Why online games have a shorter lifespan


“Grand Theft Auto Online” will join a growing list of outdated games on older platforms in December when Rockstar Game shuts down the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game.

Why is this important: Preserving video games is one of the biggest challenges in video games, physical or otherwise.

  • While some video games are lost forever due to physical degradation, such as cartridges or discs, others disappear when data files are corrupted or lost.

Online games require support developers who make them, which means they have to stop working when companies take on new projects.

  • “It’s inevitable that all online games will eventually come to a halt,” Chris Kohler, games curator and editorial director at Digital Eclipse, told Axios.
  • While fans can sometimes revive old games, it’s difficult to recreate the original circumstances of how they were played. Kohler says it’s crucial to document these games as they were played in their heyday.
  • “What you want are videos, screenshots, diaries, interviews, a contemporary magazine cover – anything that gives you insight into what those games were like when they were most dynamic and relevant,” he said.

Rockstar’s Decision The shutdown of online services for these two consoles is part of its preparation for enhanced versions of “Grand Theft Auto V” and “Grand Theft Auto Online” on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.

  • It’s a testament to the popularity of “GTA Online” that the game, which launched in 2013 for PS3 and Xbox 360, has remained functional for so long.
  • Continuous updates have kept “GTA V” sales steady for years, with 2019 marking a high point for the game.
  • Re-releases and backwards compatibility can help preserve these experiences on current platforms. In the case of “GTA Online”, the game spans three console generations.
  • The shutdown will not affect the game’s story mode or save progress, and the PC, PS4, and Xbox One versions will still work.

Between the lines: The end of PS3 and Xbox 360 games has come.

  • Rockstar is also ending online services for “Max Payne 3” and “LA Noire” later this year.
  • Earlier this month, Electronic Arts released five “Need for Speed” games with online functionality.

What’s upt: An upgraded version of “Grand Theft Auto V” and “GTA Online” will launch on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S on November 11.


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