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Rockstar Games lays out the ‘GTA Online’ launch and future plans

GTA Online will allow up to 16 players to run amok in a slightly rewired version of the story mode’s open world Los Santos and Blaine County, Rockstar confirms in a post on its Newswire blog. The October 1 launch of Grand Theft Auto V‘s multiplayer component will allow players to participate in a variety of activities from the main game – everything from tennis to armored car robbery to races – as well as mode-specific “Jobs” that appear to place an emphasis on co-op play. All of that is of course in addition to the usual madness and mayhem that a typical GTA player inflicts on the virtual city. Imagine what 16 at once will do.

The post admits up front that the early days of GTA Online are expected to be… challenging. “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,” the announcement notes. “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 cites recent issues with GTA V‘s iFruit companion app and the developer’s Social Club community hub as examples of the increased strain.

We can also now confirm that GTA Online will indeed offer in-game cash for purchase via microtransactions, backing up earlier reports. “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,” the announcement reads. “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.”

Rockstar closes the announcement post with a brief description of how it plans to grow GTA Online with free post-release updates. Among the upcoming additions are: the Content Creator hinted in the initial GTA Online trailer that allows players to build deathmatch arenas and races; a Beach Bum pack that adds “4 new amazing beach fun vehicles, over 300 new items of incredible down tempo leisure wear and 2 new but not remotely relaxing weapons”; a team-based Capture the Flag mode with included support for the Content Creator; and co-op Heists, complete with the story mode’s Planning Boards added to player apartments.