This story contains minor spoilers for GTA Online's The Contract storyline.
A new update to GTA Online has seemingly confirmed which of the Grand Theft Auto 5's three original endings is canon.
As reported by Kotaku, GTA Online's latest update, The Contract, features dialogue that seems to confirm what happens to Michael following the end of GTA 5. As part of the new missions, you help iconic rapper Dr. Dre in a bid to locate and recover the musician's lost phone and a range of unreleased material that resides on the device.
As part of the hunt for the missing phone, Franklin ends up in a golf cart chase through a movie set. In a bid to catch up with a man who has angered the rapper, Franklin's erratic driving forces the character to exclaim, “Man, shit, I know one of the producers around here. I hope his ass ain’t at work today.” While not specifically referencing the producer by name, it seems almost certain that Franklin is referring to Michael, who in one of GTA 5's endings begins working as a producer on the very same movie set.
For those who weren't quite able to complete GTA 5's campaign, the game has three different endings. While endings A and B see either Trevor or Michael die at the hands of Franklin respectively, Option C ties together the narrative's loose ends in a way that allows all three of the game's protagonists to survive.
Rockstar previously suggested that Option C is the game's intended ending via a dialogue line from Tao Cheng in GTA Online's 2019 Diamond and Casino update, which alluded to events that only take place in the game's third ending. This latest update, it seems, further reinforces that.
While this new line of dialogue seems to finally rule out an ending where Michael dies, a prior update also made a suggestion that Trevor survives the events of GTA 5, too. During the Smuggler's Run update, Ron Jakowski notes that Trevor has "gone all Vinewood" before referring to him indirectly as his "old boss".
With the latest update offering further closure on the events of GTA 5, fans will likely be wondering what's next for the franchise. While a potential sixth installment of the series remains unconfirmed as of yet, reports earlier this year seemed to hint that the game could end up coming out in 2024. In additional rumours surrounding the potential existence of GTA 6, a number of fans took to social media after there were rumours that Rockstar had hidden a screenshot for the game in its GTA: The Trilogy release earlier this year.
Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.