I cannot stand microtransactions in games. Whether they add cosmetics, gaming advantages or anything in between, they have no place at all in modern gaming… Except they do, don’t they, because of money grabbing bastards such as EA, Epic Games and of course, the prodigal Rockstar Games. Gamers have been designing cosmetics for use in games for years and not attempting to charge for them, but the second the developers get their greedy little mitts into the idea, they want to hold designs to ransom unless they receive a little extra cheddar to line their already cash-rammed pockets.

Of course, this topic has been triggered for me by Rockstar’s new in-game casino. I would call it a shameful cash grab though they’ve already proved themselves to be perfectly capable of rinsing honest gamers of their hard earned money. I feel that the full controversy on this is yet to fully develop as more people lose money to it, so we can all now wait for those stories to start rolling in. If you struggle with gambling, here’s a link with which you can seek help: https://about.gambleaware.org/

Full disclosure, I really enjoyed Grand Theft Auto V at it’s launch (And subsequent relaunch on PlayStation 4) and it is undeniably a great game. One of the promises from the developers that kept me playing it was the continuous DLC that was going to be rolled out over the years after its release, as well as support for GTA Online. Fast forward to 2019 (The Year of Mediocrity as I’m now calling it) and what do we have to show for these assurances? Shark cards for Online are rampant, with Rockstar reeling in millions a week (Reports vary on takings) and completely blanking bleating fans like me who want some of the afore mentioned single player DLC that we’ve been completely shafted for thus far.

I’m sure lots of people enjoy the online side, but it isn’t for me. I played it, disliked it, stopped. As simple as that.

I purchased Grand Theft Auto twice, for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, and did so without a flicker of hesitation or complaint due to the extra content and improved visuals the re-release promised and successfully delivered on. What I am less keen on however, is that the satisfaction of millions of gamers has been left in tatters by the absolute neglect of single players support over the years. Even if the DLC was never going to happen, I for one would have been placated just by the small addition of the 100+ new vehicles Online has received since its release.

I don’t expect these things for free, but following the completion of the story and some smart stock market moves, my characters are currently sitting on around $900 million each, except Trevor, who has a billion. One of the major gripes I had with GTA V is the lack of things to spend your money on, as the businesses add nothing but a tedious weekly mission to drag you away from whatever you’re currently doing, and then pays shit all. The limited selection of luxury cars are a joke too; a mere page worth in comparison to the pages and pages available for the online side.

The lack of interest in catering for the day one fans who supported the franchise before it could even dream of online play, is nothing short of fucking baffling.

You may argue that a lot of the financial prowess of GTA V was channelled into the creation of Red Dead Redemption 2, a point that I would concede if it weren’t for the fact I really don’t give a shit about RDR. I’ve not tried playing it or its predecessor, as the idea of a Wild West setting for a game just does nothing for me. I’ve heard it ramped up the necessity for survival mechanics too, another aspect of gaming I’m not interested in, so unless it suddenly plummets in price then it will remain distant from my consoles.

In summary, Rockstar Games – Are they Victors or Vermin? For me, following the above reasons and seemingly general distaste for their own loyal fanbase, I’m going to go with vermin.

Feel free to argue with me, but my standpoint on this issue will remain unwavering. You can catch me on Twitter @MaliceVER or on YouTube at Void Euphoric Records. Thanks for reading, and try not to spend all your money on Shark cards, Rockstar’s pockets are lined enough already!

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