Any characters lost during Grand Theft Auto Online's initial teething problems cannot be restored, Rockstar has confirmed.
The developer revealed the news in an update on its Support Page, confirming that Online characters that disappeared during the game's launch problems cannot be recovered.
According to Rockstar, the 'cash stimulus package' it announced last Friday (offering players $500,000 of in-game cash each) is intended to be some consolation for the progress and characters lost during that period.
The statement on the site reads:
"Given some of the recent technical issues during these first days of GTA Online, and now that things are starting to look much smoother (touch wood!), we are planning to provide a special stimulus package for all who have played or will play Grand Theft Auto Online this month.
"We will be dropping a cool half a million GTA$ in the GTA Online bank accounts of all players this month, starting as early as next week.
"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."
CVG said in its GTA Online appraisal that, despite the connection isues, "GTA Online could have a long shelf life".
It added: "The only let-downs at the moment are the lack of co-op heist missions, a slightly bloated interface, and some strange design decisions like being unable to tag stolen high-end cars and make them your personal vehicle. Otherwise, this is a supremely fun online toy box with a remarkable amount of variety in its missions - if you can connect, that is."