If for whatever reason you’re still playing Grand Theft Auto Online through Microsoft and Sony’s Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 respectively, now might be the time to finally upgrade your hardware. As announced in an updated blog post earlier today, the aforementioned multiplayer component included with every copy of Grand Theft Auto V will be permanently ceasing service for both antiquated consoles later this year.
This will be a multi-stage process according to the developer and will begin on September 16th with the removal of Shark Cards (microtransactions redeemable for premium $GTA currency) from sale on affected platforms. Following this, on December 16th, GTA Online, including website stat tracking via the Rockstar Games Social Club, will go down for good. In contrast, the single-player campaign, which requires no internet connection or login to play, will remain unchanged, meaning physical copies won’t be rendered useless.
A decision that’s been a long time coming, for sure, but this is nonetheless bad news for those affected. In a brief FAQ section underlining the above details, Rockstar confirms that all progress made on Xbox 360 and PS3 is non-transferrable, meaning even if one was to upgrade, the only option is to start from square one. For a gaming experience where progression is tightly connected to wealth accumulation (by earning it in-game or otherwise), this is a heavy blow. Protests against the move are unlikely to make a difference, either, as the studio says that data migration simply isn’t possible. Unsurprisingly, any virtual currency acquired through Shark Cards will also cease to exist as it, too, is neither transferrable nor refundable.
Are you one of what’s likely a small group who’ll be impacted by this service change? If so, let us know if this signals the end of your Grand Theft Auto Online career or whether you intend to start fresh in the usual place below!