Last night I decided to take my first steps into the unknown but hugely 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 build a squad is truly abhorrent — I can already see why so many players are hooked.
I participated in a ridiculous stunt race that you would expect to find in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, not a Grand Theft Auto game, I navigated my hot armored tailgate while attacking other players, and I even sold jewelry of dubious origin to the highest bidder.
But as fun as that was, it was perhaps the simplest feature in GTA Online that really grabbed me: 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 actually came up Stake. Not just on menu screens, but as a real asset in-game for the world to see. Every time I walk into my swanky high-rise office, sitting above my dedicated receptionist is the name of my organization: Shiba Inc. Why Shiba Inc.? Well, my real life is run by a Japanese Shiba Inu, so that made sense.
Now, I don’t really know why, but this excruciatingly simple piece of game design evoked a strange sense of pride in me. There’s definitely something cool about seeing something you’ve personally named appear in a video game, like when you create your own personalized license plate in Forza Horizon 5. It also helped give my new business l felt like she was inherently mine, although she was one. millions created during the life of GTA Online.
And that, fundamentally, draws you into what GTA Online does perhaps differently than other titles: it gives you a kind of power fantasy and a real sense of agency. With multiple career paths on offer and a nearly 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 pull out your smartphone by pressing down on the D-Pad. Go to the Dynasty8 website and choose your organization. From there, select Renovate and you can change your organization’s name. You’ll need to have $250,000 to make the switch, so try to get it right this time.
Play 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 dreamed that Rare adds an option that lets you name your ship in Sea of Thieves, for example, especially since there’s a naked sign that sits above the captain’s quarters ; prime real estate to proudly display the name of my future vessel.
However, it’s easy to see why customization is often limited in video games. People tend to write profanities or draw vulgar pictures at every opportunity, because why not. But GTA Online is proof that sometimes it’s the little personal touches that can really make the difference in how much a player enjoys playing.
Now it’s time to put Shiba Inc. on the map.
GTA 5 on PS5 and Xbox Series X is out now, and I was so impressed with the game’s updated visuals that I think it’s definitely worth buying again.