Originally the plan was going to be to come home from the office a little earlier than usual, hop on GTA Online and then when I finally had enough, watch Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. while passing out for the night. Luckily, work got in the way and I wasn’t able to leave early as I saw Twitter exploding with #GTAOnline and #GTAProblems along with not very positive feedback. There was no way it could be that bad, right?
I hop on, choose four random grandparents that result in a character that actually look somewhat like me (and according to this equation, I am 1/4 black which is unexpected) and sign into the game server. Well, I attempted to sign on to the game server. It ended up taking three tries before I finally got in. Once finally in the game, I got the intro cut scene with tutorial messages as a familiar face drove me to the first mission. As I stepped into the first mission, the game got stuck on a “Searching for player” screen that I couldn’t exit. Start, Back, B. All of the go to buttons did nothing. So I hit the home button and went back out to the dashboard and restarted the whole game.
After the traditional Grand Theft Auto V bootup, five minutes later I have entered Online and the exact same error occurs. I decide to give it one last shot and do the full on reset, reload and sign on to not make it into the very first mission of Grand Theft Auto Online on its launch day.
So that whole theory I had has seemingly gone away. It’s pretty impossible for a game to take over my life if I never get to actually play it. To be blunt, this is the first time I have been disappointed in Rockstar. The iFruit app was a joke that I never took seriously and probably the idea of someone in marketing and not the actual development team. But those names that scrolled across the intro scenes when I finally logged in, those are the people I am disappointed in. Don’t get me wrong, there are times I didn’t enjoy a Rockstar game as much as some other people did but this one was a letdown. Four years and $280 million in development and then an influx of $750 million in profit in its first week and they can’t get servers working properly. Now the argument will probably be made that they didn’t know how many people to expect to sign on in its first day to which I call bulls**t.
They knew how many people bought the game. They know how many of those accounts are online. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out a damn high percentage of those plan on playing Grand Theft Auto Online. And if you can’t handle the server load, delay the launch. Make me wait for a good experience than taint my perception with a bad one. Just the fact that I have spent more time writing about Grand Theft Auto Online tonight rather than playing it is a pretty bad way to have a launch.