After the unprecedented success of the Grand Theft Auto 5 release, eyes quickly turned to October 1st - when the game's multiplayer component Grand Theft Auto Online was set to launch. Considering that over 15 million copies of the game have sold to date, Rockstar Games previously predicted that players would likely encounter errors in the opening hours of GTA Online availability (especially since the multiplayer component was never opened-up to public beta testing). In order to keep the online component under wraps, along with many of the subsequent gameplay details, the developer had relied on internal testing to prepare for a much larger public launch.
As a result, it should come as no surprise that when Rockstar Games released a new title update for Grand Theft Auto 5 on both PS3 and Xbox 360, which included assets to unlock the GTA Online mode, eager gamers flooded the servers - resulting in a host of connectivity problems and network errors that have left many stuck offline.
To address the (heated) frustration of gamers who somehow expected the launch to go-off without a hitch, the developer has setup a series of support documents to keep players updated on the status of Grand Theft Auto Online as well as address isolated issues that are not the result of the overloaded servers.
Rockstar Games has instructed that any affected players keep an eye on the @RockstarSupport Twitter feed as well as their official GTA Online Launch Status page. Currently, at the time of this writing, the Rockstar Support feed is full of @reply apologies to angry or concerned gamers - accompanied by links to the aforementioned Launch Status page. Still, Twitter users would be wise to keep an eye on the account - since it will likely provide the most up-to-date info once the servers are back up and running.
Nevertheless, gamers will find the following responses to the situation over at the official Rockstar Games support site:
Question: I'm having problems getting into GTA Online! Is there a list of issues Rockstar is looking into, so I can stay informed about the status of fixes for known launch issues?
Answer: We will be updating this page as often as possible with the status of issues we are aware of and looking into. If you would like to receive an automatic email notification whenever major updates are posted, please log into the Support Site and click Subscribe at the top of this page.
- Occasional "Rockstar Cloud Servers Unavailable" error message
- Freezing sometimes while loading into first race in GTAO with "waiting for other players" on the screen
- Intermittent "Failed to Host a GTA Online Session" error messages
- Race Corona (start area, marker) occasionally not showing up for first race
- Errors saying "Timed out when matchmaking for a compatible GTA Online Session to join"
- Occasional errors about jobs failing to start or load
- General issues with the Social Club site and Social Club features (slow loading, failed logins, emails not arriving, etc). For more information on Social Club status, please see: http://support.rockstargames.com/hc/en-us/articles/200357093
We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience while we work to resolve this.
Any players who are experiencing a different issues can check other frequently asked questions over at the page or vent about/discuss the launch problems in the site's Trending Questions which include topics like "Worst Online Launch Ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and "People, chill out. They are working hard."
As previously mentioned, large-scale roll-outs for online modes in Halo 4 as well as other high-profile multiplayer shooters are typically tested in beta first (and built on the foundation and lessons of previous installments). While Grand Theft Auto 4 included a limited online mode, GTA Online has been designed entirely from the ground up and was not tested on a large scale - meaning that even though Rockstar Games likely predicted a massive surge of player interest, they could not know with absolute certainty every problem that the traffic would cause.
For now, there's little (to nothing) that gamers can do to resolve the issues on their own - so it's best to just be patient and enjoy polishing off more single player missions for a while. Even though Rockstar Games is hard at work on stabilizing the multiplayer component, so players can enjoy Los Santos online, it could be several days before the issue is fully resolved - with the possibility that gamers will continue to face sporadic connection issues (especially at peak times) for several weeks. Without question, the developer will get the experience fixed and, despite a stumble out the gate, there's plenty of reason to believe that Grand Theft Auto Online will provide worthwhile and unique multiplayer gaming for years to come - especially considering Rockstar Games has promised that GTA Online will evolve with its players.
Grand Theft Auto 5 is out now for the Xbox 360 and PS3 platforms. Grand Theft Auto Online debuts October 1, 2013.
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Source: Rockstar Games