Why does Grand Theft Auto Online launch two weeks after GTA5?

Grand Theft Auto Online launches on October 2--two weeks after the release of Grand Theft Auto 5. And while the multiplayer mode is included free with the base game, the separation of the two seemed a bit odd. Rockstar North Leslie Benzies explained that while Rockstar could have shipped GTAO on the disc, the scope of single-player encouraged separating the two products. "We want to give people an opportunity to actually get their heads around what's happened, because even single-player is a big advancement from the old games. There's a lot of new things to learn," he explained.

For Benzies, he wants Grand Theft Auto Online to be considered its own game. "We want it to be known as a different entity, a separate thing, and it'll grow on its own. It'll be GTA Online; it's not part of GTA V," Benzies told CVG. "Obviously it's set in the GTA V engine, but it's going to grow and evolve into its own thing."

After the two week wait, a "tiny download" will unlock access to Online. Then, an extra character will appear on the Switch Wheel. "Instead of choosing Franklin, Michael or Trevor, you'll select your multiplayer character and you'll be sucked straight in there," Benzies explained.

Evolution is key to any online experience, and that's precisely what Rockstar plans on doing with GTAO. At launch, the creation tool will only let players create their own races and deathmatches. However, "when we feel comfortable that people are ready to get the new creators, they will be released. So it'll be a trickle, but it'll be a constant release of new creators and new content. We don't want to overdo it. It's a complex system. That's another reason for the two week delay between single-player and Online."