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Get a look at online heists in Grand Theft Auto 5, coming in 'early 2015'

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Grand Theft Auto 5's online heists will finally arrive in early 2015, Rockstar Games announced via its website.

Online heists add to the game's multiplayer mode with four-player missions in which players plan, prep and (hopefully) pull off a big job. The feature has already been delayed several times; an update last month promised heists after the re-release of the game on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One last month. In an IGN interview with producer and lead mission designer Imran Sarwar, the developer explained that delays happen when content is "not at the level we expect of ourselves."

Heists will launch with "five unique strands" that include more than 20 missions and around 20 hours of gameplay. According to Sarwar, heists have taken so long to build because they were more difficult than the team originally imagined. The idea was to create multi-tiered missions in which players would work cooperatively with their individual strengths — ensuring that each player was important.

"As it turns out, creating missions of that complexity for multiple players at the same time was much more difficult than we anticipated and every time we thought we were close, something would send us back to square one," Sarwar said. "Having already let players know of our intentions with heists, every setback only increased the pressure to make sure we got them right."

Adding additional features to Grand Theft Auto 5, such as first-person mode, and building on the GTA Online experience also slowed heists.

"All of these projects are linked and require the attention of our core team at all times, so despite our best efforts, we simply wound up needing more time to make sure every one of these projects was as good as it could possibly be," Sarwar said.