Gunrunning in 'GTA Online' Delivers Biggest Months in Game's Four-Year History

More than 80 million people now own 'GTA 5'

Gunrunning in GTA Online Credit: Rockstar Games

Four years after its release, Grand Theft Online continues to churn out new content for players and more profit for its owners, with the past three months marking the game’s best quarter in its history, Take-Two Interactive said this week.

The release of two substantial, free additions to the online game add-on to Grand Theft Auto 5 helped drive those sales and gave GTA Online its two biggest months for monthly active users in its history, according to Take-Two Interactive Software president Strauss Zelnick.

GTA Online can only be accessed through Grand Theft Auto V, which also continues to sell, now topping more than 80 million copies sold.

Zelnick declined to go into how the continued, robust success of GTA Online might change the way it or developer Rockstar Games makes games, beyond noting that the company wants all of its games to continue to keep gamers playing well after their launch.

“It's our belief that if you surprise and delight and excite consumers then monetization can't be far behind,” he said in the earnings call, according to a SeekingAlpha transcript. “And that's been our experience.”

While Rockstar continues to release a steady stream of new modes and other content for Grand Theft Auto Online, the developer is also working on upcoming Western shooter Red Dead Redemption 2. Rockstar has said that game will also include post-launch online support. It’s likely that such support would mirror the highly successful approach refined by GTA Online, though Zelnick declined to comment on that.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is due out this coming spring.

Grand Theft Auto Online first went live in 2013 on last-gen systems and 2014 on this generation of consoles. It hit PC in 2015. The most recent update major update to the game, The Gunrunning Update, hit on June 13th and allowed online players to purchase underground bunkers, own Mobile Operations Centers, armored personnel carriers and off-road vehicles and included customization options for creating weapons.