Buying In-Game Dollars With Real Money In GTA 5 [RUMOR]

If you thought $1 billion in three days was impressive, just wait until you see this rumored monetization system at work in Grand Theft Auto 5. Again, this is a rumor, and has yet to be confirmed by Rockstar or Take-Two.

According to intrepid Reddit poster “1880” over on r/GrandTheftAutoV, Rockstar Games might be selling cash cards that allow GTA’ers to buy in-game currency with their hard-earned real-life Greenbacks. These “Shark Cards” are from Maze Bank, one of the financial establishments in San Andreas. With varying amounts tied to to-be-announced USD price points, the Shark Cards can provide some liquid assets if your properties and thieving simply aren’t enough.

From the Reddit post:

We all have read some comments in the subreddit about [how] it’s quite hard making money in [Grand Theft Auto V], properties are not very profitable, and the missions that affect the stock market seem to be too few and too early.

I think I might have found why. When you open the store section in the pause menu, it says there is nothing available yet, but the console requests this file.

It’s a plain XML file where you will see that besides [sic] the downlodable content from the special editions, there are 4 so-called “cash cards”, ranging from $100,000 to $1,250,000.

I may be wrong and I sincerely hope I am, but to me this looks like the explanation of why it’s so hard to make money in the game: at some point (when GTAO starts?) you’re supposed to buy game money with real money :(

This seems very un-Rockstar-y to me, so I want to believe there are other plausible explanations:

  • It’s just a test, since it was not supposed to be public. Maybe something used internally?
  • They are redeemable items, not something you buy with real money. Maybe the prizes of some Social Club sweepstakes?

tl;dr: making money is hard because you’re supposed to buy game money with real money at some point

The first bit of the copied XML file that stands out is the description included with the cash cards:

“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.”

My guess (and it’s a guess, not a confirmation) is that these cards will be available for purchase within the game itself (as a PSN, XBL or Rockstar Social Club purchase), but you’ll also see a physical manifestation at GameStop, Best Buy, and so on.

These cards have amounts and names in the XML file, too.

  • $100,000: Red Shark Cash Card
  • $200,000: Tiger Shark Cash Card
  • $500,000: Bull Shark Cash Card
  • $1,250,000: Great White Shark Cash Card

The above card images are part of the Reddit OP (original Imgur link here), and 1880 says the images come from a referenced DSS file.

This is all still rumor status for now, as Rockstar has yet to officially comment (we have reached out, and will update if we hear back), and this is all from an XML file that could be left over from testing or early concepts. The credit card artwork does give us pause, however, and including some sort of monetization for the online component of Grand Theft Auto 5 isn’t a strange concept in and of itself. It would be a surefire money maker, even if GTA 5 has already become the hottest media property of all time.

Join the Conversation   

* required field

By submitting a comment here you grant GameFront a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.

1 Comment on Buying In-Game Dollars With Real Money In GTA 5 [RUMOR]


On September 23, 2013 at 11:23 pm

They may have made an obsurb amount of money but they couldn’t assume that. So many servers have to be up for 16 people at max on each one. I really hope you cant buy money in the online version but if it happens ill still play online. The online sounds like red dead online and that game me 200 hours of entertainment. If i have to deal with people buying power i will.