With just days until the launch of GTA Online
, the multiplayer portion of Grand Theft Auto V
, Rockstar has come forward with some new details including game mode and content update information. They've also confirmed the presence of (completely optional) microtransactions.
The game has already tallied sales to the tune of $1 billion dollars, so you can imagine the server load Rockstar is going to face come October 1st when GTA Online
goes live. As such, Rockstar has stressed that in the first couple of weeks you may see problems crop up. They're listening though, and are encouraging players to either e-mail them at GTAOnline@rockstargames.com or sound off in the forums via their Social Club.
Rockstar has compiled a list of bullet points to lay out their plan for GTA Online
's early days and how it will evolve and grow over time.
• Grand Theft Auto Online is going to be something brand new for us: a fully realized and living world for multiple players that will continue to grow and take shape over time.
• The ultimate shape of GTA Online will be determined as much by you, the player, as by the work we put in. What you like and don’t like, what you play and what you want will determine how the game develops and what it turns into.
• Everything we do will be informed by feedback from you all – from the types of missions that roll out to all kinds of future content.
• We are planning for a constant stream of new content, tweaks and updates in the weeks and months ahead.
• The first couple of weeks we expect to be heavily focused on tuning the experience as it goes from internal testing to the reality of being played by tons of people in the real world so that all the usual teething problems for an online game are overcome. We hope it will all run incredibly smoothly, but please bear with us if it doesn't, and help us fix any and all problems!
• After that, we will begin releasing content updates and giving you the opportunity to make your own content.
The online portion of the game is set to feature up to 16 players causing mayhem and destruction at once. Here's a list of things you and the people of the world will be able to do in GTA Online
• Open-World Crime and Chaos: Go on your own or round up your friends to explore the open world together – catch a movie, go mountain biking, hit the shooting range and much more. Want to test the law? Knock over a convenience store, take down a gang or rob an armored truck for easy cash and Reputation.
• Jobs: Los Santos and Blaine County are ripe with opportunity for the ambitious and criminal minded. Take on Missions and an array of other Jobs as a lone wolf, team up with your Crew or join fellow mercenaries and degenerates to pull off a wide range of robberies and illicit activities together.
• Races: Everything from classic street competition and off-road tracks to boat racing on the open ocean, or take to the skies in aerial events. Jump into the madness of a GTA Race, or try out a brand new race type, Rally, where driver and co-pilot work together to navigate treacherous courses at high speeds.
• Sports: Join your friends / any random stranger for a game of tennis, a round of golf or go base jumping and more, all for cash and Reputation.
• Customization: Create your character using the Character Creator – then earn some cash and spend it getting dressed for success. You can also collect and customize cars for your garage and personalize your full weapons cache.
A hot button issue is sure to be the inclusion of microtransactions. GTA$ is used to purchase cars, guns, clothes, and more in GTA Online
and if you want to get some of these items quicker
you have the option to buy GTA$ with your actual money. Rockstar stresses that the presence of these microtransactions will in no way be detrimental to the balance of the game and that they are completely optional.
Bugs, glitches, exploits, and balance issues are also sure to crop up in GTA Online
is some form or another. The developers insist that these are natural "growing pains" and that they'll be hard at work to make sure any issues are alleviated as soon as possible.
• Reputation and Cash Flow:
Reputation is earned from all your online exploits in everything you do in GTA Online – and will help you rank up, providing access to new features, weapons and criminal contacts. Spend cash you’ve gained on cars, clothes, guns, properties and much more. You can either quickly accumulate cash through profitable activities like knocking over armored cars, winning street races, doing stick-ups or a host of other cash-making endeavors – or if you’re the completely instant gratification type, you can choose to buy denominations of GTA$. You will have the option to purchase GTA$ through the in-game Store. The game and its economy have been designed and balanced for the vast majority of players who will not buy extra cash. There is no in-game paywall and nothing that should disrupt the balance of the game. You don’t have to spend real money to attain the cars, guns, clothes, flash and style of a high-roller in Los Santos, but can if you wish to get them a little quicker. The economy is balanced differently from the single player economy, and cash earned in one cannot be taken over to the other. Most players will earn cash much faster Online than in Story Mode.
• Growing Pains:
There will be the typical growing pains for an online game, including but not limited to crashes, glitches, crazy bugs, gameplay modes and mechanics that need re-balancing and other surprises! Even in GTAV Story Mode, some of you may have seen a few odd
and even amusing
little glitches out there last week. This sort of thing is inevitable in a massive open-world game and there’ll surely be lots more unexpected oddities like this in the Online world next week – rest assured we’ll be monitoring and actively doing all we can to smooth such things out as they happen, but we need your help to find them, as well as your feedback to help fine tune all of the game's systems so everything is perfectly balanced.
Finally, we have some info on upcoming content that will be gracing multiplayer in the early weeks and months of the game's lifecycle, though no release date has been set for any of this. These updates will be provided for free.
• The Content Creator: The Content Creator will launch with tools to tailor and publish your own Deathmatches & Races.GTA Online
• The Beach Bum Pack: Featuring 4 new amazing beach fun vehicles, over 300 new items of incredible down tempo leisure wear and 2 new but not remotely relaxing weapons.
• Capture the Flag: GTA Online’s take on the classic CTF mode including the ability to make your own using The Content Creator.
• Heists: This update will introduce full-on cooperative Heist missions that will require careful planning, teamwork and sharp execution – along with the Heist Planning Board for your apartment.
launches on October 1st. Although Rockstar has billed GTA Online
as a separate experience, the only way to play it is through Grand Theft Auto V
. They have acknowledged the possibility of offering it as a standalone purchase, namely on next-gen consoles. As of right now there are absolutely no plans for this though and they’re focused squarely on GTA Online
and Grand Theft Auto V
on current systems.