Gold Bars, the premium currency, and regular old-fashioned dollars which, ironically if you think about it, can only be earned by playing. Players who pre-ordered or bought special editions of the game will also receive in-game cash gifts: Premium currencies are inherently a little slimy.
The prices break down like so: There's also a special going on where you can buy 25 Gold Bars for $4.99, and Rockstar is gifting players another 15 Gold Bars if they login and play before December 20th.
It's a way for game publishers to get you to spend money without you ever having a clear understanding of just how much you're spending. Many items are locked behind a rank-gate, meaning you'll have to rank up pretty high to buy that fancy rifle or jacket whether or not you have the money or Gold Bars.
When you go into the catalog to make purchases, you're not thinking about real world dollars, you're just thinking about the game's fake money and Gold Bars. Even the best ones that line up fairly well with actual mosts, like V-Bucks in which roughly translate to 100 V-Bucks per $1 USD, still disassociate the spending from the purchases. Some items can be purchased at a higher Gold Bar cost early even if you haven't ranked up.
Mobile game publishers have been doing this for years and it's slowly infected most AAA games, especially online games. This, combined with the catalog system, makes shopping in the game not all that great, especially since there's just not that much difference between one cosmetic and another and not really that many weapons to choose from either.
Do I really care enough to grind for another jacket? This cowboy hat I have is one of the only ones I like that much already.
I have a couple nice outfits because I pre-ordered the Ultimate Edition, so between that and the few things I've bought with in-game currency, I have no real impetus to buy more.
I did buy the $5 pack of Gold Bars, and I'll slowly spend them here and there when the mood hits me, but nothing in is a must-have item, and I don't foresee spending anything else on the game at least for the time being.
I'm not sure if that's just me, or if more players feel the same way.
Let me know your thoughts on the game's economy on Twitter or Facebook.
Right now it just seems like I'll be better off grinding for cash rather than spending real money.
There's just very few items at this point that tickle my fancy.