Grand Theft Auto has been a huge part of gaming culture for over two decades now. With GTA 5 being released in 2013 and GTA 6 hotly anticipated, fans of the franchise have had to pass the time playing GTA Online.
The good news is that Rockstar continues to generate new content for their online game, and this year has seen some of the biggest updates for GTA Online.
Here are the most significant:
1. RC Bandito with Eight All-New Races
Variety reported that GTA Online added eight new races at the beginning of the year. The notable difference to other race updates was that the races exclusively featured the tiny RC Bandito, which is fully customisable.
It came as an in-game double cash incentive, as upon joining the Bandito Races there was a promise of a GTA$1M in bonuses. You can’t get any better than racing a toy car in GTA style!
2. Diamond Casino & Resort Open Now in GTA Online
The most anticipated update happened to also be the most well-received of the year. The GTA Online casino finally opened its doors to players in July. You can find the Diamond Casino and Resort in downtown Vinewood and use your very own GTA dollars to trade for casino chips. It also included an expanded tiered membership program with access to in-game lobbies where players can socialise.
This follows a trend in videogames where more player communication is encouraged. An article on the New York Times argues that many of today’s biggest games are designed foremost as social experiences, intended to facilitate connection and community. GTA’s Diamond Casino in this case is following in the footsteps of online casino platforms where there is now an increased focus on player interaction. Pocket Full of Apps reports that PPPoker has developed a new online gaming platform that allows players from over 100 countries to form a global community. Like in GTA Online, players can meet, play, and share tips in a virtual poker room. No wonder players have been wanting this update to happen since it was first teased several years ago.
The update also features missions where you can protect the casino enterprise, introduces brand new cars that you can purchase, and even customise a penthouse suite in the resort.
3. Diamond Program Expansion
A further update for the casino marks the game’s effort to create a more organised incentive program for those who can’t get over the Diamond Casino & Resort. The casino now has Silver, Gold, Platinum and, of course, a Diamond status. The program enables players to earn half of the promised rewards just by logging in on certain dates and completing work assignments.
The upgrade means players can now navigate the casino floor between games of poker, blackjack, and roulette, as well as play slot machines and engage in virtual horse racing. It’s basically Diamond Casino 2.0.
4. New Survival Series with 7 New Maps, GTA$1M Giveaway
This 7-in-1 update released in September, promising a jam-packed adventure and anniversary giveaways, and it delivered. The challenges included a battle against a gang and his thugs in the Nuclear Bunker and defending yourself in Grove Street against the Ballas attack, San Andreas style. The best part is that all these Survival modes made sure rewards were doubled for players.
The GTA franchise has defined what an online title can offer. With this year’s updates, a whole new aspect of the game was opened along with some fun missions and races. Now we just need some news on GTA 6.