Some of the players in Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto Online, the multiplayer component of GTA 5, have pulled off an impressive heist. Unfortunately, it’s not the kind of heist that developer Rockstar approves of. The game is apparently rife with cheaters, and Rockstar is promising to root them out and return balance to the economy.
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Not only will the developers be removing ill-gotten gains during the maintenance period today, they will also be attempting to punish anyone maliciously benefiting from in-game exploits. The company writes on its blog:
“We will continue to issue title updates on an ongoing basis to counter the negative impact this has had on gameplay, and as part of today’s maintenance period, we are removing the counterfeit GTA$ from the game’s economy. Anyone who innocently received GTA$ as a result of these exploits but did not engage in cheating to acquire it will not face any further action – the funds will just be removed, and you’ll be able to keep any items you currently own.” “Those who actively engaged in cheating and exploiting the game in this manner will, however, be subject to in-game penalties at our discretion. This may include being placed in isolated cheater pools or banned from GTA Online altogether.” Of course, enforcing this stringent brand of justice in a game about crime is not without irony, but every virtual world needs its rules. My guess is that the team is going to have a mess on its hands figuring out who deserves to be banned, who deserves to be quarantined, what money needs to be removed and how to generally shake out the levels of offense in this community. This is tricky business, and it’s far from Rockstar’s first hiccup with the turbulent GTA Online. It was an immensely ambitious project, but it’s looking like Rockstar may not have had the MMO chops to pull it off in as spectacular a fashion as its single player game. I haven’t checked into this game since I finally got tired of login failures. losing my characters and spending half an hour trying to make new ones in the bizarre character creation system, but it’s been my impression that its been hampered by the sort of technical and balance problems that the team is trying to address here. I wish that launch had been a little smoother, because I have a feeling there’s a great idea of a GTA game in there, I just don’t particularity feel like finding it.