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GTA Online will be heading down the slippery slope of microtransactions for in-game cash

As I type this, my Xbox is on and I’m waiting for some in-game time to pass so I can check my stocks. I beat GTA after a couple marathon sessions last week, and now I’ve spent all of my time trying to manipulate the LCN market. That’s the one that is controlled by the single player campaign (BAWSAQ is tied to the playerbase logged into their Rockstar Social Club accounts). 

After dropping a couple mil on the assault chopper, then blowing up opposing AirEMU after investing in FlyUS, I couldn’t find any drastic swings in the in-game economy, so I’ve been trying a few other things. To get specific, I’m seeing AUG Insurance drop after going on rampages and destroying tons of cars. I buy low, and then after a few in-game days, it seems to normalize at a few 100% increase. I’m double checking everything now. 

So yeah, I got off track there, but the meta game in GTA after you beat it and do the side stuff, is making tons of cash. As I said to a few of my MiddleEasy compatriots – I refuse to step foot on that golf course until I own it. That is my cross to bear. But something wicked is brewing, I fear.

As if GTA couldn’t make more money, it looks like our playing time will be absolutely sullied by in-game microtransactions for cash in Grand Theft Auto Online, which will launch on October 1st barring any server issues. I really, really don’t like this. I hate the ‘pay to win’ formula, and while I know cash will be mostly for aesthetic purposes, I was really looking forward to becoming a millionaire amongst my peers. This was discovered by Reddit user 1880 in the game’s XML files. Click that link for even more info. Back to my rant.

Does this mean the only purpose of GTA Online is purely to get up your XP? If GTAO is going to be the living and breathing world they crack it up to be, why would they allow the player base to buy this cash? It defeats the purpose of the entire experience in my opinion. And on top of that, you know there’s some rich stock market dude out there in real life who will drop a grand of real cash to become a billionaire in GTAO, then manipulate the stock market however he wishes. It’s foolish.

These online experiences are as much about the level as it is the status items. Take World of Warcraft for example: I can tell how lucky (or badass) someone is by seeing their rare mount. They put in the work for something awesome and now they can show it off. Also using WoW as an example, once you could buy mounts and other impressive items, it kind of got boring. Let the players create a real world by allowing them to chase after the carrot on the stick, not by letting them eat as many carrots as they can afford.

I know what you’re going to say “well, just don’t buy the cash.” Sure, that’s the easy answer, but if I put in 15 hours, and little Jimmy with his mom’s credit card has a baller mansion and golf course membership after 30 minutes, well, it kind of takes me out of the game. Then GTAO becomes like GTA IV and Red Dead combined, which is great, and we’re going to have a lot of fun with it, but it’s not special. It just is what it is; another game, another dollar.

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