” summer update for GTA Online releases in a few months time.

GTA+ and the non-GTA Online perks

The biggest non-GTA Online change to the subscription service came in September 2023. After almost two years since its release, Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition became part of GTA+. This means anyone who does not work the remastered trilogy, can play through its entirety on their PS5 or Xbox Series X|S. The cost of this trilogy is in and around $20-40 these days depending on platform.

Though this release of GTA games continues to leave a sour taste in the mouths of fans. There were numerous mistakes, bugs, and changes to the game which many players deemed unforgivable. The three titles are in a better place now (though not where fans want them to be) so if you did not play them or own them anymore, it is a fine perk for GTA+.

The deal was sweetened just a month later. Rockstar revealed in October they have added the mobile versions of Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars into GTA+. Whilst these games have been playable for a small fee on mobile for years, if you have yet to check out these games on your device, this is another fair option. I’d imagine most would much rather play games on their consoles or PC over a phone though.

Then in March, Rockstar Games added a non-GTA title to the service: Red Dead Redemption. It even comes with the incredible Undead Nightmare expansion and other small bits of DLC. Many Xbox players own Red Dead 1 and its backwards compatible so it isn’t really a great deal for team green.

However, the recent PS5 re-release costs a fair bit more than the Xbox version and also runs at 60FPS. If you thought the $40 price tag of that re-release was too high, playing the game at 4K60 on PS5 for $6 one month ain’t bad. This inclusion has certainly has helped add value to GTA+.

How long the games will remain in GTA+ is unknown. The GTA Trilogy has been in for six months, the mobile duo for five and Red Dead 1 just launched. Some fans who feared they would only last a month or so have had those worries taken care of.

The next two games coming to GTA+ were announced in April. Coming “later this year”, both L.A. Noire and Bully will enter the service at an unknown date.

Price has remained the same despite more value, will this change?

Since its inception during March 2022, the price of GTA+ has remained the same at $5.99 / £4.99 / €5,99 a month. For gamers who play a lot of GTA Online, the $500k cash, free car, building etc is not worth it. For younger GTA Online players though, it is a cheap way to get a lot of businesses and content fast. The 100 car garage though is certainly an attempt at bringing in long-term players.

Any price increase in the past two years would have made people who don’t pay even more angry about its existence. An extra dollar a month might not really change people’s minds if they current subscribe now even more content in GTA Online has been added.

We’ve seen subscription services increase recently from Disney+, Netflix to Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus. I’d not be surprised if Rockstar feel like they can do the same with GTA+ given the content they’ve added. No one will be happy with a price increase and perhaps the additional complaints about a service that kind of floats under the radar isn’t worth it.

Promos

Usually subscription services offer a free 7 day or 30 day trial. GTA+ has not had a free trial which does make sense. Other services such as Netflix or Paramount+ don’t let you keep anything you access in that trial. Meanwhile GTA+ gives you several monthly goods you keep even if you cancel your membership.

It wasn’t free but GTA+ did have an introductory offer a year into the service’s life. Rockstar dropped the price for new and returning members to just $0.99. This promo price was fairly good value for just one month and technically you could get two months for that price by signing up just before the monthly perks refreshed. So for less than a dollar players got a million in cash, two free cars worth a few million, clothes, upgrades and more. This promo was fair honestly.

It’s unknown how successful this discounted period was for the service. How many people signed up for the first time? Re-signed? Forgot to cancelled and were billed for future months? If Rockstar were to do another one of these it would be of even greater value now the classic games have been added. I’d certainly like to see one. If Rockstar launch another price promotion, we’ll cover it right here at RockstarINTEL.

More recently, a smaller promotion was activated by Rockstar for current GTA+ members. They gave all subscribers an additional $300K of in-game cash which had to be claimed on the GTA+ webpage. This brought the total of cash for GTA+ players to $800,000.

Then as this article was about to be published, Rockstar Games unveiled a new GTA+ promo and it’s quite a big one. Starting in April through August, members will gain $1m extra cash each month. This means all players get a total of $1.5m per month over the usual half a million. That’s an bonus of 5 million over five months and a total of $7.5m.

Has it been successful?

We can only take Rockstar’s parent company’s word for it but Take-Two claim it has been a financial success. For example, in February, the publisher said the number of GTA+ members was “notably up” in November through January. They also claimed the service was growing rapidly. This came off the back of them expecting growth would be flat.

A factor in its growth can be its new features which we will discuss in greater detail deeper into this article. Take-Two Interactive’s CEO Strauss Zelnick said in August 2023 that “Consumers like it, we continue to add features. So if you can offer something powerful to consumers, there can be a great benefit.”

It’s still limited

Some die-hard GTA Online fans only play on PC. Since the release of the current-gen version of GTA V and GTA Online, the PC version has not seen parity with PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. This includes the new graphics features like ray tracing plus HSW upgrades, GTA+ and more.

The really dedicated fans that love to collect as much as they can or everything in GTA Online consistently miss out on the exclusive clothes and such. It might be a small thing to some people but we’re now over two years since the current-gen GTA V release and PC players feel like they’ve been forgotten about. Since the introduction of the 100 Car Garage and Vinewood Car Club, annoyance has grown.

Rumours of the current-gen version of GTA V on PC were rife in 2022 but they’ve since died down. Plenty of PC only players feel like Rockstar won’t bring these improvements and content to PC as GTA VI approaches. If Rockstar do deliver an upgraded GTA V on PC, we’ll be sure to let you know. As for Xbox One and PS4, there’s not a chance all of this content comes to old-gen hardware.

Overall, GTA+ feels like a better deal than when it launched. It also does not feel necessary which is how it should be. Do we really need a subscription inside of a game that costs money to play? Nope.

It would be really interesting to hear your thoughts on GTA+ in its current state. Are you a current or former subscriber? You can leave a comment down below. You can also view every GTA+ screenshot and asset here.

To keep up to date with every GTA Online news update, make sure to check back to RockstarINTEL and sign up to our newsletter for a weekly round-up of all things Rockstar Games.



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