Grand Theft Auto Online to feature microtransactions

GTA Online logoMultiple reports suggest that players will be able to use real money to add to their virtual wallets when the Grand Theft Auto Online portion of Grand Theft Auto V launches on October 1.

Word of the feature first leaked when a reddit user uncovered an XML file referenced by the still-inactive "Store" option in the Grand Theft Auto V pause menu. That file, hosted on Rockstar's servers, includes text that says, "Solve your money problems and help get what you want across Los Santos and Blaine County with the purchase of cash packs for Grand Theft Auto Online. All purchased cash is automatically deposited into your character’s bank account. Spend wisely, cash therapy is fleeting."

The file also contains details for specific packs at $100,000, $200,000, $500,000, and $1.25 million in-game increments, with image files referencing those same amounts.

Following up on the initial reports, Eurogamer spoke to "people with early access to the [Grand Theft Auto Online] mode" who confirmed that in-game cash packs will be available in Britain for prices ranging from £1.99 ($3.19) for $100,000 to £13.49 ($21.64) for $1.25 million. Eurogamer's report also notes that prices for property and items in GTA Online will vary greatly from prices for similar items in the single-player game, with low-level items being more expensive but high-end properties and cars topping out at a lower price point. In addition, players will have to rank up in the Online mode before having access to high-end artillery or rides, limiting how far new players can get by opening their wallets quickly.

Rockstar did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reported microtransactions aside, Grand Theft Auto Online will be freely playable to anyone who buys a retail copy of Grand Theft Auto V. It seems that Rockstar has decided to use optional microtransactions, rather than required subscription fees or downloadable content purchases, to fund what will no doubt be massive server costs when millions of players start accessing the online mode at once. Then again, using microtransactions has the potential to unbalance the online gameplay in ways those other funding methods don't, and those fees come on top of the full retail price players already spent on the single-player portion of the game.

The multiplayer mode will include over 500 missions and allow for female avatars.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: computer games, GTA

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