If you've been playing Grand Theft Auto V over the past week and have wondered why the “store” is currently empty, or found it particularly hard to earn money in the single player, the reason could be that Rockstar is intending to offer micro-transactions, where you buy in-game cash, with real world cash.
This is a rumour at this point based on some XML digging that a Redditor has done, but it looks like it might be possible to buy between 100,000 in game dollars, all the way up to $1.25 million, all downloaded as “cash cards.” It's not clear from the XML file how much these cards would cost in actual dollars though.
Despite the allusions of the XML digger that this might be applicable to offline play, that would seem rather redundant since you can already collect infinite money through a simple trick. If these cards do end up as buyable for single player though, expect this trick to be patched up in short order.
The thing is though, single player cash cards don't really matter, as they would only affect the person buying them. If cash can be bought in the online world, then it might make balance for online crews somewhat difficult. If you can dump a few hundred dollars in real world money for the best weapons, cars and hideouts in the game, then won't this cause problems in balancing inter-crew wars?
However, there is another potential side to this whole thing which I think is more likely. Rockstar has talked in the past about how players will be able to steal other players cash if they kill them or find their body with wallet in-tact. Perhaps these cash-cards will allow you to store cash on them up to a certain amount and make it so only you can use said card. That way you could walk about with more security. This wouldn't cause problems with multiplayer balance, but would let people have a bit more security for their achievements, as well as giving Rockstar a bit of extra income to continue developing new content.
Whatever it turns out to be however, let's not jump to any conclusions, and give Rockstar the benefit of the doubt. Apart from its lack of love for its PC based fans, Rockstar has always been a pretty fair company with its player base, so it deserves a chance to explain. Let's wait until GTA V Online launches before preparing a lynch rope.
KitGuru Says: There's been a lot of rage over this already which should at least simmer until we know more, but what do you guys think about this potential? Do you like the idea of in-game cash purchases, or would you prefer if it was more like buying a pre-paid debit card that's unstealable.