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Rockstar is taking serious steps to curb money cheats in GTA Online. They've shutdown YouTube accounts showing money glitches, and now they're literally taking money out of players' in-game bank accounts if they feel the money was obtained through cheating.
Over on the official Rockstar support page they have a brief little FAQ explaining why money might be removed from an in-game bank account, and that they're taking major steps to stop cheaters from gaining money through non-traditional means. It's kind of rich coming from a company hosting an online game where you make money through illicit behavior.
Nevertheless, if you paid real money for Shark Cards (a microtransaction purchase that gives you a set amount of in-game virtual money) Rockstar will not touch that money in your bank account but will only remove funds you gained through cheats, glitches or exploits.
There used to be a bustling YouTube community centered around GTA V and GTA Online glitches to make extra cash, but Take-Two Interactive would copyright strike the accounts (and three strikes will automatically terminate an account) resulting in accounts focused on GTA Online glitches getting nuked instantly. A couple of YouTubers got hit hard by Take-Two's counter-measures against glitches, and so now the glitch community has pretty much disappeared when it comes to giving the public tutorials on how to cheat and earn cash easy in Rockstar's game.
Kotaku is reporting that cheating or modding GTA Online will result in a player getting suspended. A second infraction results in a ban and the last measure is completely wiping a player's character data, properties, money and inventory.
Some people are praising Rockstar for the move while others are pissed. One thing that doesn't make a lot of sense is people saying cheaters who puffed up their in-game bank account are ruining the experience for others by being able to afford things without having to earn it. However, there's literally no difference between people who cheat to fluff up their bank account in GTA Online and people who pay real money for Shark Cards to fluff up their bank account. In both cases, people are bypassing playing the game in order to buy things the average player can't afford. The only difference is that the modders/cheaters aren't paying Rockstar real money for the privilege of not having to grind through the game.
When one cheater posted up a screenshot on Twitter of Rockstar taking away his money, a huge debate broke out over people cheating in the game to make extra cash.
Carbine King shrugged it off, though, saying he had lots of other accounts and still had tons of cash on those accounts.
One person actually had the gall to say that if he wanted that much money he should pay for it by buying Shark Cards. Strange times we're living in where people are promoting microtransactions to buffer virtual bank accounts in a game. What's really weird is that this was never really much of an issue in GTA IV, which had a far superior multiplayer in terms of versatility and customization aimed at suiting the player's needs. There were some strong modded multiplayer communities for GTA IV that also really helped boost the appeal of the game's multiplayer.
However, Rockstar's model for GTA Online affords them to make money on people's desires for in-game material gain. This even resulted in Take-Two having their lawyers send cease and desist letters to modders who tried to replicate GTA IV's multiplayer in GTA V with custom servers, so cheaters, modders and hackers could have their own little multiplayer playground without worrying about disrupting other players. However, Take-Two had those multiplayer communities shutdown. Ultimately, if you want to goof around, cheat and play modded versions of GTA Online, you can't.