Don't hold your breath for GTA5 story DLC

GTA Online "has exceeded our expectations".

Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto 5 team is developing content for GTA Online only, the developer has said.

GTA Online is regularly updated with free content packs, although you can pay for in-game cash with real-world funds.

The news is a blow to fans patiently waiting for GTA5 story content, which Rockstar long ago said was in the pipeline.

Rockstar first mentioned that it was working on "some very exciting" story mode DLC back in April last year. At the time, this DLC was planned to launch before Christmas 2014 - perhaps alongside the game's PC, PS4 and Xbox One re-release in September.

But the add-on never materialised, and Rockstar did not mention it again.

Then, in May this year, Rockstar's parent company Take-Two suggested that the content had not been announced at all - and quickly had to backtrack on the matter.

Now, Rockstar North design director Imran Sarwar has confirmed to IGN that GTA Online is the focus.

"Right now our focus is on GTA Online which has exceeded our expectations," Sarwar said. "We currently have all key members of the team that launched Grand Theft Auto 5 focused on supporting GTA Online in every capacity.

"The community we've been able to foster is massive, growing each day and we have so many ideas that have yet to make it into the game."

GTA Online has been enormously profitable for Rockstar and 2K since GTA5's launch.

"Grand Theft Auto 5 has sold in more than 54 million units worldwide," Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick said during a financial call in August of this year.

"And Rockstar Games is successfully driving engagement with the title and meaningful incremental profits through their release of new content for Grand Theft Auto Online."

In fact, Grand Theft Auto Online was the single largest source of profit for the company during its last financial quarter.

"Rockstar Games has driven sustained engagement through the ongoing release of free content updates, most recently The Ill-Gotten Gains updates Part One and Part Two, which were launched in June and July," Zelnick said.

70 per cent of Grand Theft Auto 5 players who have connected their console online have tried the multiplayer mode, Zelnick concluded, with average monthly active users for this year up more than 40 per cent on 2014 - likely due to the launch of the game's PC, PS4 and Xbox One ports.

Rockstar's focus on the incredibly-profitable Grand Theft Auto Online is easy to understand, although fans who enjoyed GTA4 add-ons such as The Lost and the Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony will miss anything similar coming to GTA5.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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