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Grand Theft Auto V Adds Massive Online Mode

As if there won't be enough to keep you occupied in the single-player story in Rockstar's upcoming Grand Theft Auto V, today the company has announced a massive online mode due to be patched in as a free update coming October 1.  Grand Theft Auto Online allows players to team up with friends and run wild through Los Santos doing pretty much whatever they want: crime, racing, story-based missions, stunts, sports, and all kinds of other things.  It's a persistent world designed to eat your remaining free time.  Here's how the PlayStation Blog describes it:

Players can invest in their character through customizing their appearance, improving their stats, owning customized vehicles, purchasing personal property, and taking part in missions, jobs and activities to earn reputation and cash to open up new opportunities to rise through the criminal ranks. The world of Grand Theft Auto Online will constantly grow and change as new content is added, creating the first ever persistent and dynamic Grand Theft Auto game world.

This sounds like a fun addition to the game, as I'd much rather roam the streets with friends than alone.  It's another ambitious project from Rockstar and I know at this point we wouldn't expect anything less.  I'm especially surprised that it's free to play, as I'd expect something like this to have microtransactions or a recurring fee.  Perhaps it's all part of a gambit designed to keep players from trading the game back to GameStop?  I'll never have the free time required to get the most out of it, but I'm glad to know that it's there and will continue to be developed.  I had a blast with Red Dead Redemption's similar online mode and from the sound of things, GTA's take on the idea is set to be larger, more involved, and much more chaotic.  That sounds like a fun recipe to me!