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

Grand Theft Auto 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 explains the delay.

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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."

From The Chatty

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    August 15, 2013 12:45 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Why does Grand Theft Auto Online launch two weeks after GTA5?.

    Grand Theft Auto 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 explains the delay.

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      August 15, 2013 1:07 PM

      Though the excuse for a two week delay regarding online seems a bit flimsy, I'm sure it is for the best. I'm more looking forward to the single player experience but multiplayer has been improving in Rockstar games consequently so this should be a good game to jump into online.

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      August 15, 2013 1:12 PM

      Whoa: 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.

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      August 15, 2013 1:24 PM

      Is this a 'don't resell before Christmas, thanks!' type move?

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      August 15, 2013 1:32 PM

      I think its a great idea to release the MP later with this game in particular, and the gradual release of content (assuming it will be free) is also good. Something to keep people coming back to the MP portion as time goes on.

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      August 15, 2013 3:32 PM

      I was going to say because it probably didn't fit on the disc, but it does say a little download which makes that seem unlikely, so my only thought is that it's not quite polished enough and they didn't want to delay the whole game less the gaming community march on Rockstar North's headquarters. (I would have been one marching, just saying)

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      August 15, 2013 3:43 PM

      Hopefully one of the creators is a co-op mission creator. The co-op missions in GTA 4 were a blast playing with friends.

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      August 15, 2013 6:22 PM

      Did I miss something? GTA Online? I've never even heard of that for some reason. I guess I haven't been following GTAV too closely... because I knew the day it was announced that I was going to buy it. What is that? Is it an MMO kind of deal in the game world?

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        August 16, 2013 8:20 AM

        It's um, online multiplayer. No more being forced into a room full of my smelly friends for LAN play!

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      August 15, 2013 7:40 PM

      hope they release it with GTA LAN as well.

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      August 15, 2013 7:59 PM

      Have to keep reminding myself, this is GTA5 Online, not MMO.
      From the article, understandably they want to make Online a "different entity". So it seems likely that will head down a GTAMMO line, while we will hopefully keep getting GTA6+ stand-alone versions also.

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        August 16, 2013 9:12 AM

        To me GTA:O feels like a more fleshed out version of the multiplayer in Red Dead Redemption. RDR had similar structured and unstructured stuff to do like the free roam, gang hideouts and co-op missions.

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      August 15, 2013 8:04 PM

      So is this an "online pass" type of thing? Will it work with rental copies?