“Tou me gives the arjyent, or yé té tou!”. Tattoo on the chest, big yellow fur coat, accent with the scent of Latin countries… Miguel, member of a Mexican cartel bank robber and cocaine dealer, is one of the most popular characters of the GTA V RP server from the ZLan. Since its launch on April 21, 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 the life
RP, abbreviation of Role play, simply means “role play”, a term well known to gamers. Final Fantasy, World of Warcraft, Persona… Thousands of games claim to be of this genre, offering fans the joy of creating or playing fictitious characters in worlds that meet their own rules. Still, most of these experiences impose narrative barriers on players with pre-written quests based on specific objectives. Like tabletop role-playing games, multiplayer RP experiences such as Garry’s Mod DarkRP or Arma 3 RP do not bother with these guidelines and leave the player in control of their destiny.
In GTA V RP, the principle is simple: each participant is free to create his character and join in the activities of Los Santos, a persistent world inhabited by many other players. Policeman, bar keeper, garbage collector, bank robber … There are many occupations. If employment, transaction or communication systems somewhat govern the adventure, the development of your avatar 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. So, each server offers a unique micro-company, some organizing themselves in a purely democratic way, others more resembling a tribal system dominated by corruption and nepotism.
A mature idea
On the side of Grand Theft Auto, we find traces of RP mods from the third episode, published in 2001. If it did not offer an online mode, essential to create a real community experience, amateur developers have taken care of fill this gap by creating multiplayer mods, like GTA 3 GGM. The rest is done naturally and collectives of fans are formed around the desire to create a second life in the streets of Liberty City. Subsequently, 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. However, everything remained very amateurish and Role Play lovers had to deal with unstable servers and a limited number of features. Fortunately, things would change from 2015.
With the arrival of Grand Theft Auto V on PC and its GTA Online online mode, Rockstar Games has given PR lovers a big helping hand. 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 developed mechanics begging to be hijacked. This is how tools and mods for GTA Online appeared, including FiveM, which quickly became the benchmark in the field.. This application allows you to create customized online servers, which can accommodate vehicles, NPCs, missions or personalized rules. A great tool that has allowed hundreds of RP servers to flourish over the years, gradually surpassing the popularity of basic PC games.
The influencer soap opera
If the very principle of GTA V RP promises great gaming moments, having to install an unofficial client has long made it the preserve of the most resourceful PC gamers. After several years with a relatively stable number of users and viewers, an increase in attendance began to be felt from 2019. Who is responsible? A handful of popular streamers who seized on this experience, infusing their broadcasts with all their talent for incarnation and improvisation. One of the leaders of this trend is Summit1G, a 34-year-old American who slipped into the shoes of Charles Johnson, formidable gangster member of the Chang Gang. A second life that he tries to make exciting, between robberies and fiery chases with the police. His criminal record includes more than 200 misdeeds, including thirteen kidnappings, three attempted murders and eight escapes. A thug’s life paying off for Summit1G which achieved its best audiences thanks to GTA V RP. Average 48,977 viewers, a peak of 104,674 viewers and an average of 42,608 views per hour on the Rockstar title over the past 30 days.
But if you are reading these lines, it is probably because of the recent explosion of the phenomenon in the hexagonal sphere. Indeed, if some French-speaking streamers have been walking the streets of Los Santos for several years, it is the arrival of the RPZ which made it possible to transform the test. Imagined as a donation goal for ZEvent 2020, this GTA V RP server opened on April 21 for two short weeks. Personalities who have already participated in an edition of the famous charity LAN created by Zerator, who themselves have the right to embark on the adventure, are invited. MisterMV is camping there an old drunkard named Johnny Monnay, AntoineDaniel embodies Donatien de Montazac, crooked and greedy winegrower, AlexClick makes his famous Miguel, member of the Vagos cartel … They are in total more than 120 to evolve in the streets of Los Santos, writing their respective stories as the days go by.
With all these heavyweights of the French scene gathered online, audiences are exploding. Big fish like Antoine Daniel thus exceeded the symbolic bar of 50,000 simultaneous spectators on Twitch, while the less important names take advantage of this effervescence to make themselves known. A court phenomenon even seems to be emerging, some participants taking advantage of this wonderful moment of communion by appearing alongside the most popular characters … Viewers religiously follow this unpredictable soap opera, influencers have historic audiences, Everyone is benefiting. Quantified proof of this success, Pumice, alias Aurélien Gilles, gathers just 5,554 spectators on average during a stream on FIFA 21 on April 26, where the day before, a session of the same duration on GTA V RP allowed him to reach an average of 34 882 viewers. A trend that can be sustained over time? Except surprise, the RPZ will close its doors on May 5 at 11:59 p.m..
A closed and unique circle
To mingle with this assembly of personalities concentrating hundreds of thousands of viewers on Twitch, it is better to have his entries in the middle. The principle of the RPZ is precisely to restrict its access to influencers only to avoid seeing waves of onlookers arriving with the desire to talk to their idols.. In a PR experience, immersion is key and any reference that does not make sense in the game world is prohibited. This is called the HRP, or “excluding PR“and that’s one of the reasons why many influencers don’t dare to jump into GTA V RP. An inattentive fan would be quick to shoot anything that moves … And even if the RPZ rules remain more flexible than on most other servers, death is final.
Indeed, the server created by the Zerator troop is deliberately more flexible, most of the influencers present having never participated in an experience of the kind. Thus, some of them received “starter kits” comprising a villa, a well-established profession and a generously filled bank account. If the RPZ appeals to you, make no mistake, it’s kind of an exception in the FiveM server landscape. Everything has been thought to go in the direction of entertainment. In order to embody a Los Santos inhabitant in your turn, two choices are available to you: public servers or private servers. The former are open to everyone, including the unwelcome. Most of the time, the experience is very quickly ruined by players determined to spoil the pleasure of the majority, whether with mass killings (“freekill”) Or constant HRP.
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The second solution is therefore to join a private server. By invitation or by application, the latter, on the other hand, are much more demanding than the RPZ, with slower progress and strict rules. Whether on NoPixel or EclipseRP, two of the most prestigious American waiters, out of the question to buy a limousine for a fistful of dollars or to negotiate nicely with the police after a hostage-taking. Most of their users already have hundreds or even thousands of hours of playtime, for example, police procedures at their fingertips. Also note that following a massive influx of requests, many private servers have set up a waiting list. Be prepared, the response time can be particularly long.
If your alter ego is ready then all you have 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, finding a server that matches your desires.. Be careful, however, you may come across cities where anarchy reigns if you go through the search system integrated into FiveM. Do not hesitate to go in search of good addresses directly on Google to join players who respect PR rules. You will find names such as FeverRP, LSConfidential or AlticaRP which could well be the starting point of your new virtual life.