Rockstar Games’ decision to delay the release of Grand Theft Auto V’s multiplayer mode, Grand Theft Auto Online, has been known for a while. From previous information we saw that GTA V would be released on September 17th, which it was, and that Grand Theft Auto Online would be scheduled for October 1st, which it still is. Though a lot of people were asking why is Grand Theft Auto Online delayed by 2 weeks, up until now Rockstar Games has remained relatively quiet on that. Speaking with Polygon Rockstar Games’ co-founder Dan Houser spoke about the reasoning behind that 2 week delay.
The first main reason is that Rockstar Games’ believes the single player component is more important and it wants to get people playing that single player before they jump into the multi player.
“I think the well executed multiplayer game clearly attracts a big audience, but it doesn’t attract as big an audience as in a single player game, It just doesn’t do that yet….Not everybody, not even with Call of Duty, not everyone is playing the multiplayer, there’s a huge audience for people who love single-player adventures.”
The second reason behind the delay was that Rockstar Games simply didn’t feel they could complete both the single and multi player components in time for the same release date. Hence they decided to release the more important single player first and have the multi player come after.
“On the practical reasons it was simply on the scale of: ‘Why not simply get these two enormous things done completely at the same time, finished completely seamlessly and in a box? Well, because its nearly impossible. To make games on this scale is very, very hard and anyone you speak to who works on those big games will, if they’re honest, admit that there are a lot of moving parts. So, we were concerned that trying to finish them both for the same day would lead to a compromise in quality. On a practical level, it was very important that they each get a period when they can be really focused on by large numbers of the team to iron out as many problems as possible.”
Image courtesy of Rockstar Games