NEW YORK – Since 1997, roaming the streets of Los Santos looking for the next car to jack has been the favorite activity of millions of gamers. However, the creators of Grand Theft Auto just made the game even more spectacular (for its fans) with the introduction of multi-player online version.
The game, which smashed sales records following the release of Grand Theft Auto V on September 17, took in more than $1 billion in its first three days. Providing its publisher, Take Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO) with a mountain of cash.
According to Take Two, the online version of GTA will be challenging, and several commentators have noted that connection issues have made it difficult to start an online session. In a tweet published on Tuesday by Take Two subsidiary, Rockstar, says that they are working on addressing the issues, which they warned about last week.
‘One thing we are already aware of, and are trying to alleviate as fast as we can, is the unanticipated additional pressure on the servers due to a significantly higher number of players than we were anticipating at this point,’ says a statement from Rockstar. ‘We are working around the clock to buy and add more servers, but this increased scale is only going to make the first few days even more temperamental than such things usually are.’
The launch of the online version is seen as an attempt by Take Two to expand the franchise from a single-player model to a wide, multi-player model. In doing so, developers hope to shift to a subscription revenue structure that could be even more lucrative that the current license, or software, revenue structure. Take Two also announced that they plan to generate revenue from in-game sales.
In a note to clients, Macquarie Capital said that Take Two balanced the design of the micro-transactions in the game; allowing players to progress through the game faster, without requiring them to pay anything in order to have the full game experience.
Shares of Take Two are up almost 65 percent year-to-date.