Rumor - Grand Theft Auto Online features microtransactions

By Luke Caulfield , Updated Sep 23, 2013 10:46 PM EDT
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You'd think that once a game hits a billion dollars in sales, developers and publishers alike wouldn't feel the need to squeeze every last dollar out of their audience. But business is business, and where there's money to be made, you can bet someone will try to make as much of it as possible.

That seems to be the case for Rockstar and Take Two, who could be the latest companies to enter into the microtransaction and "pay to win" foray if this rumor is to be believed.

A file pulled from Rockstar's website seems to show that GTA Online players will be able to buy in-game cash with real world money, meaning that there could be some very interesting ramifications.

A Reddit user found an XML file from Rockstar's website, shows that players can buy in-game denominations in the amounts of $100,000, $200,000, $500,000 and $1.25 million, complete with images of cards bearing the name and logo of Maze Bank, one of GTA 5's financial institutions.

I wonder if purchases will affect its market price...

"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," says a description in the XML file.

Massive amounts of moolah may not be exactly easy to come by in Grand Theft Auto 5, but with the new in-game stock market and buying businesses, it's certainly nowhere near as difficult to chalk up millions of dollars in a relatively short period of time. Whether these microtransactions are something that Rockstar included as a potential feature, or something the company will be rolling out specifically for the online game remains to be seen.

I'd like to think that Rockstar would have paid attention to all the fervor microtransactions have received recently, and opted to stay away from them. Factor in that such an amount of money would allow players willing to inject some real world cash into the game could give them a very early advantage, given the access a cool million gives in regards to righteous armaments and military hardware early on, like tanks, rocket launchers, and so on. However, as this is just a rumor, it's too early to start throwing mud.

Grand Theft Auto Online goes live on October 1, so we'll just have to wait until then before we know for sure.

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