GTA V’s Story DLC Cancelled Due To ‘Cash Cow’ GTA Online, Former Dev Claims

GTA V’s Story DLC Cancelled Due To ‘Cash Cow’ GTA Online, Former Dev Claims

As one of the best-selling video games of all time, one that has individually outsold entire video game series like Assassin’s Creed, it’s always been disappointing that Grand Theft Auto V never got story DLC. The franchise has had incredible DLC in the past, like GTA 4’s outstanding The Ballad of Gay Tony, and yet GTA 5 never got any. The planned existence of such DLC has long been the subject of rumours and leaks, and now a former Rockstar developer claims that the highly sought-after an add-on was being developed at one point but was ultimately cancelled thanks to GTA Online.

While appearing on the SanInPlay YouTube channel, Joe Rubino discussed his work on the shuttered GTA 5 DLC. Rubino served as a senior camera artist and virtual cinematographer at Rockstar from 2010 to 2016, according to his LinkedIn. While work on the DLC seemed to be going well, he said, it was the success of GTA Online that ultimately caused its downfall. “[The DLC] was really really good,” says Rubino, “But when GTA Online came out it was so much of a cash cow and people were loving it so much that it was hard to make an argument that a standalone DLC would outcompete that.” Thus, he claims, Rockstar decided to can the DLC.

Kotaku has reached out to Rockstar for comment.

Rubino gives only a brief insight into what the DLC actually would have been about, mentioning that Trevor’s actor Steven Ogg was a “very important” part of it and that the DLC was “kick-ass.” This is supported by Ogg himself, who just this April confirmed that he did voice and motion capture work on DLC for GTA 5 that would have followed Trevor going undercover. Ogg referred to that version of the character as “James Bond Trevor.”

In the same stream where Ogg confirmed that Trevor DLC had once been in the works, Michael’s actor, Ned Luke, revealed that Rockstar originally planned for all three protagonists to get their own DLCs at some point after the base game’s release, but that was later scrapped. Rubino adds that some of what he worked on for the DLC would later find its way into GTA Online in some form. That may be why last year, a massive GTA Online leak revealed scrapped content titled “Prologue DLC” and “LibertyV DLC.”

While Rubino’s claims support previous theories that GTA Online caused the downfall of GTA 5 DLC, that seems to only have been part of the puzzle. Way back in a 2017 interview with Game Informer, director of design Imran Sarwar said that the next-gen ports of GTA 5 took a while to get right, GTA Online hogged resources, and Red Dead Redemption 2 development was around the corner. “The combination of these three factors means for [GTA 5], we did not feel single-player expansions were either possible or necessary.” said Sarwar. However, he did continue by saying Rockstar may do story DLC for future projects, so we can all hold out hope for GTA 6 story DLC.

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