GTA V Online: 16 Players, And GTA V Is Only The Beginning

Rockstar appears to be sticking a toe in the MMO world. At least, that’s what the new GTA Online trailer wants us to assume. The new trailer, which provides plenty of nebulous information about Grand Theft Auto Online, is short on concrete details. But it it does promise a “living, online world with multiple players,” that “will continue to expand and evolve after its launch with new content created by Rockstar Games and the Grand Theft Auto community.”

It sounds ambitious, but based on what was revealed this morning, it really just looks a lot like Red Dead Redemption’s multiplayer1, combined with Infamous 2′s content creation system.

It’s already been revealed that you’ll be able to toggle between GTA Online and the GTA V campaign seamlessly. This will allow you to play online with up 16 other players whenever you feel like it, during which time you can band together for heists and robberies, play diversions like vehicle races, compete in classic multiplayer modes like death match, and more to come in the months ahead.

How this really works is not clear, but “persistent” is a word the trailer uses again and again. The impression given here is that the multiplayer world exists somewhat independently of the main game – certainly, there is no cooperative play in the main story missions. Of course, “persistent” doesn’t have to mean a fully realized world hosted on Rockstar servers that exists independently from Grand Theft Auto V. It could mean that the changes you make to your city during multiplayer affect the main game’s world. It could mean your stats carry over from server to server. It could just be a nod to the way a Grand Theft Auto city is a kind of living, breathing virtual world where sections of the city do their thing whether your character happens to be there at that second to observe them happening, or not.

GTA Online will at least be a very robust multiplayer experience, certainly more than we’re used to from a game like this. Players will also be able to create custom content, though at least for now that looks limited to races and death matches. Rockstar also promises to create new content for GTAO in the months to come, and that could mean more than simple multiplayer conditions. As you advance through the multiplayer world, you’ll gain access to new characters who, at least if the trailer isn’t just splicing in main-game stuff, will be fully voiced, which suggests real missions given to you by scripted characters.

Meanwhile, the money you earn from completing jobs can be used to customize your multiplayer experience. Your multiplayer character can get new outfits, hairstyles, weapons and cars, and as you accumulate wealth you can even buy property, like an apartment in which you and your online friends can actually hang out.

So just how does Rockstar plan to generate revenue from Grand Theft Auto Online? It is proposing a very involved experience the company will maintain independently from the main game. That has to mean some kind of real-world commerce. I wouldn’t be shocked if the promised additional content must be purchased, though maybe we’ll just see a huge number of real world ads all over Los Santos.

The revenue question matters because the official press release says that “The world of Grand Theft Auto online will constantly grow and change as new content is added.” Are there plans to expand beyond what Grand Theft Auto V players get in the main game, perhaps with the inclusion of other San Andreas locations like San Fiero? Will we see the GTA IV version of Liberty City? Or does this simply refer to new multiplayer modes, new missions set within the greater Los Santos region featured in the main game, along with the obvious assumption that all Grand Theft Auto games moving forward will be linked to GTAO?

There’s also the question of platform. GTA V will be out on PS3 and Xbox 360 (and eventually, we assume, PC). Will multiplayer participants be limited to people using the same device, or will they all be linked?

We’ll have to wait just a bit longer to find out. Grand Theft Auto Online won’t launch with Grand Theft Auto V on Sept. 17, but instead becomes available two weeks later.

1) Thanks, Phil Owen.

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25 Comments on GTA V Online: 16 Players, And GTA V Is Only The Beginning


On August 15, 2013 at 9:08 am

As someone who doesn’t own either a Xbox 360 or a PS3 all this is just depressing.

All I can think about watching the trailers and reading the articles is how much better this would be on PC.



On August 15, 2013 at 9:17 am

Im lucky that i own a ps3 (just for ratchet and clank/FF games) so i can buy it smash out the story and return it. get the game out of my system so I can happily wait till the glorious PC release.

I just hope its optimized


On August 15, 2013 at 11:12 am

@stalker @jc

Do any of you remember how GTA IV was on release for pc?……. The game was horrible on pc and only became “decent” because of mods. Get a console and play it how it was meant to be. Consoles are can be had cheap now.


On August 15, 2013 at 11:51 am


The quality of the PC version of Max Payne 3 show that Rockstar can do a good PC version if they want to.

If sub 720p and sub 30 FPS is “How it’s meant to be played” (on a console) then I don’t want to play it.

