Why GTA 5 Never Got Any Single-Player DLC Expansions

Rockstar Games never promised it would release single-player expansions for Grand Theft Auto V, but some fans hoped the developer would. After all, Grand Theft Auto IV had some excellent story add-ons in the form of The Ballad of Gay Tony and The Lost And Damned. Rockstar has instead focused on updates for GTA Online, which have been plentiful and substantial. Now, Rockstar design director Imran Sarwar has explained that it was “not really a conscious decision” to not release single-player expansions for GTA V. Instead, it “just happened” to work out that way, he told Game Informer.

Sarwar added that Rockstar “would love to” make single-player DLC for its other games in the future. “As a company we love single-player more than anything, and believe in it absolutely–for storytelling and a sense of immersion in a world, multiplayer games don’t rival single-player games. With GTA V, the single-player game was absolutely massive and very, very complete,” Sarwar said.

Further explaining why GTA V never got any single-player expansions, Sarwar said it came down to a lack of resources, in addition to the company’s focus on its next big game, Red Dead Redemption 2. For GTA V, “We did not feel single-player expansions were either possible or necessary, but we may well do them for future projects.”

Sarwar went on to say that “bandwidth issues” are a constant concern for Rockstar “because we are perfectionists.” He added: “To make huge complex games takes a lot of time and resources. Not everything is always possible, but we still love single-player open-world games more than anything. I don’t think you could make a game like GTA V if you did not like single-player games and trying to expand their possibilities!”

Rockstar parent company Take-Two Interactive has never released specific revenue figures for GTA Online–which makes money through microtransactions–but the game is almost always called out in earnings reports as a top driver of what Take-Two calls “recurrent consumer spending.” Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick has referred to GTA Online as “the gift that keeps on giving” as it relates to revenue. The base game, GTA V, continues to land in the top-seller charts worldwide, more than four years after its initial release in September 2013.

In December 2013, Rockstar teased–but never fully committed to releasing–“substantial additions” to GTA V that would continue the stories of main characters Michael, Franklin, and Trevor. Rockstar never said if this would happen in single-player or multiplayer.

In May 2015, Zelnick said on an earnings call that he couldn’t remember Rockstar even teasing anything new for GTA V story content. Take-Two later clarified that Zelnick misspoke.

Game Informer’s full interview covers a number of other topics about GTA V and GTA Online, including its continued success, balance issues, and more. You can read it here. GTA Online’s newest update added a cool racing mode called Transform where you switch between vehicle types in the middle of races.

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