Here’s Why Rockstar Didn’t Commit to Grand Theft Auto 5 Single-Player DLC

“It was not really a conscious decision, it’s just what happened.”

It shouldn’t be too surprising to hear that Grand Theft Auto 5 was recently given the honour of being the best selling video game in US history. That is an incredibly huge achievement and it continues to sell like crazy four years on from its original release date. But while Rockstar has seen to it that the online component, GTA Online, has received massive support through updates and add-ons, some fans have felt betrayed that there hasn’t been any single-player DLC. After all, GTA IV had them and they’re considered by many to be some of the best examples of post-launch DLC.

It also doesn’t help that Rockstar wrote on its company blog in 2013 that there would be “substantial additions” to GTA5’s campaign, a promise that has yet to be realized. Now, after four long years, it seems that we may have a definite and final answer courtesy of a recent interview with Game Informer.

Rockstar director of design Imran Sarwar was asked the below question:

With both GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar made excellent, dedicated single-player campaign-style expansions in Episodes from Liberty City and Undead Nightmare. Grand Theft Auto Online has integrated narrative elements to setting up criminal enterprises, but most of the tales generated from GTAO are more emergent in nature. Was it a tough call to move away from more scripted experiences or do you view this as a natural evolution of open-world design toward giving players more agency over their play experience?

No, it was not really a conscious decision, it’s just what happened. We would love to do more single-player add-ons for 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. It was three games in one. The next-gen versions took a year of everyone’s time to get right, then the online component had a lot of potential, but to come close to realizing that potential also sucked up a lot of resources. And then there are other games – in particular, Red Dead Redemption II. The combination of these three factors means for this game, we did not feel single-player expansions were either possible or necessary, but we may well do them for future projects. At Rockstar, we will always have bandwidth issues because we are perfectionists and 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! 

So there you have it: The real reason why Rockstar didn’t make Grand Theft Auto 5 DLC. Its possible fans will still be disappointed with Sarwar’s answer but at least there won’t be any more people asking about why there wasn’t any single-player add-on content. Well, there shouldn’t be, anyway.

Tell us what you think about Grand Theft Auto 5 DLC and the lack of it in our comments below.