The publisher of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V), Rockstar Games, implemented several steps in order to placate online gamers over the bugs that were found in the online version of the popular open-world game which was released October 1.
The release of the online version of GTA V two weeks after the launch of its single player mode was met with disappointment by gamers because of the various problems they have encountered while playing. As reported by the BBC, problems that became evident include: screens freezing, slow loading times and an error message, “Rockstar cloud servers unavailable,”.
Rockstar Games immediately tried to placate its followers by offering apologies over what had happened as well as offering some form of “financial compensation” in the form of GTA$ 500,000 for each online player. The amount was deposited in two tranches of GTA$250,000 each and to be credited to the player’s GTA online bank accounts.
Successful Global Release of GTA V
After a series of marketing and promotional hoopla, GTA V was finally released to the public last September 17, 2013. Developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games, the video game series where protagonists are involved in several action-oriented missions debuted to global critical acclaim. An example of this positive reception was the one given by metacritic, where GTA V for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 was given a score of 97 out of a possible perfect score of 100. The rating was based on the review of 49 critics.
According to the review, the positive feedback were driven primarily by the character switching features of GTA V where players can easily change characters for easy exploration of the virtual world as well as help in executing strategies to accomplish a particular mission.
GTA V was reportedly a recipient of seven Guinness World Records which include: “Best-selling action adventure videogame in 24 hours; Best-selling videogame in 24 hours (selling 11.21 units); Fastest entertainment property to gross $1 billion; Fastest videogame to gross $1 billion; Highest grossing videogame in 24 hours; Highest revenue generated by an entertainment product in 24 hours (it managed $815.7 million).”
Massive Open-World Games vs. Sandbox Games
Open-world games where GTA V belongs to allows a player to “visit every single place and explore every little piece of artwork.” says Miguel Antunes. Sandbox games as a concept on the other hand allows the player to create and build on the structures of the game. Although from time to time, both concepts are used interchangeably.
The freedom of the players afforded by these game genres forced many game designers to anticipate what the players will do and therefore the need to be creative and be prepared for those situations. But ultimately the game designers themselves set the rules to put some order while the game is being played.
GTA VI Perhaps?
Despite the technical challenges Rockstar Games is facing with its GTA V and its online version, Rockstar North President Leslie Benzies candidly admitted that ideas are already floating for a possible GTA VI.
But whatever plans Rockstar Games may have for the future, Benzies is right to say that focus on fixing the GTA V bugs must first be done for the benefit of online gamers. After all user satisfaction today will determine the success of any GTA version in the future.
By Roberto I. Belda