Even in an open-world game where you rob, murder, drive around the city in a tank blowing up cars and assault civilians with attack helicopters, there are rules. In the world of Grand Theft Auto Online, developer Rockstar Games is like the police officer handing down sentences. And boy, there are some harsh ones in the making for cheaters.
Grand Theft Auto Online, the persistent-world multiplayer portion of Grand Theft Auto V where dozens of players may run around committing mayhem simultaneously, is mostly about making money — surprise, surprise. Complicated bank heists, selling contraband goods and doing odd jobs for the boss hoodlums in GTA Online are the most common ways to earn cash, but another popular fashion to strike it rich is to simply cheat.
Hundreds of millions of fake dollars flooding the economy has been a problem for GTA Online since the game first launched in 2013. Rockstar has never taken it lightly, but two new posts to the Rockstar Support forums have laid out some new, strict enforcement policies when it comes to stolen money.
Your wallet in Grand Theft Auto Online is about to get light if you're carrying counterfeit cash.
The first post, titled "GTA Online October 2016 Illegitimately Gained In-Game Money Removal," addresses the immediate problem:
Question: Why did I receive an alert when logging into 'GTA Online' saying that illegitimately gained in-game money was removed from my shared bank?
Answer: To keep the gameplay environment fair we have removed illegitimately gained in-game money from player accounts. If you received an alert saying that your shared bank balance was adjusted, that is because you had illegitimate funds in your account.
If you have some stolen money in your bank account, or were "gifted" some stolen funds by an enterprising hacker, perhaps you're better off sinking the money into some new high-end vehicles or real estate.
If you're a Grand Theft Auto Online glitcher, cheater, exploiter or hacker, don't be surprised by the banhammer.
The second post, more simply titled "Update to GTA Online Suspension and Ban Policy," is tantamount to a warning sign that Rockstar has erected for all the GTA Online cheaters out there.
"GTA Online suspensions are triggered by a number of factors, including modding in GTA Online, exploiting or abusing game mechanics, manipulating protected game data and code or interfering with other players' gameplay experience," part of the announcement read.
"'GTA Online' suspensions are triggered by a number of factors, including modding in 'GTA Online,' exploiting or abusing game mechanics, manipulating protected game data and code or interfering with other players' gameplay experience," part of the announcement read.
If that sounds like a wide net, then choose carefully if and when you're given the opportunity to participate in these sorts of "crimes" in GTA Online — if you want to keep playing the game, that is.
The post goes on to detail how you can tell if you've been banned, and whether the ban in temporary or not, but here's the chilling part: No matter how long your ban is meted out for, you can still lose everything:
In addition, your 'GTA Online' character(s) will be reset. All 'GTA Online' progress, property and inventory will be reset. All 'GTA Online' suspension and banning decisions are final and may not be appealed.
Don't mess around with Rockstar, kids.