GTA Online could be the next Metaverse hotspot

The Grand Theft Auto franchise has always made it a point to separate itself from the real world. This helps players believe that the GTA world is a caricature of the US. There’s no FBI – it’s the FIB, and they’re really always listening. Pop stars are stubborn, tech brethren are annoying, and CEOs and executives are just mischief. And while some of those things reflect our own reality, the rest is overly satire. Grand Theft Auto is built on that cartoon world.

But Grand Theft Auto Online‘s latest expansion, The contract, continues a trend that goes against that basis. dr. Dre features prominently, with whom players interact and talk regularly throughout the content of the update. There is a full cutscene where players hang out with Dre as he records a song with Anderson .Paak. At the end of the expansion, Dre sits in a luxury car with the player, explains how important they are to him, and debuts a brand new song.

The expansion and its content reek of the metaverse and could be a huge linchpin for Grand Theft Auto as a franchise. The games, which previously poked fun at high-profile musicians, movies, and other celebrities, could soon be full of them as they become the next metaverse staging.

Entering the meta

In reality, Grand Theft Auto has been metaverse-adjacent for a while now. The game has its own currency, with which players compete to earn and then spend money on things like virtual properties and cars. While those two things also have their own gameplay implications, the idea is for players to simply live in those spaces as well. Bottles of wine and spirits on the shelves, waiting to get player avatars drunk, and there’s always a bong, packed and ready to deliver a virtual high.

The world of Grand Theft Auto Online is always one meant for players to inhabit. While so many of the different facets of the game are centered around gameplay mechanics, others are just for show, for players to say occupying a space in virtual Los Santos. Take the game’s low-riders, for example, which players can get by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars customizing low-tier cars. Sure, they can bump the car with hydraulics and blast music out of it with huge built-in speakers, but it’s a shame if we’re talking practical gameplay. It is purely optional and only for players to further immerse themselves in the world of the game. There has always been a line drawn between the game’s metaverse elements and the gameplay elements.

The contract removes that line, however, bringing Grand Theft Auto completely into the metaverse with the first event combining its world and ours. like one of Fortnite‘s concerts, players are treated to a stream of new music from Dr. Dre, which was scanned directly into the game. Of course, they have to complete missions for the musician where enemies are also slaughtered on a large scale. The two go hand in hand.

dr.  Dre is in a car in GTA Online.

Just the beginning

Grand Theft Auto Online is a cousin of Fortnite, bringing true pop culture into its universe, albeit through the in-game airwaves and spin-offs of actual supercars. Spider-Man can’t fight Rick and Rick and Morty in the game, of course, but that’s because the game is still somewhat limited by its realistic base. That doesn’t mean updates like The contract are, however, off limits. They are the game version of Fortnite‘s digital concerts, and they are apparently far from over.

Once players complete The contractFranklin contacts them and says they’ve done a great job, but there’s more work to be done. Franklin is looking for yet another “A-List” client for players to work with, and the UI that allows Dr. Dre being accepted is clearly meant to contain even more.

The question is not whether GTA Online will have another event like this but when.

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