At the moment, nothing brings a smile to many gamer’s faces as much as the words ‘Grand Theft Auto‘. On the other hand, nothing brings a frown to many gamers’ faces quite like the words ‘micro-transactions’. So new rumors that Rockstar are going to be boosting their already massive profits by using micro-transactions in Grand Theft Auto Online may leave players with a very odd expression.
According to a NeoGAF forum post, imbedded in the coding of Rockstar’s servers is a file that reveals players may be able to use real world money to buy credit cards in GTA Online. The file reveals that the cards range from an in-game $100,000 to $1,250,000 and each one is accompanied by a caption saying:
“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.”
Perpetuating the rumour, another user supposedly dug deeper into the file and found pictures of the credits cards, the four offenders being the Red Shark Card ($100,000), Tiger Shark Card ($200,000), Bull Shark Card ($500,000) and the Great White Shark Card ($1,250,000).
Interestingly, Rockstar foreshadowed the move in Grand Theft Auto V with a radio station advert promoting each of the cards.
While some micro-transactions have had a habit of not working out, this kind of implementation is now common practice and it is worth keeping in mind that it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As long as GTA Online offers enough chance to make money, leaving the choice of buying in-game currency truly optional, this only needs to be a consideration for players who really do want to purchase the credit cards. It is a system that has worked fairly well on other online services, such as FIFA Ultimate Team, meaning that a transaction is more of a short cut than a mandatory purchase.
That is, if this doesn’t end up being an elaborate ruse created by fans to drum up some noise.
Grand Theft Auto Online will be available to play on October 1, 2013 and is available with every copy of Grand Theft Auto V for free.