Last night, I decided to take my first tentative steps into the unknown yet extremely popular world of GTA Online. And while it wasn’t exactly the most seamless experience I’ve ever had – having to create a Rockstar Social Club account just to make a crew is really obnoxious – I can already see why so many players are hooked.
I took part in a ridiculous stunt race that you’d expect to find in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, not a Grand Theft Auto game, cruised around in my armored hot hatchback while attacking other players, and even sold some questionably sourced jewelry to the highest bidder.
But as fun as that was, it’s perhaps GTA Online’s simplest feature that really drew me in: the ability to name your organization.
Welcome to my world
To my surprise, when I was asked to name my new evil empire in GTA Online, it was actually reflected in-game. Not just on menu screens, but as an actual in-game asset for the world to see. Whenever I enter my swanky high-rise office, sitting above my dutiful receptionist is my organization’s name: Shiba Inc. Why Shiba Inc.? Well, my real life is run by a Japanese Shiba Inu, so it made sense.
Now, I don’t really know why, but this excruciatingly simple bit of game design evoked a strange sense of pride in me. There’s just something undeniably cool about seeing something you’ve personally named appear in a video game, like when you create your own custom license plate in Forza Horizon 5. It also helped make my new business feel like it was inherently mine, despite being one of the millions created during GTA Online’s lifespan.
And that, fundamentally, draws you into what GTA Online perhaps does differently to other titles: it gives you a power fantasy of sorts and a real feeling of agency. With multiple career paths on offer and almost a limitless amount of content to enjoy thanks to years of updates and add-ons, I’m excited to see where Shiba Inc. will end up in the pecking order of other GTA Online organizations.
Naming your organization in GTA Online
You’ll be guided on how to name your organization in GTA Online when you first enter your base, but if you’re not happy with the original name you chose, here’s how to change it.
Enter a GTA Online lobby and bring out your smartphone by pressing up on the D-Pad. Navigate to the Dynasty8 website, and choose your organization. From here, select renovate and you’ll be able to change your organization’s name. You’ll have to have $250,000 to make the change, so try to get it right this time.
Playing the name game
Being able to name your organization in GTA Online is a stark reminder that this level of customization is criminally underutilized in other video games. I’ve longed for Rare to add an option that lets you name your ship in Sea of Thieves, for example, especially as there’s a bare placard that sits above the captain’s quarters; prime real estate to proudly display my future ship’s name.
It’s easy to see why customization is often limited in video games, however. People have a tendency to write profanities or draw vulgar images at every given opportunity, because hey, why not. But GTA Online is proof that sometimes it’s the little, personal touches that can really make a difference to a player’s enjoyment of a game.
Now, it’s time to put Shiba Inc. on the map.
GTA 5 on PS5 and Xbox Series X is out now, and I've been so impressed by the game's updated visuals that I think it's actually worth buying again.
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