Yesterday saw the launch of the online option of Grand Theft Auto 5. The video game is famous for its massive open world where you can literally do whatever you want; whether it’s going to the gym, robbing a bank or stealing and driving a tank from the army. A new ‘mode’, the online aspect is another bow to the already successful series. However, hundreds and thousands of fans were left disappointed yesterday with many facing error messages, screen freeze and slow loading times when they tried to play it online.
A veteran gamer, I can confidently say the increased and improved; map-size, graphics and overall gameplay surpass all previous versions. This is one of the reasons it sold 15 million copies in its first week. The online mode is a big draw for gamers and a contributing factor to its unprecedented success.
In the week leading up to the launch, the game producer Rockstar acknowledged that due to the size of the game there would be potential bugs and glitches. But even they did not expect the incredible success of sales and pre warned that there may be issues with the online version. With an estimated 2 million users trying access the game online in its first 24 hours, Rockstars game servers were close to breaking point.
Rockstar were caught unaware by the games popularity and have never had an online option for a game of this size. To put it into context, GTA IV sold 1 million copies in its first week, this sold 15 million. This will be Rockstars most ‘internet-traffic’ intensive game ever, and combined with the apps and online resources one can access from within the game, it was bound to cause problems and bottlenecks.
Even while frantically adding more tin to their infrastructure in an attempt to cope with the volume of users, they still expect ‘a more temperamental than usual’ gaming experience for the first week or two. I’m excited to try the game online, but by the response I’ve been getting since the release, it looks like I’ll have a wait yet. Thankfully for Rockstar, I doubt a week of delay here will make a dent in the customer satisfaction, given the reputation of the series.