GTA Online Update Locks Passive Income Feature Behind GTA+ Subscription, Sparking Controversy

Grand Theft Auto Online players have found that the game's latest update restricts the ability to remotely collect passive income from owned businesses to the GTA+ subscription service. The Bottom Dollar Bounties DLC, which went live on June 25, introduces a new bounty hunting business along with new missions, vehicles, and more.

Since the launch of GTA 5 in 2013, Rockstar Games has consistently provided substantial content updates for its multiplayer component. Many of these updates have added purchasable businesses to GTA Online, such as nightclubs, arcades, aircraft hangars, and vehicle warehouses. Players can own these businesses as fronts for criminal activities, but some businesses also passively generate money from their legitimate operations. Typically, players have to visit each business individually to collect this income, which can be tedious for the relatively small amounts of money they generate.

However, the recent Bottom Dollar Bounties update has made it more convenient for players to collect this passive income, but there's a catch. Members of the GTA+ subscription service now have an additional option in the in-game Vinewood Club app to claim their business earnings at any time, eliminating the need to visit each business separately. Unfortunately, GTA Online players who are not subscribed to GTA+ will miss out on this much-requested quality-of-life improvement.

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Locking the ability to remotely claim income behind GTA+ seems to contradict Rockstar's previous assurances. When the service was launched in 2022, the studio promised players that it wouldn't make gameplay features exclusive to subscribers. Sentiment towards the service has already been somewhat negative, especially after the recent price increase for GTA+. Now, excluding an entire quality-of-life feature from non-subscribers has led to concerns among some GTA Online players that Rockstar might repeat this practice in future updates to enhance the value proposition of GTA+.

Beyond GTA 5, this could also set a worrying precedent for Rockstar's upcoming Grand Theft Auto 6, confirmed for a fall 2025 release. Rockstar has yet to reveal the online component of GTA 6 and whether it will share similarities with GTA Online. However, given the current direction of GTA Online, it wouldn't be unreasonable to assume that GTA+ might carry over to GTA 6's online mode, potentially playing an even larger role. It remains to be seen how players will respond, but if the current perception of the subscription service is any indication, GTA+ will face significant challenges in the future.