Rockstar might bring micro transactions to GTA V
Grand Theft Auto 5 is Rockstar’s newest release in the GTA series, releasing last Tuesday and topping charts and meeting expectations with swiftness and ease. The game hit $1 Billion in sales in only three days and $800 Million of that was from first day sales alone, with a suspected $300 Million from preorders. Grand Theft Auto 5 has been the buzz across every internet platform there is right now and will probably win every award under the sun come time for the VGA’s. But is Rockstar not satisfied with the $1 billion big ones? Could there really be micro transactions coming to Grand Theft Auto 5?
The controversy comes from a reddit post made by user: 1880, speaking in regards to the in game store when opened in a menu, trying to pull a file that aside from the DLC shows 4 “cash cards” that value from $100,000 to $1,250,000. There is a description given for each of the cards that states “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.“
A very worrying description if it entails what it actually implies, and that is: Pay to Win. I’m not talking about your classic Pay to Win scenario either, where if you pay $5 you can have access to a piece of gear that you would normally have to spend a few hours grinding for (See Diablo 3 RMAH). I’m talking about the fact that Grand Theft Auto 5 Online is going to be included for free on October 1st, and have plenty of ways to top leaderboards via heists, stock markets, trading and much more. Now Imagine if you could pay $10 to get 1.2 million in online play as this description suggests, and then tap into the stock market and get the earliest advantage ever. The only benefit to this would be higher scores on the leaderboards and bragging rights, but no matter how casual someone might be playing the game the reality that Rockstar has something like this is terrifying for the future of any AAA game. If Rockstar is willing to do it in a game that they projected to make them $1 billion, who is next? It’s no secret that most games these days are coming out with free to play models and more micro transactions, free to play is simply the newest fad that makes you a shit ton of money.
Reddit user 1880 has pointed out however these might simply be rewards for social club networks in game, or even be something that is just simply being tested and was forgotten. But the harsh reality is that micro transactions are becoming more and more common and gives us humans the instant gratification we want and need. We all want the end game but won’t work from the early game, having access to instant cash packs would not only allow players to make things like stock markets and trading exclusive, it would give them severe advantage over heists and multiplayer deathmatches. With more money, you can buy better and more efficient upgrades for your guns, better upgrades for your cars and better vehicles in general. You can essentially take all the fun out of your game and potentially cause others a lot of trouble with just a few bucks from your hard earned wallet at a time.
There are the possibilities that this could have been a test, could have been something to just leave there and hope someone finds it to rile them up, maybe its just rockstar being very clever. But if it’s true this could damage the image of Rockstar in a few ways, the prospect of microtransactions and a free to play model we most commonly see in smaller iOS and facebook games, EA games and Call of Duty could potentially be coming to the internet’s biggest game at the moment.