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Rockstar reveals official schedule and details for GTA Online

In a recent post on their official News Wire site, Rockstar Games has detailed vital info on GTA Online including the launch timeframe, content offerings, and more.

GTA OnlineGTA Online is Rockstar’s answer to Grand Theft Auto V‘s online multiplayer, but this time around the studio is pushing the boundaries to meld the realms of singleplayer and multiplayer together to bring a seamless experience. The mode will feature classic competitive-style matches and content while also containing cinematic-style missions that players will be able to enjoy with other members of their crew.

The Rockstar Social Club will be heavily involved in GTA V‘s online multiplayer, and gamers will be able to tackle a growing library of content from heists and jobs to standard deathmatches, races, and much more.

GTAOnline Copter

GTA Online is included free with every copy of GTA V, and players will be given access via a small content update which is slated to roll out today at 7am EST for both Xbox LIVE and the PlayStation Network. To jump into the action after the update is finished, you can get access to the online mode by pressing Start and navigating to the “Online” pane, which is thus far been blanked out–but will be available once the update has been downloaded.

Rockstar also says that the update might be a bit late or that they may run into roadblocks–ie server congestion, etc–so the best way to keep informed is to stay connected via their Facebook or Twitter feeds, where they will update gamers as progress is made.

The studio has also revealed that the events of GTA Online will be a prequel of those in GTA V, which will take place a “few months” before the main game’s storyline. Players will be able to interact with the city of Los Santos and take part in missions for recognized characters from the story–including Franklin’s homies Stretch and Lamar.

GTAOnline Stretch & Lamar

Rockstar also affirms that their micro-transaction feature with GTA$ currency isn’t going to “disrupt the playing field”, and is merely an option for those who want some instant gratification. All gamers will have to work towards the same goals, however, and everyone will have to level up and grind the same way:

“All players still have to rank up with Reputation Points (RP) in order to get access to purchase high-end items.  No one can begin GTA Online and simply spend a lot of money out of the gate to get a leg up.

“You will have to earn your stripes and play to unlock access to the aspirational clothes, guns and other items. Please also remember that in GTA Online, hustling to afford the finer things by earning GTA$ doing robberies, stick-ups, winning races and other profitable activities is a fun gameplay experience rather than ever being a ‘grind’.

“As we mentioned on Wednesday, we will constantly tweak all areas of the game to make it play fairer and iron out any balancing problems (while fixing all the other problems we encounter!), but we really need your help in figuring out what those issues are. So please work with us on that!”

GTAOnline Destruction

We reported a bit ago that at its launch, GTA Online will feature some 500 missions and activities to enjoy and will be constantly updated with new content on a regular basis. Rockstar has underlined this in the news post as well, underlining that the multiplayer mode is a major long-term goal and that they aren’t going to abandon it any time soon:

“Grand Theft Auto Online is a long-term GTA experience that you can expect to be built-upon, to grow and to evolve in many ways in the coming weeks, months and beyond. As part of that, there will be a massive amount of Jobs available to play over time as we will be regularly adding new ones for you to enjoy.

“Additionally, you will soon be helping to add content to the game world yourselves, by creating custom Race and Deathmatch Jobs through the Content Creator tool which we plan to release this fall. Grand Theft Auto Online is a collaborative project between Rockstar and all GTA players worldwide, so expect that we’ll effectively be working on it together from day one.

“As a very small example, the Crew Hierarchies feature that was introduced a few weeks back on Social Club was a direct result of popular fan feedback from last year – and we’ll be looking at the GTA Online community’s feedback, input and ideas constantly to help inform how the game itself will grow and evolve.”

GTAOnline Cops

To shape their definitive online experience, the studio will be monitoring feedback from the gaming community as a whole. In a sense, the early GTA Online offering is an open beta test of sorts, wherein all players will be able to submit their opinions to various sources about what they do and don’t like about the game.

All players are encouraged to regularly submit feedback via e-mail to [email protected] or via the GTA Online Suggestion Box board that will be available via the Social Club Forums. Active participants will help model and mold the online experience, and it’s great that Rockstar is fashioning this wholly new and dynamic experience for the benefit of the gamers.

Be sure to head on over to the Newswire post for more information, and we’ll see you on the crime-filled streets of Los Santos when GTA Online is live! In the meantime, check out the GTA Online gameplay trailer below or visit our recent coverage for extra updates.

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Derek Strickland
Derek is an avid fan of gaming and everything geeky, and is compelled to make his mark in the field of games journalism. When he's not gaming on a console (everything from SNES to X360) you can find him reading about ancient civilizations or enjoying a fantasy epic or two.

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