Also, why would I buy a console at the end of it’s cycle? I have zero interest in any other console exclusive games, there is nothing out there (save for maybe GTA V) that could even remotely convince me to buy a console.


On August 15, 2013 at 12:55 pm

GTA has never sold well on PC, yet almost always seems to set sales records on Playstation. Check the figures for yourselves if you don’t believe me –

No wonder they’re not bothering with a PC port. They know where the money is.

Ron Whitaker

On August 15, 2013 at 1:46 pm

It’s difficult to make a convincing argument that “GTA has never sold well on PC.” This is mainly because people like Steam don’t report their digital sales. Without the numbers from Steam, I’m sure the PC sales of GTA look dismal indeed.


On August 15, 2013 at 2:03 pm

pc. At least with consoles the games are specifically tuned for the specific system. All i ever do with pc games is waste time tweaking and problem shooting. PC’S WERE NEVER MEANT FOR GAMING.

GTA player123

On August 15, 2013 at 2:10 pm

It will be released for PC, its gonna be like when GTA IV and GTA SA came out. The PC versions of these games weren’t announced till 3-6 month game after the game was released. The reason for doing this is so that they can focus on making an excellent console game (good gameplay, graphics and framerate for console). They have built the game up separately and differently on the PS3 and Xbox, so that it can match their hardware. The PC version no doubt will look amazing and it will all have the fun the console has and more fun with the exclusive add on and modifications that are possible…. Just wait at least 3-6 months after Sept 17th and BAM, you will see a PC version.


On August 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm

@Ron – so we should assume that Steam sales are big because we can’t prove they’re small? Sound reasoning, there. Bit like when people say god exists because we can’t prove he doesn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t doubt there’s loads of people who play GTA on the PC. That’s not even mentioning the millions who have probably pirated it. However, when you’re discussing the bottom line, which is what companies have to do when deciding how and where to distribute their products, the ONLY thing that matters is what’s provable. And what’s provable is sales in excess of 41m copies for Sony consoles, plus over three million more for Xbox, compared to some completely undefined number on PC.

Don’t forget as well that Steam was released more than a year AFTER GTA3 was released for PC, and several months after Vice City was released. And yet neither broke a million sales in regular retail copies.

So no, it’s not particularly difficult to make a convincing argument that Rockstar should focus on the console market. In fact, it’s actually almost too easy – the sales data does all the work for me.


On August 15, 2013 at 4:33 pm

@ :P That’s simply because your a console flunky and would say or believe anything that would make it look better in your eye. I am a pc user. I have bought 2 physical copies of GTA: SA, as well as a steam version. I own every GTA made including the top down early version. The problem your not looking at is the fact that pc versions get put out for retail a lot later then the console versions, so a lot of people already own them on a different system. Where as I am a pc only guy and consider consoles to be inferior, not to mention tools of the devil, and should be destroyed at all costs. Therefor I will only buy game for the pc, where others have multiple systems. Digital sales make up a lot of pc sales, even older games. Like I said, I own physical and steam versions. Lot of people buy older games on steam sales. Just cause you don’t want to believe it doesn’t make it not true. Oh yes, I own Vise City on steam as well. Oh gee, but that came out a couple of months after it was released. Think my copy is included in their total? Wise up. You argument is old and dated. Everyone wants to use the same whiney little bit-h about how pc sales aren’t as good. It’s really getting old and has been disproven a number of times. But console flunkies hang on to that tire old argument because they don’t have anything new to offer. Steam is laughing at you all the way to the bank.
@S.T.A.L.K.E.R. I own every Max Payne made, loved 1 and 2, don’t really care for 3 as it lost all touch with who I thought to be Max. That was one of the big complaints about the game, that it wasn’t a Max Payne game. I have yet to finish it cause I didn’t like it. Same with GTA 4. Hated the game. GTA:SA was one of the best games on pc (beaten it over a dozen times), then comes GTA4 which sucked.
Rockstar got where they are because of the pc, and basically have turned there backs on them. Shows the only thing they really care about is the almighty dollar.


On August 15, 2013 at 5:20 pm

@ :P

Funny that you make your claim about the unprovable nature of steam sales, yet you go ahead and make this comment:

” That’s not even mentioning the millions who have probably pirated it.”

Hypocrisy much?

