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Stimulus Package

Grand Theft Auto 5 Online Walkthrough and Guide by CMBF & Dennis (Sanzano)
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Stimulus Package

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UPDATED 15 November 2013: The Stimulus has Arrived!

The long-awaited Stimulus Package has now started to arrive. The placement of $500K in every player's account in the game has started, though the award of the Stimulus funds is not being done as a universal addition - that is to say that all players will not get it at the same time. Rather it is being done in waves.

The first disbursement was expected to be $250K followed by an additional $250K later, but players are reporting having received the entire $500K as a single deposit into their accounts all in one go. Some players have yet to receive their Stimulus payment so some patience is called for.

The Stimulus payment is being granted to all players who played Grand Theft Auto: online during the month of October, and is being offered as a formal apology to those players who were affected by a series of bugs, loading, and game save errors that made playing the game during October 2013 rather something of a problem.

If you played the game during October 2013 you should expect to eventually receive your Stimulus Payment but according to Rockstar this may take a week or more to get to everyone, so please be patient.

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Taking a page from government books on how to so uh-oh, my boo-boo, the wizards at Rockstar have decided that the massive scrum pile that resulted in the initial launch of Grand Theft Auto online was so badly handled that some sort of official "My Bad" was in order.

You may recall that in 2009 the government in the USA decided to enact the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) -- which was basically an Act that was passed into law making supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency, science, and assistance to the unemployed (as well as other specific things).

Most of the serious money distribution took place out of sight of the public and the news media, with the lion's share of the attention being paid to extend unemployment benefits and in direct credits issued to the public via their tax returns, which ARRA added a very nice chunk of folding money that averaged around US$2,500 per tax payer (this took the form of a US$400 direct payment plus US$1000 in child tax credit, and an average US$1100 in something called the Earned Income Tax Credit).

The idea was that the government basically handed out tax credit in the form of a large chunk of cash in the tax payer's annual Income Tax Refund with the idea that they would then rush out to the mall and buy things that they want, thereby giving the economy a boost. Ironically a huge percentage of the folks who received this boon instead used it to pay off their outstanding credit card balances, so the program basically failed to have the positive impact on the retail economy that was hoped for.

The rationale for ARRA actually has its roots in Keynesian Macroeconomic theory -- a theory that was created by the famous British economist and all-around wicked clever individual, John Maynard Keynes -- 1st Baron Keynes, CB, FBA (1883 – 1946).

True Literary (if fictional) Fame
In addition to being something of a brilliant economist, Keynes was paid a singular honor by prolific American mystery writer John D. MacDonald.

In his celebrated Travis McGee mystery series, protagonist McGee has a best-friend & side-kick (and expert consultant) -- Gustav Ludweg Meyer -- who lives aboard his cabin cruiser the John Maynard Keynes, which is housed just a few slips down from McGee's custom-made 52-foot houseboat, The Busted Flush.

Sadly the Keynes ends up being blown up by a bomb in the book Cinnamon Skin, and Meyer replaces it with a new cabin cruiser christened the Thorstein Veblen (also the name of a famous economist).

If you are bored you might like the Travis McGee book series -- they are wicked clever and McGee and his best mate Meyer offer a one-two-bang! combo of humor, action, and adventure. Just saying...

The GTAO Stimulus Package
The massive debacle that was the initial launch of GTAO was so badly managed at least in terms of server availability and game bugs that the wizards at Rockstar made a shocking announcement in mid-October following an additional round of "Opps, Our Bad" posts to the official game forums that an unexpected bonus was in the offing...

In the official "Stimulus Package Announcement" on the Rockstar Newswire Channel the powers that be at Rockstar explained that: ". . . we are planning to provide a special stimulus package for all who have played or will play Grand Theft Auto Online this month" ("this month" meaning in October 2013).

"We will be dropping a cool half a million GTA$ in the GTA online bank accounts of all players this month, starting as early as next week.," the post explained, adding that "In order to keep the current worldwide in-game economy balanced, we will be providing this GTA$ to players via two deposits of $250,000."

