Good news: Rockstar's showing a look at the online heists GTA V players have been waiting for. Bad news: there's still no release date, with only a broad time period of early 2015 mentioned.
IGN has a video trailer that previews some of the action that will be included in the multiplayer variants of GTA V's biggest crime capers. In an interview with GTA Online producer and lead mission designer Imran Sarwar, it's revealed that heists will require four players of rank 12 or above and that a heist leader will need to front the set-up costs for the law-breaking materiel up front:
Being a heist leader has advantages and disadvantages. On the upside, Lester contacts the leader directly when there's news of a job and it's up to the leader to invite players into the crew, assign positions, pick outfits and allocate each player's cut. On the other hand, the heist leader will need to personally front the set-up costs in order to successfully pull off the heist.
Unlike the leader, other crew members get a cash payout for each prep mission, while the leader won't receive their cash until the finale is complete. Switching between the roles of crew member and heist leader will give players a totally different experience, and we had to make sure there were real incentives to playing each position so that players would see every aspect of how a heist comes together and not just want to stick to the same role each time.
Sarwar also told IGN that heists are being designed to be played multiple times:
There are five unique strands involving over 20 total missions, which will add up to around 20 hours of gameplay. We hope players will then replay them multiple times to take on the other roles and to try different ways of tackling the missions.
Head over to IGN to read the full interview.
UPDATE: A comment from Rockstar on the company's official site notes that heists will come as part of a free update. Here's the official description of the Heists add-on from the press release.
Today we are happy to present a new trailer for the four-player co-op mode for Grand Theft Auto Online that allows players to plan, prepare and execute multi-tiered Heists across Los Santos and Blaine County. These will require tight communication and coordination, with players taking on specified roles at each point to accomplish multiple objectives on the way to each Heist's epic finale. Featuring new gameplay, new vehicles, new weapons, new clothing and much more.
GTA Online Heists are coming early in 2015 to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 and PC.