Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of “Grand Theft Auto Online,” the open-world, multiplayer game created by Scotland-based Rockstar North and published by the Rockstar Games unit of Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. The stand-alone title launched on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 Oct. 1 of last year, and it will be released on the PS4 and Xbox One Nov. 18 of this year, with a Windows PC version reaching players Jan. 27 of next year.
“GTA Online” currently allows as many as 16 players to freely explore the Los Santos and San Andreas areas, while the coming eighth-generation and PC versions will permit as many as 30 players.
“GTA Online” launched two weeks after the release of “Grand Theft Auto 5” Sept. 17 of last year, designed as a separate experience to be played in a continuously dynamic setting. Rockstar allowed players to enter lobbies to participate in so-called Jobs, or story-driven competitive and cooperative modes. It also gave them access to the Content Creator tool, which let them create guidelines for their own custom Jobs. Players were also permitted to create their own crews and join as many as five of them.
Rockstar said about 70 percent of “GTA 5” players had participated in “GTA Online,” which is around 22.5 million players. Rockstar also said the game’s microtransactions system was the largest contributor to the company’s digital revenue since the “GTA Online” launch.
When Rockstar initially launched the online game, a number of players reported bugs, freezing and other glitches. The company released the mode’s first technical update Oct. 5, suspending the game’s microtransactions system. When this failed, a second update hit consoles Oct. 10, along with individual player compensation of $500,000 of in-game cash.
During the past 12 months, Rockstar has provided an array of downloadable content and updates for the title, including the “Valentine’s Day Massacre Special,” the “Business Update,” “The High Life Update,” the “I’m Not a Hipster Update” and the “San Andreas Flight School Update.”
As players look forward to the “GTA 5” launch on next-gen consoles and the PC, Rockstar promises a number of new features, including a higher number of players and improved graphics. Current “GTA Online” users will also be able to transfer their progress and characters to the PS4, Xbox One and PC.
What are you looking forward to in the coming versions of “GTA Online?” Leave a comment below.