GTA 5 Online Heist Update: Rockstar Teases Expansive Location & Player Freedom

By Jack Martin Posted:
Two GTA Online characters stand together

Grand Theft Auto V has been an undeniable hit since it launched in 2013. Spanning several console cycles, the game exploded in popularity – and continues to do so – thanks to Grand Theft Auto Online , which is constantly updated with fresh content.

Much of the attention directed toward the GTA series has been focused on what’s next for the franchise. There was a cryptic set of coordinates placed in a recent trailer, which – when searched – depicted a road that looks like a “VI.” There was also the confirmation at the PlayStation 5 event in June that GTA V, and its online counterpart, would head to next generation consoles.

Though many fans are looking forward in the franchise, there is still much to focus on in the here and now. GTA Online continues to add new and constant updates to its ever-evolving platform. Earlier this month, Rockstar Games, the publisher behind GTA , revealed a new heist called “The Cayo Perico Heist.” The new heist is perhaps the most ambitious one yet, and Rockstar’s developers behind the heist had some new bits of information to talk about.


In a report today by IGN , Rockstar employees described the newly released “The Cayo Perico Heist” for Grand Theft Auto Online . The heist features the first location set outside the fictionalized depiction of the United States since the London expansion packs for the first GTA game.

GTA Online ’s Director of Design Tarek Hamad discussed the immense freedom of choice offered by the heist, saying:

“Rather than a focus on picking an approach to the finale, everything you do as part of the preps, optional and mandatory, is in service to the finale itself. Everything affects how the finale will play out, so you don't necessarily pick full-frontal high action assault as an approach, or a stealth approach. You just have so much choice and freedom to choose how you want to prepare for the finale.”

Rockstar Design Director Scott Butchard noted that the new location is such a departure from Los Santos, saying:

“You’re essentially leaving Los Santos. It's that nice feeling you have in single-player, when you finally returned to North Yankton with Michael and Trevor. It's that [feeling] of going to the airport, getting on the plane… You're leaving Los Santos behind and then arriving on this new sort of tropical island.”

Butchard also said that beyond the heist itself, there is a lot to do on the newly added island, saying:

“There's a lot to explore beyond the Heist. There's no time limit when you're there scoping, so you can spend as long as you want on that island. I hope it feels to players that we've left Los Santos behind. And it feels like… not alien, but this new something you've never seen before in GTA.”

“The Cayo Perico Heist” is available today for GTA Online users.


Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of this update is the addition of a wholly new location for players to explore. Throughout GTA Online ’s existence, players were limited to the confines of Los Santos. Some players speculated that Liberty City, the fictionalized depiction of New York City featured in GTA IV , would eventually make an appearance in GTA Online , but that never happened. This addition indicates that Rockstar is dipping a toe in the idea of exploring new regions for GTA Online , which will inevitably expand throughout the newly released generation of consoles.

Aside from expanding GTA Online , “The Cayo Perico Heist” has the potential to expand the greater GTA universe. Almost all of GTA ’s content has been set in a fictionalized depiction of the United States. This is the first piece of content in over 20 years that has been outside the United States, according to IGN . This is a landmark addition for the series that could lead to more exploration of the world. It’s unlikely that the next GTA will be set outside the United States, but it's entirely possible that Rockstar will present fictionalized versions of other cities around the world in future GTA Online updates or future games.

With potentially the biggest heist update for GTA Online since its launch, “The Cayo Perico Heist” indicates that GTA Online shows no signs of stopping any time soon. In fact, with such a large playerbase leading into the next generation, GTA Online is poised to leverage its popularity throughout the next few years. The online game has established itself as a platform that will continue to develop for the foreseeable future.

- About The Author: Jack Martin