An upcoming update to Grand Theft Auto Online is bringing missions revolving around GTA V protagonist Franklin, but it would have been better as a single-player expansion. GTA Online: The Contract is launching December 15 as a free update, and will reveal what happened to Franklin following GTA 5. More free content is always welcome from Rockstar, but a story centered on one of the three GTA 5 protagonists should have been reserved for a dedicated single-player DLC, rather than tacked onto GTA Online.

Franklin Clinton was working for a car dealership at the beginning of Grand Theft Auto 5, and over the course of the game becomes proficient in staging large-scale heists. He shares the spotlight with Michael De Santa and Trevor Phillips, the other two playable characters in GTA 5. Franklin, along with his dog Chop and best friend Lamar, has become something of a fan-favorite character from the series since 5 released all the way back in 2013. Seeing the return of Franklin to GTA, joined by Dr. Dre and Anderson .Paak, in The Contract is a welcome surprise to longtime GTA fans, but it’s a bit disappointing that it is an update for Online, rather than a single-player expansion.


It’s not very surprising that this is the route Rockstar has taken with the return of Franklin; GTA Online is incredibly successful, and has practically usurped the game it was originally tied to. GTA 5 received no additional story content following its release, a departure from how Rockstar operated in the past. GTA 4 received two large DLC expansions – The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony – and the first Red Dead Redemption had Undead Nightmare, the popular, zombie-infested standalone DLC. But now, neither GTA 5 nor RDR2 have received any expansions, and Rockstar seems content to bring only new content to their Online counterparts.

Franklin Won’t Be The Star Of His Own GTA Online Update

As head of F. Clinton and Partner, a new “celebrity solutions agency,” Franklin will seemingly be a major component in the story of the new missions, but as a GTA Online expansion, The Contract will have the player’s control their custom character. GTA Online has done the same thing in the past with Trevor, adding missions where the player character meets him, and in both cases it seems like a missed opportunity to release single-player expansions that could focus in on one of the three GTA 5 protagonists. Add in the star power of Dr. Dre and Anderson .Paak to The Contract, and Franklin might not get the attention his character deserves.

Especially as a direct follow-up to GTA 5The Contract‘s story seems like it would have been much better suited as a single-player DLC. Franklin will be relegated to the role of a side character, and the story likely won’t be as personal as it could have been if it was a GTA 5 expansion. This also makes it unfortunate for people who played GTA 5, but never got invested in GTA Online. There’s an opportunity to get a continuation of Franklin’s story, but people who don’t actively play GTA Online have the hurdle of approaching potential years’ worth of content. There are likely people who play GTA Online but never 5 too, meaning The Contract seems to be targeting an ever-so-slightly incorrect audience. It’s all but confirmed at this point that single-player content from Rockstar will have to wait until GTA 6, with even established characters getting expanded story arcs solely in GTA Online.

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