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GTA RP: Why the Phenomenon Explodes and GTA V Restarts

“You give me the Arjyent or yé té tou!” Tattoo on the chest, big yellow fur coat, accented with the scent of Latin American countries … Miguel, member of a Mexican cartel robber and cocaine dealer, is one of the most popular characters on the GTA V RP server from the ZLan. Since its launch on April 21st, the RPZ has become a real phenomenon of the French-speaking Twitch bubble, allowing certain influencers to bring together more than 50,000 simultaneous viewers. However, this mod from the famous Grand Theft Auto V is nothing new and has had some success for several years. Where does it come from and why is it suddenly so popular?

Change life

Other games like Arma 3 have RP mods. RP, short for role play, simply means “role play,” a term that players are familiar with. Final Fantasy, World of Warcraft, Persona … thousands of games claim to belong to this genre and offer fans the joy of creating or playing fictional characters in worlds that follow their own rules. Still, most of these experiences impose narrative barriers on players with pre-written quests based on specific objectives. Similar to tabletop role-playing games, multiplayer RP experiences such as Garry’s Mod DarkRP or Arma 3 RP do not adhere to these guidelines and leave the player in control of their fate. In GTA V RP the principle is simple: each participant is free to create their character and participate in the activities of Los Santos, a persistent world in which many other players live. Policeman, bartender, garbage collector, bank robber … There are many professions. If employment, transactional, or communication systems dictate the adventure, your avatar’s development lies in his character and in the interactions he can have with his peers. The whole experience is therefore based on the social fabric that forms between the inhabitants of the city. Thus, each server offers a unique micro-society, some of which are organized in a purely democratic manner, others are more like a tribal system dominated by corruption and nepotism.

A mature idea

Liberty Unleashed, a multiplayer mod for GTA 3. On the Grand Theft Auto page, we can find traces of RP mods from the third episode, which was released in 2001. Amateur developers have made it their mission to fill this void by creating multiplayer mods like GTA 3 GGM. The rest is done naturally, and fan collectives form around the desire to create a second life on the streets of Liberty City. Then the other episodes of the license (Vice City, San Andreas, and GTA IV) benefit from the same treatment, always with the support of proactive developer communities. Everything remained very amateurish, however, and role-play lovers had to deal with unstable servers and a limited number of features. Fortunately, things would change from 2015 onwards. FiveM, the first version of which was released in 2015. With the arrival of Grand Theft Auto V on PC and the online mode GTA Online, Rockstar Games gave RP lovers a big boost. With the netcode and all aspects of online multiplayer gaming programmed by the Houser brothers’ teams, modders found themselves for the first time with perfectly engineered mechanics begging to be kidnapped. So tools and mods for GTA Online appeared, including FiveM, which quickly became the benchmark in the field. With this application you can create customized online servers that can host vehicles, NPCs, missions or personalized rules. A great tool that has allowed hundreds of RP servers to thrive over the years and gradually surpassed the popularity of basic PC games.

