A row of cars on an airport runway
Image credit: Broughy1322 / Rockstar Games

Uproar as 200 Cars Removed from GTA Online

With the latest GTA Online update released on 13 June, Rockstar Games removed the ability to purchase nearly 200 vehicles. The community is subsequently in uproar.

Grand Theft Auto V will have its tenth anniversary since release later this year. The success of GTA Online is often cited as the reason that the game has been able to sustain itself for so long. With sales of in-game money through Shark Cards, Rockstar Games haven’t shied away from microtransactions.

Unfortunately, that seems to be to the detriment of the player base. Over the years, GTA Online players have seen very blatant tactics which push for more in-game sales. But now, in the most recent update titled San Andreas Mercenaries, Rockstar took things one step further, risking the alienation of their player base.

Before the update, Rockstar claimed on their Newswire that they would be removing “lesser used vehicles from the in-game websites”. This was apparently to “streamline the browsing experience”. But then when the update dropped, nearly 200 land vehicles vanished from in-game websites, with players unable to purchase any of them new.

The Last Straw

In spite of Rockstar’s claim, many players believe this has been done to push for more microtransactions. Along with the removal of all these vehicles from the in-game sites, a lot of them have now been moved to the new Vinewood Car Club.

For all GTA+ members on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, it’s possible to purchase a lot of the delisted vehicles from the Car Club. There, the vehicles are available on a temporary basis. With the subscription service, players could gain access to content early as well as earning other in-game discounts and bonuses.

GTA+, which released nine years after the initial launch of the game, was already a step too far for many players. But now, they’ve put all these vehicles behind a paywall. This is just the latest action that Rockstar have taken to push for more in-game transactions.

Over the years, the developers have increased the prices of in-game items, like properties or vehicles. But, they never increase the pay-outs from missions or even the amount that Shark Cards offer. This is reminiscent of what Polyphony did with Gran Turismo 7 at launch.

Additionally, they have introduced paywalls for many other items. For example: let’s say a player wanted to own the Imponte Ruiner 2000 (which resembles KITT from the 1980’s TV series Knight Rider). The Ruiner 2000 could only be stored in a Vehicle Warehouse, and to own that you need an Executive Office. These are all very expensive to purchase, and that’s not even the worst of it.

In the past, Rockstar’s parent company Take Two sent cease and desists to the developers of OpenIV. This is a mod for single player. One of the many things it could do was allow players to gain access to vehicles without having to pay for them in online. Take Two claimed they were only going after mods that were being used in multiplayer. However, such claims failed to convince the community.

Vocal Critic

With a lot of the removed vehicles being mostly the cheaper ones, a prominent GTA creator was very blunt in his discontent. Adam ‘Broughy1322’ Brough was our November 2021 Hero of the Month. He tested every vehicle in the game to help players potentially save money if they’re only wanting it for performance.

Over the years, Broughy has criticised the actions taken by Rockstar, particularly regarding the introduction of the GTA+ subscription service. But even he wasn’t expecting so many cars to be removed. He went so far as to claim that Rockstar hope players fear missing out when a vehicle is made temporarily available again, leading to impulse purchases.

Through a custom FiveM server, Broughy was able to take a look at all the cars that have been de-listed. It’s not until you see them all lined up on both sides of an airport runway that you get an idea of how many vehicles are no longer available to immediately purchase.

Talking to OverTake, Broughy expressed his feelings about Rockstar’s practices:

I think it’s a shame that Rockstar seemingly think so little of the community to pass this off as “lesser-used cars to streamline the browsing experience” when significantly underused vehicles remain and no actual effort was made to improve the in game websites (such as even a basic A-Z sorting option).

Cars are such a huge part of the game for so many people. It makes me worry for what GTA 6 will be like when Rockstar are so out of touch with the players that they’d deem this to be an acceptable course of action.

I just wish they were more caring of the player base as opposed to squeezing every last drop of income they can get at the players expense.

Editor’s Take

I have been an avid GTA Online player since early 2014, it was my first game that wasn’t purely centred around driving, but the cars were the reason I got into it. I poured countless hours into the monotonous tasks to earn in-game money, and I am not afraid to admit that I did buy Shark Cards (although I haven’t for some years now). But with these methods by Rockstar to squeeze the player base for all they’re worth, it has made me completely incapable of being enthusiastic for the next GTA game.

I would genuinely not put it past Rockstar to start locking new vehicles behind the GTA+ members only Vinewood Car Club without releasing them to everyone else soon afterwards. Coupled with how GTA Online has become just a mindless grind, I cannot see myself doing all of that again in the next game where they’ll undoubtedly build it around the idea of making it as difficult as possible to earn in-game money without paying real-world money.

What do you make of Rockstar delisting nearly 200 cars in the most recent GTA Online update? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

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