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Rockstar Discusses Grand Theft Auto Online, Reveals Microtransactions

by Mike Futter on Sep 25, 2013 at 09:35 AM

Earlier this week, we shared a rumor that Grand Theft Auto Online would offer users the opportunity to purchase in-game currency with real money. Today we can confirm that to be true.

In a post on the Rockstar Newswire, the developer shares many details of Grand Theft Auto Online (a number of which are reflected in our extensive preview). It is confirmed that players will be able to purchase in-game currency (GTA$) in different denominations to speed up access to residences, cars, clothes, and guns. 

Cash is separate from Reputation, which offers access to more features, weapon types, and contacts. Reputation cannot be purchased, only earned.

"The economy is balanced differently from the single player economy, and cash earned in one cannot be taken over to the other," Rockstar promises. "Most players will earn cash much faster Online than in Story Mode."

Rockstar has also warned that the early days of GTA Online are likely to be congested. "One thing we are already aware of, and are trying to alleviate as fast as we can, is the unanticipated additional pressure on the servers due to a significantly higher number of players than we were anticipating at this point – we are working around the clock to buy and add more servers, but this increased scale is only going to make the first few days even more temperamental than such things usually are," Rockstar says.

The developer indicates that these are the same issues that have been emerging with the Social Club and iFruit applications tied to Grand Theft Auto V.

[Source: Rockstar]


Our Take
As I mentioned yesterday, the presence of optional GTA$ purchases shouldn't unbalance the game. They are a shortcut to bigger garages and swankier properties. The other piece of this that players must be aware of is that things are going to be dicey for the first few days. The servers are going to be slammed, and it's very likely access to GTA Online will be spotty.  

From everything we've seen, though, it'll be worth the wait. GTA Online is ambitious, and it looks to make use of the Social Club in new and exciting ways.