We’ve all been there, you’re grinding with your friends and just finished that super challenging heist. Now it’s time for payday. You go to deposit your cash into your bank account and bam, 200k in the bank. Eventually, you make your way over to one of the various sites where you can spend your hard-earned money.

Much to your surprise, you can barely afford an average NPC car, let alone a laser tank or flying Delorean. How can this be? Were all those hours of elaborate planning and execution really worth it? In my opinion (a player with over 500 hours of "GTA Online" experience) it, quite simply, isn’t.

Is it worth it to grind in 'GTA Online'?

Since the release of their lucrative online mode, Rockstar has been steadily increasing their prices of in-game items, resulting in ungodly prices that almost force you to buy their ridiculously priced microtransaction “Shark Cards.” To put it into perspective, you would have to fork over a hefty 100 American dollars just to get a yacht. Want a few cars? That’ll be another hundred dollars. By the time you’re a certified crime lord, your wallet will be all but empty. It eventually gets to a point where it feels more like a pay to win MMO rather than a GTA game.

Three years ago, I could have easily bought whatever I desired with a little bit of grinding.

With the release of the heists update, it was easier than ever to earn money to fund your criminal habits. Races and Adversary modes also gave sufficient rewards to provide an incentive to play them. Rockstar’s new Online mode seemed to be a fantastic MMO with nearly limitless opportunities for future content. Little did we know, that was no longer going to be possible in the near future.

The downhill spiral

The release of the Finance & Felony and Bikers updates marked the start of the downhill spiral that "GTA online" has fallen into. It introduced such items as the Vapid FMJ sports car, the Volatus helicopter, and the infamous X80 Proto, which remains to this day the most expensive mainstream car in the entire game.

These updates, however, had a redeeming quality.

They also sold CEO offices and Motorcycle Clubhouses, which in turn allowed the player to earn money at an unprecedented speed through the use of multiple new mission types. These mission types included importing and exporting expensive cars to make a sizeable profit, as well as the “businesses” which allowed for Motorcycle Club owners to earn money while idling or taking part in other activities, effectively doubling the rate at which players earn money.

More recently, they have released the "Gun Running," "Smugglers Run," and "Doomsday" updates. Because of the increase in speed at which players were earning in-game money, Rockstar took the liberty to increase the price of many items in the game drastically.

All of the sudden every new car that was even slightly decent was priced north of a million dollars. Tanks and Jets increased in price tenfold. Even the clothing costs hundreds of thousands of dollars for certain outfits. It became clear that Rockstar was more interested in making revenue off of microtransactions than providing their players with an entertaining experience.

Don’t get me wrong, "Grand Theft Auto Five" is a fantastic game. The single-player story mode alone is more than enough to warrant a full 60$ price tag for this masterfully crafted experience.

The online mode, however, has devolved into too much of a Grind to be enjoyable without hundreds, if not thousands of dollars available to spend on the game's microtransactions. "Grand Theft Auto Online" serves as a prime example of how corporate greed can all but ruin some of the most interesting and entertaining experiences available.