After watching Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto Online reveal video today, I found myself asking two questions: What exactly is GTA Online? And (after a little research), who the hell wouldn’t want to play this game? Check out the video below and see for yourself.
At first, I expected the online multiplayer reveal to be a standard game mode for the upcoming Grand Theft Auto V. But as the video continued, I became increasingly aware that Rockstar Games had no intention of delivering your standard multiplayer fare. This epiphany caught me off guard and prompted a bout of investigation that turned up quite a few answers to my burning questions.
What is Grand Theft Auto Online?
To put it simply, it is a different game. In an interview with CVG, the president of Rockstar North, Leslie Benzies, revealed a lot more information about the game: “[GTA Online is] a different entity, a separate thing, and it'll grow on its own. It'll be GTA Online; it's not part of GTA V. Obviously it's set in the GTA V engine, but it's going to grow and evolve into its own thing.” This quote in particular made me raise my eyebrows. It is an entirely separate game! Apparently, there is only one thing better than a Grand Theft Auto game coming out this fall, and that’s two Grand Theft Auto games coming out this fall.
Let me guess, I have to purchase it separately, don’t I?
Nope. The ability to play GTA Online will come packaged-in with every new retail copy of GTA V. Wait, what? This move is particularly astounding even though it makes excellent business sense. It seems that, basically, Rockstar has separated the multiplayer component of GTA V from the core game, so that it can become its own entity, growing and evolving on its own. This allows Rockstar to do two things. First, it can now market the game directly to players who only care about playing the multiplayer portion of the game. And second, the fact that the game will be updated and expanded upon like a traditional MMO presents the opportunity for the game to remain relevant for a much longer period of time. Genius.
So, what can I do in GTA Online?
It would probably be easier to ask what you can’t do in GTA Online. You can do anything that you can do within GTA V, although the single-player campaign will not be present. You can play deathmatches, race in vehicles, fly aerial vehicles, skydive, buy an apartment, and form a gang--among many, many other things. The list goes on and on, and they haven’t even revealed everything yet. You can even create your own races and deathmatches in the game through an in-game creator. Are you f&8#%ng serious?
So basically, GTA Online is "a dynamic and persistent online world for 16 players." It’s based completely off of the GTA V engine. It gives you a competitive shooter, a racing game, and an open-world sandbox all in one convenient package. And you can create things in-game for everyone in the world to enjoy through the creator. Again I ask, who the hell wouldn’t want to play this game?
In short, GTA V and GTA Online represent a new business model that could quite possibly revolutionize the gaming industry. GTA V is set to release on Sept. 17th, with GTA Online following a few weeks later on Oct. 1st, via an online patch. Could this start a new trend? Could we see more games follow this type of release model? Only time will tell, but if Rockstar’s past trendsetting is any indication, we probably will.
I guess there’s really only one more question: What are you going to do in Grand Theft Auto Online?