Eligibility for award of the Stimulus Package includes the following stipulated conditions:

  • You must play or have played Grand Theft Auto online at any time during the month of October 2013 in order to qualify for the GTA$500,000 deposit in your in-game bank account.
  • Players will first have to install a forthcoming GTAV title update which we expect to happen next week. That title update (1.04) is expected to fix the remaining instances of issues that have caused vehicle purchase loss and will also enable the functionality through which we’ll be providing this GTA$ stimulus cash to players.
  • We will announce at the Rockstar Newswire when each deposit is made.
  • Each of the two GTA$250,000 deposits will be made by Rockstar and should automatically appear in the in-game GTA online bank accounts of eligible players.
  • Beyond downloading the forthcoming title update mentioned above, there should not be any additional special action required by eligible players to redeem.
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Follow-On Information
Shortly after the initial Newswire Post was made, a follow-on post was added as a comment below it on the Newswire page of the following information:

"Hi everyone,

"For those that are still having any technical issues, as mentioned above there is a title update coming next week that will include more fixes including the vehicle loss one – and we will remain committed to continuing to fine-tune the game to address any and all issues to get GTA online running as smooth as possible. Please remember to visit the Rockstar Support site at for the latest info or to report your problem if you don’t see it there.

"For those asking about their lost Characters or rank, those will not be able to be restored so we sincerely hope that this cash stimulus we’re giving out this month will help you get back on your feet or to make your new life in Los Santos & Blaine extra sweet.

"For those asking about other forthcoming GTA online content such as heists, those are indeed in the works and we hope to provide an update with release timing soon.

Thanks all"

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So there you have it, the official info regarding the Stimulus Package. Whether or not this ends up being a good thing remains to be seen, though considering the relative costs of Garages and Safe Houses, the package seems to ensure that every player who played in October will at least have the option of living wherever they choose, and having sufficient storage for their Vehicles (let alone upgrading them any way they like by bloody mike!).

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The Post-Stimulus World

The effect that the GTAO Stimulus package had on the game and its population is an interesting slice of the way that money -- or perhaps it is better phrased a large chunk of money -- can effect people.

When the Stimulus package was first announced it appeared to generate a massive influx of new players in the world of GTAO - players that it is said perhaps a bit unkindly had arrived because of the smell of money -- and even more fascinating, a large influx of Level 1 players who almost immediately started complaining when the money they were expecting did not immediately appear!

The fact that the Stimulus Package was intended by Rockstar to be a useful apology for the problems that plagued the game in the first month of its existence -- problems that we can certainly appreciate since they got in the way of our game play -- which naturally enough was a set of circumstances that the new wave of players could not really appreciate since the vast majority of those issues had been remedied long before they washed ashore on the beaches of San Andreas.

What those new players would do with the money, who could say? They did not have a working knowledge of the game really, so they would not have much of an idea of the best way to use that money. What the veteran players would do with it on the other hand was pretty obvious... In fact a lot of them, rather than sit around and complain about the slow delivery of that reward, were actively working towards banking the additional money that they would need in order to put the Stimulus properly to work.

That is right, you just read that the veteran players were banking additional money in preparation for the Stimulus.

The reason for that is simple: The vets were looking forward to taking the Stimulus and, combined with the money they already banked, using it to purchase a plush crib with the maximum number of car space in its garage and a sweet view of the hills outside of the city - and preferably with a view of The Sign.

Most were looking at Eclipse Towers - but that would set them back $400K and when you think about the amount of money you have to sink into a decent ride, clearly the Stimulus was not going to cover all of the costs of setting yourself up with a plush pad and a decent ride. Nuh uh.

The newbie players thought cars were free -- but the best of the best comes with a price tag and you have to pay it to get -- and keep them. Unless you own those high-end rods you cannot customize them, and what is the point of having a rocket if you can't slap some improvements on it?

All of that costs money -- and while obtaining the highest-cost pad is not really a necessity -- any higher-end piece of real estate that has the two important -- some say key -- features will do. What are the two key features? A 10-car Garage and the Office that will be used for planning Jobs in the future.

Other expenses include alternate rides -- it might be nice to have a company jet or speedboat, right? And then there is unlocking and obtaining the full arsenal of Weapons.

As if all of that was not enough, you still need a chunk of working capital in the bank to cover necessary expenses -- like putting a Bounty on some of the newby annoyances, we're just saying.

Enjoy your Stimulus!

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