Mounting evidence points to ‘GTA Online’ selling in-game cash via microtransactions

Grand Theft Auto 5 Screenshot_368

UPDATE: Rockstar went ahead and confirmed that cash-for-cash microtransactions will indeed be available in GTA Online when it launches on October 1, 2013. You can go ahead and read our full report on that, and a number of other features related to GTA V‘s multiplayer component, right here.

ORIGINAL POST: GTA Online, the somewhat mysterious multiplayer component for the freshly released Grand Theft Auto V, doesn’t launch until October 1, but we’re seeing multiple reports that suggest players will be able to pay real-world cash for in-game dollars via microtransactions. The latest comes from an unnamed source “with early access to Grand Theft Auto 5‘s multiplayer mode” who spoke to Eurogamer. It’s worth mentioning too that we’ve heard from our own sources of a closed GTA Online beta that is underway right now.

Eurogamer’s source reveals that there are four “Cash Card” packs in all: Red Shark Cash Card, Tiger Shark Cash Card, Bull Shark Cash Card, and Great White Shark Cash Card, worth $100,000, $200,000, $500,000, and $1,250,000 in game dollars, respectively. The pricing on these is apparently not yet finalized, but the cost in the UK ranges from £1.99 to £13.49.

The source also informs Eurogamer that having lots of cash won’t necessarily benefit new players as much as it might seem. Much like Red Dead RedemptionGTA Online reportedly features a level progression-based unlock system that blocks higher-quality weapons, attachments, vehicles, and the like until higher levels are reached. Players are also only permitted to own one property at a time, and the cost of any new land purchase is offset by the money received from selling the previous property. Pricing in general is also different than it is in GTA V‘s story, with property and vehicles costing significantly less (the most expensive is $400,000); and weapons, attachments, ammo, and car mods costing considerably more.

Word of GTA Online sporting pay-for-game-cash microtransactions first emerged when Reddit discovered an XML file on Rockstar’s website that appears to be connected to the in-game cash DLC. In addition to naming and detailing the contents of the four Cash Card packs listed above, the file also contains a description that reads:

“Cash is king in this town. 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.”

We reached out to Rockstar for comment early yesterday and received no response. It seems that any answers are going to have to wait for whatever formal announcements the developer may be planning in the run-up to GTA Online‘s launch. With less than a week to go before that happens, you won’t be waiting long.