Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass faced a surprising turn of events as Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5) bid farewell on January 5, concluding its six-month stint since joining the Game Pass lineup on July 5, 2023. The departure, contrary to the customary practice of providing advance notice, caught subscribers off guard, sparking discussions about the removal process and the unique scheduling of Rockstar titles.
Unprecedented Arrival and Departure
Unlike typical Game Pass additions, GTA 5 joined the lineup without the usual warning, adding an element of surprise for subscribers. Rockstar titles, including GTA 5, have consistently departed on dates different from the regular 15th or last days of the month, setting them apart from the removal schedule of other Game Pass offerings.
Dedicated Game Pass subscribers who closely follow the service had anticipated GTA 5’s departure, as the game had been featured in the “Leaving Soon” section of the app a month prior. Despite initial expectations that the game would be removed by the end of the year, GTA 5 continued to be available on the service beyond December 31, creating a sense of uncertainty among the community.
Speculations and Clarifications
Initial speculations hinted at a potential departure on January 15, but it was later clarified that GTA 5 left the service earlier, on January 5. This unexpected move raised questions about communication practices and the challenges faced in aligning with subscribers’ expectations.
Departure of Other Titles
Alongside GTA 5, four other games—Garden Story, MotoGP 22, Persona 3 Portable, and Persona 4 Golden—also left Xbox Game Pass on January 5. However, to counterbalance these departures, Persona 3 Reload will be introduced to the Game Pass on February 2, serving as a day-one release. This addition aims to offer a fresh experience to subscribers and mitigate the impact of Persona 3 Portable leaving the lineup.
The Anticipation for GTA 6
Coinciding with the departure of GTA 5, the gaming community received the highly anticipated GTA 6 trailer. Fans who have eagerly awaited each update to the renowned open-world gaming franchise were treated to a glimpse of what’s next. The GTA 6 trailer has already made history, garnering over 90 million views in the first 24 hours since its release.
The remarkable success of the GTA 6 trailer extends beyond the gaming realm, as it has now become the most viewed non-music video on the internet. Surpassing the previous record set by YouTuber Mr Beast, the GTA 6 trailer’s overwhelming popularity underscores the cultural impact and widespread anticipation for the next installment in the Grand Theft Auto series.
The unannounced departure of Grand Theft Auto V from Xbox Game Pass has stirred conversations about communication transparency and the unique dynamics of Rockstar titles within the subscription service. As subscribers adapt to the changes in the lineup and anticipate the arrival of new titles like Persona 3 Reload, the record-breaking reception of the GTA 6 trailer emphasizes the enduring cultural significance of the Grand Theft Auto franchise in the gaming community. As the gaming landscape evolves, unexpected developments continue to shape the experiences of subscribers and fans alike.