Grand Theft Auto Online is an enormously popular game, and it’s seen a steady stream of high-profile updates over its eight years in service. But now it’s preparing for its most intriguing and off-the-wall update yet, which sees the return of Grand Theft Auto V’s Franklin and Lamar in a new set of adventures within the online world of Los Santos.
The new update is called The Contract, which will be released for all platforms on Dec. 15. This new update will add a series of new missions centered on Franklin and Lamar’s new business in Los Santos, which deals with “fixing” problems that the rich and famous have on their hands. Along with returning fan-favorite characters, the West Coast rap icon Dr. Dre will make his debut in the game. One of their clients is West Coast hip-hop legend DJ Pooh, who tasked Franklin’s company with tracking down Dr. Dre’s stolen phone, which has a set of unreleased tracks and private info.
This update marks the first time since the game’s 2013 launch that Franklin and Lamar have appeared in the game, with actors Shawn Fonteno and Gerald “Slink” Johnson returning to reprise their roles. In GTA Online, we see Franklin and Lamar eight years later, both on the up and having moved into a more legitimate enterprise. The story throughout The Contract will not only reveal what Franklin and Lamar have been up to, but it will also be something of a showcase for West Coast hip-hop culture and history, with Dr. Dre and DJ Pooh having a significant role.
When you begin The Contract, your custom character in GTA Online will meet up with the returning duo and start a series of missions that will show off the seedy underbelly of the city’s high society. The Contract also comes with a new soundtrack and new radio station, which will play new tracks from Dr. Dre himself. As you complete missions in the update, you’ll acquire a set of new vehicles and perks for your character, including a new base of operations, the new Enus Jubliee car and a portable EMP launcher.
Ever since the release of GTA V, there have been rumors of a story expansion, which sees the original protagonists Michael, Franklin and Trevor take on new missions. However, those never came to pass, and GTA Online has been the primary vehicle of the game’s post-launch life. That said, The Contract looks to be the closest we’ll get to seeing more of the game’s original set of characters.
Since its release, Grand Theft Auto V and its online mode have been a massive hit. In particular, Franklin and Lamar quickly became fan favorites. In recent years, both characters became the subject of internet memes and parodies — which the actors take pride in, even making videos themselves re-creating scenes from the game.
Grand Theft Auto V is one of the most successful games of all time, selling well over 150 million copies across several gaming platforms (with PS5 and Xbox Series X releases planned for next year). Much of that success is due to GTA Online, and it’s consistently on Twitch’s list of most popular games. The support from Rockstar Games has been steady, and given the game’s success, it doesn’t look like it will slow down anytime soon.