GTA Online: Rockstar Just Messed Up, Big Time

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| June 16, 2023

GTA Online just got a massive update with San Andreas Mercenaries. 

The nearly 10-year-old multiplayer experience just got a fresh set of “Project Overthrow” missions for players to dip their toes into. The Mammoth Avenger has some cool new upgrades – it’ll dish out death from above even more efficiently now. And, as always, there’s a smattering of new weapons and vehicles for players to sink their money into.

What Rockstar conveniently left out of their news blast might be the biggest news of the update, though: 189 vehicles have been removed from the various in-game websites. And what does this mean for players? It means that 189 vehicles that players could buy and own on June 12th can no longer be obtained from in-game shops as of June 13th.

This vehicle list is absolutely expansive. It includes most of the base game’s original super cars, sports cars, and muscle cars. It includes nearly 90% of the game’s motorcycles. It truly guts the inventory of buyable vehicles in GTA Online.

Hope you’re not too attached to the Grotti Cheetah, because this is one of the cars you won’t be able to get your hands on anymore.

There was only a vague heads-up that this would happen, as Rockstar previously stated that they were going to be removing “lesser-used vehicles” from sites in-game to “streamline the browsing experience” in a pre-update blog post.

GTA Online players were certainly shocked when the update rolled out, and the list of “lesser-used vehicles” was nearly 200 models long

Of course, the blog post also mentions that the vehicles would become obtainable from “event showrooms, The Lucky Wheel, and other places.” It was left ambiguous as to what “other places” meant, but players have begun to report that some of the removed vehicles are now being gated behind a completely separate real money paywall.

That’s right – Rockstar stripped content out of their game, some of which has been present for nearly 10 years… just so they could gate it for GTA+ members. 

GTA+ is a subscription service attached to GTA Online that launched in March 2022, offering members certain benefits each month. Now, some of those exclusive benefits will include the removed vehicles, drip fed to players month-by-month like they’re a bunch of assholes.

The Vinewood Car Club – a place exclusively meant for GTA+ subscribers to test out and buy vehicles – released with this update. Curious.

This isn’t the first time that Rockstar has made a scummy move concerning predatory monetization in GTA Online; players can still buy Shark Cards and gamble that virtual currency away in a casino, after all. Even still, this might be the worst thing they’ve done yet, surpassing Bungie’s inane decision to “sunset” old Destiny 2 content. At least Bungie took away the same content from all Destiny players across the board.

It’s no wonder Rockstar is so good at putting out this franchise about organized crime – they’ve just pulled off a massive heist of their own. I hope the gaming community doesn’t let them get away with this Grand Theft Auto.

How do you feel about this GTA Online update? Are you enjoying it despite the vehicle removal? Let us know in the comments down below.

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