As Grand Theft Auto V‘s online mode continues to be a huge monetary success, Rockstar Games is now taking steps to help ensure that the game doesn’t become tainted due to the excessive use of cheats and exploits. To this end, the developer updated the ban and suspension policy for GTA Online this week that will see offenders facing much stricter sanctions for breaking the rules.
Alongside the policy update, Rockstar Games also revealed that they have now removed all money from Grand Theft Auto Online that was found to be obtained in violation of the title’s terms of service agreement. Simply stated, the developer removed the cash out of any GTA Online account that was discovered to have earned the money through the use of cheats or other in-game exploits. Rockstar announced that the purge had taken place in a new entry on their official support site that served to answer any questions about the action to remove the “illegitimately gained” currency.
“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.”
Affected GTA Online users are reporting that they logged into the game on Tuesday to find that their character’s bank accounts had been emptied out. This led to questions about what would happen to those who had also purchased Shark Cards in addition to earning their fortunes in Grand Theft Auto through less scrupulous methods.
However, Rockstar Games has already confirmed that they can see when money has been generated through Shark Card purchases and all legal transactions will remain honored. In these cases, only the money acquired by cheating was deleted. According to a report by Kotaku, it looks like gamers hit by the purge are already claiming that trillions of dollars were quickly removed from Grand Theft Auto Online yesterday.
In a follow-up post from Rockstar Games, the developer revealed that this week’s deletion of tainted cash is just the first part of an overhaul to GTA Online‘s terms of service. While outlining the game’s new suspension policy, which is effective immediately, the studio announced violators will only be given one more chance to change their ways after receiving their first infraction. On the second offense, guilty parties will be permanently banned.
Rockstar Games also plans to give GTA Online rule-breakers a strict punishment on their initial infraction. To illustrate their determination, the developer claims that even first-time cheaters will receive a temporary suspension from the game’s servers and their in-game progress will be reset.
The team didn’t go into details on exactly what methods they will use to detect cheating, but it sounds like an automated system will be put in place. Furthermore, all rulings will be final and there will be no appeals process.
“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. Suspensions from GTA Online due to these reasons may be temporary suspensions or permanent bans depending on the severity of the infraction.”
Since the success of GTA Online has kept the latest installment of the popular crime-based series high on the sales charts for the past three years, it isn’t surprising to see Rockstar Games take steps to keep the game free of cheats. The developer isn’t likely to stop support for Grand Theft Auto Online anytime soon either. As the Inquisitr reported last year, even the game’s publisher continues to be surprised by the amount of money the title brings in through digital sales alone.
Are you glad that Rockstar is trying to keep cheaters out of GTA Online?
[Featured Image by Rockstar Games]