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article imageRockstar gives Grand Theft Auto V online users stimulus money

By Jenna Cyprus     Oct 25, 2013 in Entertainment
For many American gamers, the federal government isn't the only thing that's shut down. Apparently, even online games fail to address the needs of their users.
Users who tried to access Grand Theft Auto V Online when it made its debut on October 1 (ironically, the same day that the federal government ran out of money) found the service was inaccessible. A friendly but frustrating message was displayed to indicate the obvious: that the service was inaccessible.
Stimulus money
But Rockstar Games, the producer of the open-world hit video game, has decided to make things right. Taking a cue from John Maynard Keynes, the company has decided to pump some stimulus money into its virtual economy.
How will the money be spent? Unquestionably, Trevor will use the money to secure the "rights" to a new drug distribution channel. Franklin will use the money to buy a hot new car. Michael will invest the money in Fruit, Inc.
Gamers, however, have their own options available to them. While it may seem like $500K is a lot of money to people in the real world, to those who dabble in criminal enterprises in Los Santos, it's mere chickenfeed.
High demand
The $500,000 in seed money is Rockstar's way of apologizing to the online gaming community. Better yet, it's Rockstar's way of apologizing to people who wanted to be a part of the online gaming community but couldn't because the service wasn't ready for prime time.
Hey, you can't expect a company that makes $800 million the first day its game is released to anticipate high demand, can you?
In fairness, it should be noted that this is the first time Rockstar has experienced this type of problem. The demand, apparently, exceeded the company's wildest expectations. However, it's a problem that wasn't reported when extremely popular games like Black Ops II or The Last Of Us went live within the past year.
Rockstar pays
"For players who experienced cloud server errors, connection issues, and lost game progress and characters in these first days of GTA Online, we hope this GTA$ helps to facilitate a fresh start or makes your continued life in Los Santos and Blaine County extra sweet," the company stated in a blog post.
The $500,000 in in-game currency is equivalent to $10 in real world money. That's how much it would cost players to buy that much game money. Basically, Rockstar is giving each of its players $10.
The company stated that it will issue the money in two separate installments. It will be given to everybody who has enjoyed Grand Theft Auto V during the month of October and installs an upcoming patch.
Rockstar plans to start doling out the cash as early as this week.
Good news
The news is good PR on the back of even better PR. Just this week, Guinness recognized Grand Theft Auto V as having achieved no less than six new world records, including the best selling game ever made. It was also the fastest game to reach $1 billion in sales.
Grand Theft Auto V is an open-world game set in a fictional city called Los Santos. The game follows the lives of three criminals who work together to perform sophisticated robberies and other covert, typically illegal activities. The game features state-of-the-art graphics and game play. It also features quite a bit more humor than one would expect in a game entitled Grand Theft Auto V.
As of this writing, Grand Theft Auto V is available only for the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. It is expected to be available for the PC early next year.
People who are interested in playing Grand Theft Auto V on the PC should note that it has minimum system requirements. Some gamers may need to purchase additional hardware and download the necessary device drivers to enjoy the game.
photo credit: AXLiberty
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