GTA Online, the multiplayer mode for GTA V that basically prints money, is still proving to be incredibly popular some four years after it originally launched. Now, it looks like Rockstar Games and parent company Take-Two may have further plans for the game.
Earlier this month, Take-Two filed a pair of new trademark applications related to Grand Theft Auto logos, one of which appears to be for GTA Online. The trademark application shows the familiar “G,” “T,” and lowercase “a,” along with an “O” for the first time. Take-Two already holds the trademark for “Grand Theft Auto Online” written out, so this move appears to be Rockstar looking for something shorter, potentially as an option and not a replacement.
The other new trademark filing was for the standard “G,” “T,” and lowecase “a.” Both were initially filed in the first week of February this year. Both were submitted with a “specimen” of the Xbox One edition of Grand Theft Auto V. According to the USPTO, a specimen is “generally what consumers actually see when they are purchasing your goods or services.” The physical edition of GTA V for Xbox One was shown as the specimen, because, according to the USPTO, “a label must be the physical label that is being used on the product or packaging in the marketplace where the goods are actually being sold or transported.”
It is not immediately clear why Rockstar, through its parent company Take-Two, filed for these new trademark applications, or if it means the game’s logo on physical boxes will change going forward. Rockstar is usually very tight-lipped about everything it does, so we wouldn’t expect the company to have a public comment on these new filings. Whatever the case, we have followed up with the company in an attempt to get more details.
GTA Online has been immensely popular following its launch in October 2013 (a month after the main game launched in September that year). Through its microtransactions, the game makes lots and lots of money, and it continues to do so, even multiple years after release. In fact, December 2017 was the game’s biggest month ever in terms of players.
Take-Two’s CEO, Strauss Zelnick, has said GTA Online is like the “gift that keeps on giving” as it relates to the money it brings in from microtransactions. Going forward, Take-Two has said it wants some form of “recurrent consumer spending” in all of its games, so this would presumably include the next instalment in the GTA series.
Take-Two could have filed the trademark applications for Grand Theft Auto Online and GTAO as a means to protect its future interest in using those terms. Considering they are not tied to a number, the terms Grand Theft Auto Online and GTAO could theoretically be used to refer to the online mode for the next GTA title. Also worth noting is that trademark filings are not necessarily an accurate indication of an upcoming product announcement or change.
Development on GTA 6 is reportedly underway now, with the game taking place somewhere in the United States. Of course, Rockstar has not announced the game yet, and this is no surprise, given that Red Dead Redemption 2 is coming this year.