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The Internet Games

GTA Online Runs Into an Online Roadblock 102

Posted by samzenpus
from the bumpy-road dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "CNET reports that Grand Theft Auto Online, the biggest entertainment release of the year with more than $1 billion in annual sales, is having some trouble getting the gamers online. The title, which launched on game consoles Tuesday morning, is experiencing server issues that have locked out some gamers and made it difficult for those who have gotten in to play the game. Fifteen million people purchased the game when it was released last week — and any number of them could play online when that 'perk' becomes available on October 1. 'At a conservative estimate I would expect about two million players to log on to GTA Online within the first 24 hours,' says Keza MacDonald, UK games editor for IGN.com, the video game and entertainment site. 'Rockstar has never done an online game of this scale before, so they are totally unproven in terms of their network infrastructure.' Rockstar, the game's creator, said that it was doing all it could to buy and access servers to accommodate what was expected to be massive demand for its online title. Meanwhile Twitter is abuzz with complaints from gamers who say they can't get into the service."
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GTA Online Runs Into an Online Roadblock

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  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday October 02, 2013 @09:09PM (#45021683)

    All would be forgiven if the Rockstar equivalent of a 404 for multiplayer was a gang of hookers appearing suddenly and beating you down until you died.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by LordLucless (582312)

      CAD's already been there [cad-comic.com]

    • by Narcocide (102829)

      Yes, and then if the connection randomly resumes while you're being beaten down, cops could show up and arrest all the hookers and some EMTs could come by and revive you/apply first aid, then they all walk away like nothing ever happened. Brilliant.

  • Newsworthy? (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheRon6 (929989) on Wednesday October 02, 2013 @09:13PM (#45021701)
    Day one server issues for a AAA release??? STOP THE PRESSES!
    • by PopeRatzo (965947)

      This is the week for major online releases having issues, I guess.

    • Re:Newsworthy? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday October 02, 2013 @10:11PM (#45021991) Homepage Journal

      Sheesh, you kids...

      The problem is it's too cloudy today. Half a bajillion people trying to play on one server and it won't work?

      Back in the day when we were playing Quake we ran our own servers, and QuakeSpy (later GameSpy) made it easy to find and connect.

      But back then we actually BOUGHT games rather than renting them. DRM killed gaming for me (and company servers are indeed DRM).

      I miss it. The corporofacists ruined it for me.

      • by DeVilla (4563)

        I second this. Add to it that companies do Steam only releases. I can't buy games for the kids and let them all play different games at once on less I create a separate account for each game. (Even for single player games!) I have 3 computers but the kids have to serialize game time.

        This call-home DRM only makes PC gaming worse. The publishers say piracy is what is killing their market. At this point I wouldn't cry if it would finally just die. Then they might be replace by something that doesn't pu

        • by Anonymous Coward

          go into offline mode and play to your heart's content.

          • by asdf7890 (1518587)
            That works for many thing, but not games with online interaction or access to other online resource. While some will ignore Steam once lanuched and implement their own communication to the outside worlds, some will expect you to reconnect your Steam account before enabling online features (or running at all).
        • by PingSpike (947548)

          I thought they were working on a feature that allows you do this...again like in the good old days, kind of.

          http://store.steampowered.com/sharing/ [steampowered.com]

          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            I thought they were working on a feature that allows you do this...again like in the good old days, kind of.

            http://store.steampowered.com/sharing/ [steampowered.com]

            That only really gives access to your account to someone else without giving them your password.

            While they're using it, someone else can't log into the same library. And if you log into your account, the other guy's game ends.

            It's all or nothing, unlike say what was the original proposal for the Xbox One. (Funny how that was so derided...).

            • by Gibgezr (2025238)

              hmm, that's not the way this family sharing feature was described in the email Valve sent me. They claimed I was only sharing that particular game, not locking out my library. Supposedly I will be able to play any of the other games in my library without interfering with the loaned-out game(s).

        • by phorm (591458)

          I've noticed that GoG [gog.com] is carrying some newer (released in the last 12-18 months) games these days, including ones I had only previously seen on Steam.
          Not everything of course, but there's some decent stuff on there and no DRM.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          This call-home DRM only makes PC gaming worse. The publishers say piracy is what is killing their market. At this point I wouldn't cry if it would finally just die. Then they might be replace by something that doesn't punish the consumer.

