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Grand Theft Auto Online details announced by Rockstar, spending real-money is optional 

Grand Theft Auto Online details have been announced by Rockstar, some will sound familiar while others focus on microtransactions and its roll out.

According to the a blog post on the firm's website, not only will GTA Online "be something brand new" for the developer but the "fully realized and living world" will continue to grow and take shape over time.

"The ultimate shape of GTA Online will be determined as much by you, the player, as by the work we put in," said Rockstar. "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.

"Everything we do will be informed by feedback from you all – from the types of missions that roll out to all kinds of future content. We are planning for a constant stream of new content, tweaks and updates in the weeks and months ahead."

For the first couple weeks of launch, the firm will focus on "tuning the experience as it goes from internal testing to the reality of being played by tons of people in the real world.

This will help ensure that "the usual teething problems" for an online game are overcome and once that happens, new content updates will be released as well as the ability for user to make their own content.

The first step is to make sure there will be enough servers, so expect the first few days to be a bit "temperamental".

Here’s a rough overview of what you can expect on day one as well as initial details about how the GTA Online world will evolve:

The Launch of Grand Theft Auto Online: From launch, up to 16 players can enter the world together to partake in everything from:

Open-World Crime and Chaos: Go on your own or round up your friends to explore the open world together – catch a movie, go mountain biking, hit the shooting range and much more. Want to test the law? Knock over a convenience store, take down a gang or rob an armored truck for easy cash and Reputation.

Races: Everything from classic street competition and off-road tracks to boat racing on the open ocean, or take to the skies in aerial events. Jump into the madness of a GTA Race, or try out a brand new race type, Rally, where driver and co-pilot work together to navigate treacherous courses at high speeds.

Sports: Join your friends / any random stranger for a game of tennis, a round of golf or go base jumping and more, all for cash and Reputation.

Customization: Create your character using the Character Creator – then earn some cash and spend it getting dressed for success. You can also collect and customize cars for your garage and personalize your full weapons cache.

Growing Pains: 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! Even in GTAV Story Mode, some of you may have seen a few odd and even amusing little glitches out there last week. This sort of thing is inevitable in a massive open-world game and there’ll surely be lots more unexpected oddities like this in the Online world next week – rest assured we’ll be monitoring and actively doing all we can to smooth such things out as they happen, but we need your help to find them, as well as your feedback to help fine tune all of the game's systems so everything is perfectly balanced.

Rockstar also listed a preliminary list of planned content updates for the first few weeks of launch: The Content Creator, a Beach Bum Pack, Capture the Flag, Heists, and more free updates.

This is how monetization will work, via the Reputation and cash system.

Reputation is earned from everything you do in GTA Online and you will earn cash doing what you do in the game. You can accumulate cash through profitable activities or you can choose to buy denominations of GTA$. The option to purchase GTA$ will be available through the in-game store.

"The economy have been designed and balanced for the vast majority of players who will not buy extra cash," said Rockstar. "There is no in-game paywall and nothing that should disrupt the balance of the game.

"You don’t have to spend real money to attain the cars, guns, clothes, flash and style of a high-roller in Los Santos, but can if you wish to get them a little quicker. The economy is balanced differently from the single player economy, and cash earned in one cannot be taken over to the other.

"Most players will earn cash much faster Online than in Story Mode."

Earlier today, Eurogamer spoke to people with early access to GTA Online, who told the site there will be GTA Online currency cards, with the following UK prices:

- $100,000 Red Shark Cash Card – £1.99
- $200,000 Tiger Shark Cash Card – £3.49
- $500,000 Bull Shark Cash Card – £6.99
- $1,250,000 Great White Shark Cash Card – £13.49

You can find out more on Grand Theft Auto Online through the links.

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