Grand Theft Auto Online, the multiplayer mode for Grand Theft Auto V, had its "biggest year" ever in 2017, developer Rockstar Games has announced. The studio announced this in a blog post recently (via IGN), though it didn't say if this achievement is based on player numbers, revenue, or some other metric. For December 2017 specifically, Rockstar said more people played GTA Online than ever before in the game's history.
This is extremely impressive, given that GTA Online launched more than four years ago, in October 2013. It is exceedingly rare for any game to have that long of a tail. GTA Online's ongoing success can no doubt be attributed to Rockstar's impressive commitment to launching new updates and activities on almost a weekly basis.
The new player record for GTA Online comes not long after Rockstar launched the large-scale Doomsday Heist expansion. So what seems clear is that, as Rockstar and parent company Take-Two have always said, if you make good content people will flock to it.
GTA Online had its best quarter ever when it comes to revenue for the three-month period ended September 30, though parent company Take-Two has not shared any specific figures. Take-Two and Rockstar have shied away from discussing specific performance figures for GTA Online, though in 2015 we learned that the game had 8 million players weekly.
Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick at one time referred to GTA Online as "the gift that keeps on giving" as it relates to the money it makes from the game's microtransactions.
GTA V has shipped an astonishing 85 million copies across all platforms since launch, making it one of the best-selling games ever in the United States.
Given the massive success of GTA Online, it stands to reason that Rockstar's next big game, this Spring's Red Dead Redemption 2, may offer something similar. All that we know for sure, however, is that the western will have a "brand-new online multiplayer experience."