          They call 'em consoles.

          And piracy does affect the market - you're looking at 90+% piracy rates in both Android and PC markets. For some, that really kills RoI - and it leads to crappy-ass PC ports of games because there's no money in it. The two biggest (or used to be) PC o

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          The publishers say piracy is what is killing their market.

          Yes, they do, but research doesn't.

      • by Ash Vince (602485) *

        Back in the day when we were playing Quake we ran our own servers, and QuakeSpy (later GameSpy) made it easy to find and connect.

        I think back then though most online gamers were more trust worthy. I used to play Quake and then Unreal Tournament online and never remember people cheating as being much of an issue whereas now without things like punkbuster and VAC there just seem to be too many damn cheats. I think if we moved back to hosting your own server for this sort of stuff you would find too many people just moving from server to server cheating until they got kicked.

        Then there is the other problem which I have run into recently

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          I mean when you buy something it's yours -- you can resell it or give it away. Can you still do that? If not, you didn't buy anything, you paid for a service.

          • by Ash Vince (602485) *

            I mean when you buy something it's yours -- you can resell it or give it away. Can you still do that? If not, you didn't buy anything, you paid for a service.

            Ok, I understand more what you mean now. Although in this case I think I still bought something, it's just what I actually bought is a single user license for something. I would not use the word rent though since the licence never expires.

    • by jd2112 (1535857)

      Day one server issues for a AAA release??? STOP THE PRESSES!

      I'm sure that no matter how bad Rockstar messes this up it will be infinitely better than EA on a well-executed release.

    • Re:Newsworthy? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Chuck Chunder (21021) on Wednesday October 02, 2013 @10:56PM (#45022179) Homepage Journal

      Day one server issues for a AAA release??? STOP THE PRESSES!

      I think it is newsworthy. While it is inevitable from a technical perspective it seems strange to me that companies (whether Apple or Rockstar) aren't more creative at managing the demand side so that people don't have a bad experience.

      How about:
      1) Conservatively work out how many people you expect you can serve.
      2) Auction off that many "Early Access" entry tokens with the proceeds going to charity.
      3) Continue to sell more tokens (again with proceeds going to charity) for the rest of the week as you find you have spare capacity and work out any bottlenecks.
      4) Let everyone in.
      Everyone wins. Company gets good press rather than bad, people super keen to access the content get a good experience and a charity gets some resources.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        I think it is newsworthy. While it is inevitable from a technical perspective it seems strange to me that companies (whether Apple or Rockstar) aren't more creative at managing the demand side so that people don't have a bad experience.

        Except well, Rockstar KNOWS how big demand was - GTA V was released last week, in September. GTA Online opened earlier this week.

        In the first three days, it made over a billion dollars.

        You have SOLID numbers of how many people have your game. You also have reasonable guesses

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Day one server issues for a AAA release??? STOP THE PRESSES!

      We sold 10 million copies in the first 24 hours ... but a week later we were shocked that more than a few dozen of them went online! We honestly didn't think anybody had Internet connections these days!!

    • Oh god, the horror!
  • GTA V wasn't released this Tuesday *or* last week. It was released more than two weeks ago. The online component went live (well, theoretically) Tuesday (yesterday).

  • After all, if nobody wants it, the servers wouldn't be slammed and hard to get to.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 02, 2013 @10:01PM (#45021947)
    From Wikipedia article on Grand Theft Auto 5:
    "The game includes a multiplayer mode, Grand Theft Auto Online, which allows up to 16 players to freely roam a recreation of the single-player setting. Players can cooperatively engage in various activities, such as races and bank heists. "

    From Rockstar Games (http://www.rockstargames.com/V/GTAOnline):
    "Access to Grand Theft Auto Online is free with every retail copy of Grand Theft Auto V and launches on October 1st"

    The CNET article is horrible by trying to slant an angle that Grand Theft Auto Online is a separate game from GTA5. Its not. Its a multiplayer aspect to GTA5 which is running into issues. Not a separate game, a feature of an existing game not working as expected. End of story. On the Slashdot editing front, Grand Theft Auto online did not make $1 billion in annual sales, GTA5 did. FTFA: "GTA Online's launch comes a couple of weeks after Rockstar started selling Grand Theft Auto V. That title has become the biggest entertainment release of the year, generating more than $1 billion in annual sales".

