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Rockstar issues Grand Theft Auto Online 'growing pains' warning

By Gregor Cubie |

October 1, 2013 | 3 min read

Rockstar, the company behind the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) video games, has warned that their GTA Online experience, which launches today, could be prone to glitches and other “Growing Pains” in its early life.

Game designers foresee minor difficulties due to a combination of the pressure phenomenal user demand will place on their servers, and their ambitious plans for fluid content creation.

A statement on Rockstar’s website said: “There will be the typical growing pains for an online game, including but not limited to crashes, glitches, crazy bugs, gameplay modes and mechanics that need re-balancing and other surprises!”

As a point of reference, the statement made joking reference to a peculiar glitch in the company’s earlier title Red Dead Redemption, which created a hybrid of a donkey and a human woman, which characters were able to ride.

Other details to emerge last night included the revelation that content development for GTA Online will be driven by user feedback:

“The ultimate shape of GTA Online will be determined as much by you, the player, as by the work we put in. What you like and don’t like, what you play and what you want will determine how the game develops and what it turns into.

“The first couple of weeks we expect to be heavily focused on tuning the experience as it goes from internal testing to the reality of being played by tons of people in the real world so that all the usual teething problems for an online game are overcome. We hope it will all run incredibly smoothly, but please bear with us if it doesn't, and help us fix any and all problems!”

These problems stem largely from the fact that Grand Theft Auto V has exceeded even the expectations placed on it as the most anticipated video game of all time, selling $1 billion within its first three days, making it the fastest selling entertainment product in history.

“One thing we are already aware of, and are trying to alleviate as fast as we can, is the unanticipated additional pressure on the servers due to a significantly higher number of players than we were anticipating at this point – we are working around the clock to buy and add more servers, but this increased scale is only going to make the first few days even more temperamental than such things usually are.”

GTA Online will use the same basic gameplay features, geography and mechanics as Grand Theft Auto V, but will give players the opportunity to collaborate on missions, compete in challenges (sporting and otherwise), or simply rampage through the vast GTA universe on a massive crime spree.

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