Rockstar currently has no plans to sell Grand Theft Auto Online, the "persistent online world" that's built in the engine for and included with Grand Theft Auto 5, as a separate package, a representative for the company told Polygon.
"We don't have any plans to sell GTA Online separately," the spokesperson wrote. "It will come free with every copy of GTA V and doesn't require a code, online pass, or anything like that."
Though Grand Theft Auto Online — which launches Oct. 1, two weeks after GTA 5's Sept. 17 release date — will be updated with new content and features like player-made content after its launch, this comment seems to rule out the possibility of the online mode getting its own, standalone release.
In a CVG interview published shortly after this morning's reveal of Grand Theft Auto Online, Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies revealed that the multiplayer component will be accessible through one of Grand Theft Auto 5's defining features: the character selection wheel which lets you swap between the game's three protagonists. A fourth spot on that wheel will be reserved for your online avatar; the Rockstar representative also confirmed to us that there will be no doubt about when the online functionality will be added, thanks to a timer counting down to Grand Theft Auto Online's release.
"When V launches there will be a countdown clock in the 4th slice of the character selection wheel," the representative wrote. "The countdown will expire on Oct 1, unlocking GTA Online via a title update."
Check out the first trailer for Grand Theft Auto Online here.