If you’ve been living an illegally high life in GTA Online for the past few months, Rockstar has your days numbered. The developer yesterday began rolling out a new system to determine which players have used cheats, mods and exploits to get ahead in life online, and are resetting their bank balances to keep the field fair.
The exact balance though? A cool $0 – essentially putting cheaters back on square one where they belong.
It began with a few messages in-game sent to transgressors, and quickly spread across the game’s forums. As reported by ArsTechnica, one users claims that all players he/she knows of using cheats have been affected already. Rockstar is taking no prisoners, after GTA Online became a minefield of cheating on PC due to the lack of dedicated servers. This made altering code and employing cheating kits relatively easy, and compounded the difficulty Rockstar had trying to counter them.
Rockstar is also altering the way it deals with repeat offenders. Previously a player would need to get “three strikes’ for a permanent ban, with the limit now dropping to two. Suspension will also wipe your inventory and prevent you from playing for a while.
Rockstar might seem to be taking things to the extreme, but it’s not hard to understand why. GTA Online is a fat cash cow for them, generating millions in microtransactions. A portion of those come from players using real-world money to purchase in-game cash, making cheats that generate it effectively more like stealing than other examples. These hacks are likely costing Rockstar millions in actual revenue, which explains why they’ve been hunting cheaters vigorously since last year.