The influencer soap opera

Charles Johnson, RP character from Summit1G. If the principle of GTA V RP promises great gaming moments, installing an unofficial client has long been reserved for the most imaginative PC gamers. After several years with a relatively stable number of users and viewers, an increase in visitor numbers was felt from 2019 onwards. Who is responsible? A handful of popular streamers took advantage of this experience and provided their programs with all their talent for incarnation and improvisation. One of the leaders in this trend is Summit1G, a 34-year-old American who followed in the footsteps of Charles Johnson, the formidable gang member of the Chang Gang. A second life that he tries to make exciting, between robberies and fiery car chases with the police. His criminal record includes more than 200 misdeeds, including thirteen kidnappings, three attempted murder and eight attempts to escape. The life of a thug pays off for Summit1G, which has reached its best audience thanks to GTA V RP. An average of 48,977 viewers, a high of 104,674 viewers, and an average of 42,608 views per hour for the Rockstar title over the past 30 days. Donatien de Montazac, avatar of Antoine Daniel (Fanart: @Dookyc). But if you are reading these lines, it is likely due to the recent explosion of the phenomenon in the hexagonal sphere. If some French-speaking streamers have roamed the streets of Los Santos for several years, it is the arrival of the RPZ that changed the test. This GTA V RP server was designed as a donation target for ZEvent 2020 and will be open for two short weeks on April 21. Invited are personalities who have already participated in an edition of the famous Zerator charity LAN and who have the right to embark on the adventure themselves. MisterMV stores an old drunken thug named Johnny Monnay there, AntoineDaniel plays Donatien de Montazac, crooked and greedy winemaker, AlexClick makes his famous Miguel, member of the Vagos cartel, scream … They’re more than 120 in total to roam the streets of Los Santos develop and write their respective stories as the days progress. Antoine Daniel’s average audience. The most recent peak corresponds to the RPN. With all of these French scene heavyweights gathered online, the audience is exploding. Big fish like Antoine Daniel have crossed the symbolic limit of 50,000 simultaneous viewers on Twitch, while the less important names use this effervescence to make themselves known. There even seems to be a judicial phenomenon occurring, some participants take advantage of this wonderful moment of community by performing alongside the most popular characters … The viewers religiously follow this unpredictable soap opera, the influencers show historical audiences, the whole world finds their report. As quantified evidence of this success, Ponce, aka Aurélien Gilles, gathered an average of 5,554 viewers during a stream on FIFA 21 on April 26th. The day before it reached an average of 34,882 viewers with a session of the same duration on GTA V RP. A trend that can continue over time? Apart from surprises, the RPZ will close its doors on May 5th at 11:59 p.m.

A closed and unique circle

RPZ fanarts are raining (Credits: @Ssugarfish). To mingle with this group of personalities that hundreds of thousands of viewers focus on Twitch, it’s better to have your entries in the middle. The principle of the RPZ is precisely to restrict access to influencers in order to avoid waves of viewers arriving with the desire to speak to their idols. In a PR experience, immersion is key and any reference that doesn’t make sense in the game world is forbidden. It’s called HRP or “Non-RP” and is one of the reasons many influencers don’t dare to jump into GTA V RP. A fan in need of attention would quickly shoot anything that moves … And while the RPZ rules remain looser than most other servers, death is final. Zerator’s squad is intentionally more flexible, as most of the influencers in attendance have never attended such an experience. Some of them were given “starter kits” that included a villa, an established profession and a generously filled bank account. If you like the RPZ, make no mistake, it’s kind of an exception in the FiveM server landscape. Everything has been thought of in the direction of entertainment. To embody a Los Santos resident on your train, you have two options: public or private servers. The former are open to everyone, including the unwelcome. Most of the time, the experience is ruined very quickly by gamers who are determined to spoil the majority’s pleasure, be it through mass murders (“freekill”) or constant HRP.

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NoPixel, a server frequented by xQc, Shroud or Summit1G, remains very selective. So the second solution is to join a private server. By invitation or on request, the latter are much more demanding than the RPZ, with slower progress and strict rules. Whether on NoPixel or EclipseRP, two of America’s most renowned servers, there is no question of buying a limo for a handful of dollars or negotiating well with the police after a hostage situation. Most of their users already have hundreds or even thousands of hours of gameplay, such as police proceedings, on hand. Also note that many private servers put a waiting list in place after a massive influx of requests. Get ready, response time can be extra long, and when your alter ego is ready all you need to do is get a copy of Grand Theft Auto V and of course the FiveM mod. The last step is also the most difficult of finding a server that will suit your needs. Be careful though, as you go through the search system built into FiveM, you can come across cities of anarchy. Don’t hesitate to search Google directly for good addresses to join players who adhere to the PR rules. There you will find names like FeverRP, LSConfidential or AlticaRP that could be the starting point of your new virtual life.

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