Rockstar has deducted trillions of in-game currency from Grand Theft Auto Online players who used cheats, exploits and mods to acquire it, and has also unveiled a harsh new ban policy.
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When logging in to GTA Online, players with ill-gotten gains in their accounts will have been met with an alert message informing them that their GTA Dollars were “corrected”. Here's a helpful example posted to Twitter (along with some emojis that scandalised our CMS) by a disgruntled cheater:
Legitimately-purchased funds will be protected. On a support page article concerning the matter, Rockstar says that “GTA$ purchased via Shark Cards will remain on the account”. Shark Cards are cash injections that can be bought for real-money microtransactions.
This is but the first step in Rockstar’s new initiative against cheaters in GTA Online. The second is an aggressive new ban policy, also outlined on Rockstar’s support page.
Under the new policy, one infraction for modding, cheating, exploiting or otherwise “interfering with other players’ gameplay experience” will earn a suspension, while two will earn a permanent ban. Even after a suspension for a first offence, Rockstar says players will start from scratch: “All GTA Online progress, property and inventory will be reset. All GTA Online suspension and banning decisions are final and may not be appealed.”
Community reactions are mixed, and it's not just that everyone who doesn't cheat is pleased while everyone who does isn't (though there is that). Sparky_68 is concerned about the strictness of the new penalties:
Let's hope Rockstar's been working on its cheat reporting, too.
Thanks to Kotaku.