Rockstar Games is well-known for its single-player games, like Grand Theft Auto and the Red Dead Redemption games. In recent years, Rockstar has had much success with Grand Theft Auto Online, the multiplayer component of Grand Theft Auto 5. On the surface, it seems Rockstar will be directing its efforts towards online multiplayer instead of single-player games, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Take-Two, the parent company of Rockstar Games and 2K Games, recently confirmed that Rockstar is still committed to making single-player video games going forward. While the launch of the live-services Grand Theft Auto Online and Red Dead Online, have garnered a lot of profit, Rockstar is still committed to launching single-player games as well. Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick commented that Rockstar will continue to be a studio focused on video game storytelling and single-player experiences.
While it might seem Rockstar will start making live-service multiplayer over single-player games, the earnings call showed that it doesn’t need to abandon one for the other. Zelnick commented that Rockstar is a studio well known for its “great storytelling and great single-player experiences,” which is a major part of its success over the years. He said that the studio wants to follow the direction of Grand Theft Auto 5; a game with a “powerful single-player ” and “story-driven experience” paired with online multiplayer that brings the best of both worlds.
Read Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online are the latest examples showing that “Rockstar can do both of those things,” Zelnick said. Going forward, Rockstar plans to adopt this method for other future games, which could include games outside the Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead series. For example, a sequel to Bully that longtime players have wanted to see for some time now.
Zelnick also touched on the worry of game companies largely abandoning single-player games for online multiplayer games. He said, “There was an argument just a couple of years ago, not around here, not in this shop, but in some of our competitors’ offices, that single-player is dead, that it’s all about multiplayer. We didn’t believe that. I said specifically and publicly that we didn’t believe that, our labels don’t believe that.” Take-Two’s continued investment in single-player games is reflected in the current market as well.
The games industry has seen a surge of new story-focused, single-player games that have released to varying success and acclaim by both critics and players. Some of the biggest examples include games like the 2018 God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Ghost of Tsushima to name a few. Granted, Rockstar Games hasn’t made any story related content for either of its current series, but has steadily released a lot of multiplayer content, like the recent Cayo Perico Heist for Grand Theft Auto Online.
However, both Grand Theft Auto 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2 still had impeccable storytelling and single-player campaigns that were the main draw upon release. Showing that Rockstar prioritizes the single-player experience in its games and likely won’t neglect it in future games. Overall, Take-Two finds no reason why Rockstar should abandon making multiplayer content or single-player games and neither does the developer.