Not long after it launched in October 2013, Grand Theft Auto Online cheaters began artificially creating gobs of in-game money. The plague of illicitly-gained cash proliferated while Rockstar continued releasing its expansions -- until today. Players who had cheated, modded, hacked or even gotten money through glitches woke up to a message from Rockstar this morning telling them yes, they'd been found out, and the studio had eliminated their ill-gotten dough. For some players, this wiped out their in-game cash reserves to an ignominious $0.
That includes money made by exploiting glitches. Players who made lower amounts of illegitimate cash seem less likely to be affected, though the bans are apparently coming in waves, so safe now doesn't guarantee modders and cheaters won't have their game finances reset. It's unclear whether players who picked up money generated by others' mods will see it stripped away, according to Ars Technica.
In an FAQ post, Rockstar explained that they wiped all the falsely-generated money in order to keep the gameplay environment fair. This comes alongside the game's new suspension policy, updated today: A player's first temporary ban will wipe all character progress, inventory and property, while a second will result in permanent expulsion. Both motions seem drastic, but understandable given how prevalent cheating has remained in the three-year-old game. Still, there's a word for drastically stripping cheating players' gains in a game that's all about making money by breaking laws, but I can't put my finger on it.