GTA V maker Rockstar has warned that GTA Online -- the new game's multiplayer mode, which is due to launch today at noon UK time -- could face a bumpy ride as millions of players try to log on all at once.
"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," the developer announced in a blog post. "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 game made a record $800m in its first day on sale, and analysts estimate it's sold over 15 million copies in the last two weeks, creating unprecedented demand for a new online multiplayer game.
"There will be the typical growing pains for an online game, including but not limited to crashes, glitches, crazy bugs, gameplay modes and mechanics that need re-balancing and other surprises!" Rockstar added. "Rest assured we’ll be monitoring and actively doing all we can to smooth such things out as they happen, but we need your help to find them, as well as your feedback to help fine tune all of the game's systems so everything is perfectly balanced."
GTA Online promises a spectacular amount of trouble to get up to with your friends on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. There's the usual races, deathmatches and capture the flag, plus more elaborate multiplayer heist missions and all the sports and activities in the single-player game. Some of these activities won't be available from launch, but added later to keep you interested.
It's all integrated into the main game, with exactly the same huge world to play in. Your customisable multiplayer character will appear in the character-select menu as another option you can switch to whenever you want -- servers permitting, of course. And that character will earn money like Franklin, Michael and Trevor do, with loads of cars and apartments to buy -- even the stock market to invest in. Check out more in Rockstar's trailer:
Are you enjoying GTA V's single player? What are you most looking forward to about multiplayer? Make plans in the comments below, or over on our strictly above board Facebook page.
Update: GTA Online servers are struggling with the launch, but streaming service Twitch.tv shows players connecting and playing.