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Rockstar surprises players who exploited a GTA Online glitch by wiping their accounts completely

(Image credit: Rockstar)
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Rockstar recently dropped a very big hammer on GTA Online (opens in new tab) players who took advantage of an exploit that enabled them to get very rich, very quickly. As Polygon (opens in new tab) explains, the "apartment garage glitch" enabled players to purchase properties and then, through trickery (which was apparently a pretty simple process), quickly turn it into millions of in-game dollars.

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(Image credit: Rockstar North)

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Obviously this is against the rules of the game, and it's not surprising that Rockstar took steps to shut it down. Instead of simply taking away the ill-gotten gains, though, Rockstar is resetting the accounts of cheaters entirely.

"Players found to be manipulating and abusing Property trade-ins to gain GTA$ illegitimately have had affected characters reset," a Rockstar support entry (opens in new tab) added on August 26 explains. "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."

Some players are taking the ban in stride.

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Others, not so much.

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The community doesn't seem surprised that Rockstar took steps to punish players who availed themselves of the glitch—it's the severity of the punishment that's raised eyebrows, especially since Rockstar hasn't traditionally gone for the jugular like this in the past.

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Rockstar hasn't commented on why it went for full account resets rather than simply deleting money that wasn't properly earned, but one might guess that it's using the opportunity to make a point: Cheating carries consequences. And GTA Online, for as much fun as it is, does have an ongoing problem with cheating. We reported in May (opens in new tab) that the GTA 5 giveaway on the Epic Games Store led to a significant spike in mod use, but the net result was only that griefing became extra-rampant, as opposed to just rampant.

This glitch, at least, is now gone: A Rockstar rep confirmed that the glitch has been fixed.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.