    On the plus side, thanks for the heads up GTA Online is now available.
    • by Espectr0 (577637)

      The CNET article is just fine, read properly: "ACCESS to Grand Theft Auto Online..." doesn't suggest that it's a different game, rather it means access to the multiplayer component (which is called GTA Online"

  • In hindsight, Rockstar probably shouldn't have decided to split the costs of a datacenter with healthcare.gov.

    I hear they're having some weird server issues, too. GTA players are signing up for the bronze healthcare plan, hoping that if they do well enough on it the game will bump them up to silver or gold. And uninsured people are signing up for catastrophic care plans that teleport them to the nearest hospital and take away their guns when they get hurt.

  • Not so bad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dadelbunts (1727498) on Wednesday October 02, 2013 @10:44PM (#45022113)
    Its not THAT bad. I have been playing since yesterday. Was just playing with 3 friends of mine. Have been in huge 8vs8 battles. Never a spot of lag while playing. Got disconnected a couple of times AFTER my missions or deathmatches were done yesterday. I think the problem most people are having is actually getting past tutorial mission. Two million people, all trying to do the exact same mission. Once you get past that its basically smooth sailing tho.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Why should it matter what mission you're on. Does only one server handle one type of mission? Would that be to reduce asset costs in terms of memory usage?

  • .. then again, maybe not.

    Then again, how about merging the two - one player builds and manages the city, the other takes advantage of the populace...

  • If Rockstar can't do it smoothly, what did you expect from the other major rollout [nytimes.com]?

  • Protip: The Internet is a Decentralized Network, built to withstand thermonuclear war, with packets routed around cities mere moments after disappearing from the grid... And you fucking morons built a centralized service atop it? Even though specific end user machines could have downloaded world state and served the bandwi-- Wait, you built the whole gods damned web as centralized?

    Just--gahhh. What Lamers. I'm out.

  • by cphilo (768807) on Thursday October 03, 2013 @02:05AM (#45022753)
    No wonder I am having a hard time logging into healthcare.gov to look at my (probably) new insurance. All the bandwidth is being sucked up by GTA5, because they both launched the same day.
    • by DarthVain (724186)

      Also the REAL reason government shut down.

      Everyone wanted to play GTA5 rather than go to work.

  • by codepigeon (1202896) on Thursday October 03, 2013 @08:24AM (#45024029)

    The bottleneck is at the point of where you make your first connection to the online service. Everyone is required to do a set of tutorial missions before joining the real servers.

    They have it setup like an mmo where the missions are instances. Once you FINALLY get past the tutorial there are almost no problems. In fact, the lobbies I played in where not even full.

    That first tutorial instance is the problem.

    • I kept deleting the title thing from the HD, and it still wouldn't work. Didn't realize they install game updates and not just saves there as well.

  • by ledow (319597)

    Honestly, how hard can it be?

    We can farm out a thousand servers to run a website. Don't. Have them be connection brokers.

    Design an image for a server that boots, automatically announces itself to the connection brokers, and gets a unique name back.

    Now every time you go over the capacity of your own datacentre, spin up that image on a few hundred Amazon/Azure/Whatever servers. In fact, for every two instances outside that you spin up, take off one of the internal ones so you have spares, have enough bandw

  • GTA has an online mode? I guess that is why there was an update the other day. Ho hum. Well, you guys have fun on your online racing. I've no interest whatsoever in GTA online.
  • The game has a stock exchange whose price movements are affected not only by your actions locally but by other players' actions globally. Needless to say, trading and obtaining price quotes requires a connection to the GTA servers. Interesting idea but you that money is locked up if you can't connect to the servers. I stupidly had invested everything in this market and couldn't pull out the money I needed to complete a mission. It did come back online after an hour but it'll be a while before I do that agai
  • by denmarkw00t (892627) on Thursday October 03, 2013 @03:57PM (#45029781) Homepage Journal

    If the government had stayed open. Nearly a million federal workers suddenly found themselves on furlough, so what better to do than hop on GTA Online?

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