History is full of great exploits, like the Allied forces tricking Hitler into focusing on Greece while they retook Sicily, with nothing more than some fake documents, photos and a dead tramp. In video games, finding a quick fix for evening the odds is a treat in and of itself. Destiny had the infamous loot cave as an example, while many players spent a weekend in 2016 farming the Bullet King for valuable Phoenix Credits.
GTA Online players discovered an exploit of their own recently, that allowed them to get Jeff Bezos rich in a short span of time and with possibly even less gratuitous violence along the way. Thanks to some financial trickery, players could purchase property using a variety of menus and then be gifted millions of in-game dollars in return.
The exploit worked wonders, GTA Online was suddenly flush with newly-minted millionaires and a furious Take-Two Interactive rushed to nip the problem in the bud by issuing copyright strikes against YouTubers who uploaded videos on how to get rich quick. Normally such an exploit would be hotfixed and patched out of the game, and that would be the end of it. Not so!
Using a very specific set of ban-hammer skills, GTA Online developer Rockstar Games has gone after those players who made use of the exploit, resetting the accounts of the cheaters and plunging them back into digital poverty. “Players found to be manipulating and abusing Property trade-ins to gain GTA$ illegitimately have had affected characters reset,” a Rockstar support entry explained.
As part of our ongoing efforts to maintain a healthy game environment for all players, anyone found to be abusing exploits and cheats to illegitimately gain GTA$ and in-game items may be subject to penalties including cash balance adjustments, character resets, suspensions and up to permanent bans as appropriate.
Naturally, GTA Online players who did break the rules, are massively pissed off at Rockstar’s heavy-handed response (PC Gamer has a round-up of tweets from players affected). While no one was surprised that Rockstar Games would respond to the exploit, it’s the severity of the punishment being meted out that has taken the community by storm. Moral of the story? Cheats and gameplay exploits are one thing, but you don’t ever screw around with…THE ECONOMY.
Last Updated: September 3, 2020