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Cover image for GTA V Loading Time Fix Explained- AKA Why Big O Matters

GTA V Loading Time Fix Explained- AKA Why Big O Matters

renaissanceengineer profile image Renaissance Engineer ・1 min read

You may have heard in the news how a single programmer was able to reduce the loading time on GTA V online by 70%. In this video I explain how he did it and summarize what was wrong with GTA's code.

I hate a lot of the Leetcode style coding interviews companies use like most software engineers, but this is a good example of why knowing even some basic data structures and algorithms is pretty important.

The bigger issue in this case is that nobody at Rockstar games took a few hours to fix this simple issue despite having 7 years to do it.

If you are interested in another practical example to get yourself motivated learn data structures and other CS fundamentals, you can check out my video showing how switching 1 line of code can speed up this example code by 30X in this article:

I generally follow the 80/20 rule, even a small amount of time spent learning these CS fundamentals can dramatically improve the performance of your code.

Discussion (4)

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rolfstreefkerk profile image
Rolf Streefkerk

Considering how highly successful GTA5 is, your loading time analysis doesn't hold ground at all. it doesn't have the impact on customer retention that you claim it does.

Everything is relative and doing web site comparisons with a gaming product is an apples to oranges comparison. They're not the same thing whatsoever.

Finally, creating a product like GTA5 is quite an accomplishment. How many competing products have you seen in the market with similar success?

I think we should be a bit more humble with criticism until every factor is understood.

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renaissanceengineer profile image
Renaissance Engineer Author • Edited

I gave it credit as the single most successful individual media product ever with 6 billion in revenue and counting, still doesn't change the fact that many thousands of people quit the game due to a loading time bug that could have been fixed in a few hours of effort. They objectively left money on the table

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

I remember having to sit through those long loading times I just got used to it. Nice to know that they implemented that fix though.

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renaissanceengineer profile image
Renaissance Engineer Author

the loading times would be understandable if there was some crazy technical complexity to explain it that couldn't be fixed in a practical way. For years people theorized it was related to matchmaking and complex networking. Turns out it was a really simple bug.