If a recent discovery by a Reddit user is correct, Rockstar Games and Take-Two may be kicking around the idea of monetizing Grand Theft Auto Online (the upcoming online component to Grand Theft Auto V) by letting players purchase in-game cash using real world money.
While messing around with a copy of Grand Theft Auto V, Reddit user “1880” noticed that the store section in the pause menu of the game requested a particular XML file each time the user opens it up. Digging through the contents of this file resulted in references to the downloadable content from the special editions of the game and four “cash cards” in $100K, $200K, $500K, and $1.25 million denominations.
Each of the references to “cash cards” was followed with this description:
“Cash is king in this town. Solve your money problems and help get what you want across Los Santos and Blaine County with the purchase of cash packs for Grand Theft Auto Online. All purchased cash is automatically deposited into your character’s bank account. Spend wisely, cash therapy is fleeting.”
The idea of allowing players to purchase in-game cash using real money is nothing new, but it could have undesirable consequences when a major aspect of the online game seems to be accumulating and spending virtual currency.
It is important to keep in mind that Take-Two has not yet detailed how (or even if) they plan to monetize Grand Theft Auto Online, so all of this is very far from being official. Even if the information in the file turns out to be accurate, the “cash cards” reference could simply be bits of left over text that never make their way into the final product. Basically, all of this should be taken with a grain of salt until we hear something from the publisher.
With the October 1st launch of Grand Theft Auto Online coming up fast, we should get the official details about the mode in the near future. As soon as Take-Two releases any additional information we will let you know.