With the GTA Online gameplay trailer having been formally unveiled earlier today, publisher Rockstar has confirmed the multiplayer platform will not launch until two weeks after the formal release of GTA 5.
With the GTA 5 release date having already been pushed back from its original spring 2013 billing to September 17, Rockstar has now revealed that eager gamers looking to make use of the Grand Theft Auto Online experience will not be able to do so until October 1.
Grand Theft Auto Online will enable 16 person multiplayer gaming action from the virtual streets of Los Santos and will let games fully customise their online characters. Access to GTA Online will come free with each copy of the eagerly awaited GTA 5 game.
Playing down the two week delay between the GTA 5 release date and the launch of Grand Theft Auto online, Rockstar has claimed these unusual launch timings are completely intentional and by no means the results of further schedule slips on a development front.
Speaking with CVG, Leslie Benzies, President of Rockstar North stated that the two week period between the GTA releases is become the game and the online platform are “a different entity, a separate thing.”
Discussing the reasoning he stated: "It'll be GTA Online; it's not part of GTA 5. Obviously it's set in the GTA 5 engine, but it's going to grow and evolve into its own thing."
He added: "Initially, you'll be able to create races and deathmatches, which are probably the simplest. And then, over time, 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.”
Seemingly to give further excuses for what seems to be a simple delay, he went on to add: "That's another reason for the two week delay between single-player and Online. 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."
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