Ron Whitaker

On August 16, 2013 at 5:22 am

@:P – Nowhere did I claim that the sales of GTA on PC were big. All I am saying it that we can’t look at the sales data and say, “Welp, GTA sells like crap on PC.” Just as there’s no data to prove big sales, there’s also no data to prove low sales, either.

Don’t forget that although Steam was released well after GTA 3, they’ve been carrying the older GTA games forever, and that they’re part of nearly every Steam sale. I’d love to see the numbers so we could resolve this with facts, but that’s obviously not going to happen. Until Steam (and every other digital delivery service) starts providing sales data, we simply cannot make informed statements on the number of copies sold on PC. Period.

Also, you might want to revise that Xbox 360 number upward, as GTA4 sold over 10 million copies on the platform – more than on PS3.


On August 16, 2013 at 11:08 am

I hope it will be like a server browser in GTA V where you can just join a server where you have your saved appartment that you bought. also the clothes you’ve bought should be stored in it etc :D


On August 17, 2013 at 3:02 am

This is pretty much the only game of the last couple of years I’m really looking forward to, and it’s not because of the online mode. I don’t think I EVER played online in GTA IV or Red Dead, even though both modes were well received.


On August 17, 2013 at 11:32 am

I got told that It’ll support up to 62 online players?


On August 17, 2013 at 3:31 pm

People actually take all this pride in playing their games on a PC? That’s really kind of pathetic. The fact that there are even arguments console fanboys vs PC master race is unbelievably stupid, and well uhh… pathetic.

Benjamin FranklinV

On August 17, 2013 at 8:54 pm

You guys don’t have no clue what rockstar is running to support all devices to GTAV Online Do you?!! Yes I said It all devices not platforms like Xbox 360, Ps3 , and the almighty PC. GTA V online is probably up and running right now with cloud GPU yes I said it Cloud Gaming But first you have to buy the game to get rights for gta online and they didn’t want to go with PC on September 17 because they are paying lots of money to Microsoft and playstation network to not release it on launch date but til October 1 so nobody s up there programming for gta online with A PC. So there!!!!!!!! PC Your get your release date soon as networks and all the bugs and glitches are cleaned up for play.


On August 17, 2013 at 10:15 pm

Oh, kinda like Red Dead made it to the pc. Oh wait, it never did.:::::”"”"”>>>>>. Just saying.


On August 18, 2013 at 12:19 am

I hope you can rent servers like on BF3. That way, you could weed out the griefers who would just kill you on sight.


On September 11, 2013 at 2:39 pm

An avid rockstar fan, and also a longtime follower of $TTWO stock, I assume that with the loyal fan base rockstar has, and with the dedication they show to constantly creating new content, they can successfully make online a pay-to-play service, with subscriptions at around 5-10 USD Per month. Given the franchise’s mature audience (those of us who can legally buy the game ourselves), i’d say this would be likely to create perpetual revenue for rockstar and owner of upwards of 100 million a year, and that would be a conservative estimate, when you look at the estimated sales and the continuation of this title onto next gen consoles.

Bottom line is, I would personally be as willing to pay for such a massive and diverse online experience as this, as for netflix or spotify. I bet at least 1 in 20 of rockstar’s other customers feel the same. This is the kind of immersiveness i’ve been dreaming of since i started playing computer games 15 years ago.


On September 24, 2013 at 8:53 am

Lol….. ur luck to have a ps3 ? nah ur not. ur console suck ass, BUT ur Lucky they choosed to bring the game out only on a suck @ss console. For that, yes you are very Lucky.


On September 24, 2013 at 8:55 am

and those morons talking about pirated game on PC, they have the same on consoles, idiots, GTA 5 was cracked n hacked on Xbox360 on day ONE,


On September 26, 2013 at 1:13 pm

I think in the end, you will have to rent a server. Buying property in game will be hard if you join another server and someone has the same property as you.

Ron Whitaker

On September 26, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I expect that you’ll have to rent a server, just because the expense of providing 16 player servers to millions of people will pile up fast, and even Rockstar can’t absorb that cost forever.

Of course, they could be planning to make the cost up on microtransactions or expansions to the playable areas.

We’ll see.


On September 27, 2013 at 10:49 pm

every version of GTA on the PC has been better than the consoles minus vice city, that was better on the PS2

PC in general is just better, BUT i bought it for PS3 ill bang out the story mode and then sell it, probably along with my PS3 as it never gets played on, got it super cheap from tesco too, so when i sell it ill easily make money on it xD win win win