The Grand Theft Auto franchise has always had its fair share of ways to circumvent the natural progression in the single player experience, by cheating your way to invincibility. It allowed for some of the craziest gameplay moments in previous games, allowing for players to exploit the open world for all they can. We hope that Rockstar is considering their cheat thirsty fan-base for GTA 5, and realize that this is just as much a part of what makes Grand Theft Auto so loveable by millions, as the standard gameplay. Not that the developers have ever really gotten away from the feature, but competition within the games industry suggests that Rockstar would be able to sell cheat codes for GTA 5 if Sleeping Dogs is any indication.
Alot has changed in the gaming world since 2008. Publishers and developers have been looking to capitalize off of nearly every piece of additional content they can, if they think that players will buy it in the digital market. Some game developers have already begun to pawn off their cheat codes to the digital market. Capcom has done it in the past, Square Enix did it with Sleeping Dogs, and hopefully Rockstar will use some care with their fanbase when deciding on whether to make this old franchise main-stay a premium add-on or not.
Sleeping Dogs was a success for Square Enix, and it’s essentially a GTA-style game. The publisher sold numerous packs at $2.99 a piece that unlocked things similar to what you would traditionally find as cheat codes in other games. But you didn’t hear much about it. Fans didn’t express the type of outrage that they do over less meaningful and egregious anti-consumer actions. Sure, there were a handful of websites who wrote about it, but there was never any real traction behind any of it. Sleeping Dogs was held in high esteem when looked at for Game of the Year honors at many outlets, this locked out content had no bearing on their consideration.
It’s almost understandable for some lesser-known franchises to try and make more money from giving players a leg up, but with GTA 5 it’s a different story. I wouldn’t fault Rockstar for trying to make a buck, but this is very much an integral part of the game for many people who play Grand Theft Auto. Some people don’t know the story of a GTA game. They don’t do the missions. They simply want to play in the sandbox that Rockstar has created, and cheat codes have always made this possible.
It will be interesting to see how this is handled by Rockstar with GTA 5. Will they go for the money? It’s easy money. Their fans are some of the most loyal in the industry, and it’s likely an easy sale. Or will they stick with what they’ve traditionally provided to their fans at no extra cost, despite the practices of just about everybody else? Rockstar has made no announcements of DLC for GTA 5, and they’ve certainly not covered what cheat codes (if any) will be seen in the game. Their practices in previous games like Red Dead Redemption don’t seem to indicate that they are heading down the same road as other developers, but there’s always a chance.