Recently we took a look back at the previous year in GTA Online, reviewing some of the game's best moments - things like the release of The Doomsday Heist or the shutting down of some hack menus. Now, as promised, we're back with a look at some of the less illustrious headlines of 2017.
Luckily, this list will be shorter than the highs, as 2017 in Grand Theft Auto was pretty fantastic overall, with few true problems. The year before was much more problematic with its hacking issues and the Great Demoneying.
Even so, a few unfortunate events did mar the past 12 months. Let's take a look at these kerfuffles.
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The OpenIV Controversy
GTA 5 has had a rough run with mods. In spite of Rockstar's official stance being that mods created for single player and which do not affect GTA Online are okay, and the game having a huge modding community, their status in the game was nonetheless always uncertain.
Due to colloquial misuse, mods and modders have become nearly synonymous with hacks and hackers in Online, even though there is a vast difference between the two.
And as a result of Rockstar's many previous attempts to quell Online hacking, mods have always suffered collateral damage. Since many Online hacks are based on the same methods and systems as single player mods, security patches which sought to make Online more secure often rendered single player mods inoperable.
Luckily, these changes were always rolled back.
In spite of this instability, large modding projects still existed, and almost everything used the popular OpenIV modding tool. As the name suggests, this tool was first created in the days of GTA VI and updated to work with GTA V.
With such a long history, it was the most widely used tool in the community. So when the OpenIV team got a cease and desist order from Take-Two's legal team, all seemed lost.
This was followed by a huge fan backlash. GTA 5 was review-bombed on Steam, and a petition was started to save OpenIV. Eventually, these protests succeeded and OpenIV was updated, and is still around today.
While it had a happy ending, this was still one of the darker moments of 2017 for GTA.
Character Transfer Service Ceased
2017 also hammered the last nail into the coffin of GTA Online on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. These platforms were where GTA 5 launched initially, and where GTA Online first saw the light of day. However, as the years went by and the game was released on much more advanced platforms, like the current gen consoles and PC, it was inevitable that these older versions would have to be put on ice.
DLC support for the older consoles ended a lot sooner, however players still had the opportunity to transfer their characters to the new platfoms.
This allowed gamers who upgraded to what is called the Enhanced Edition to continue their progress instead of starting all over again. Unfortunately, it also became a back-door for hackers. While the current-gen consoles have yet to be cracked, the Xbox 360 and PS3 were riddled with cheaters, and one popular method was to get a character on the old consoles, use hacks to add more money than they could possibly ever need, and transfer the character to the new consoles.
In March, 2017, Rockstar shut down character transfers entirely, both to cut the cord with the past and to seal this crack in the defenses. This move was widely considered among the userbase of these older platforms to be unfair, however maintaining a support team for the old architecture was undoubtedly costly for the developers, and ended up requiring more resources than the profit it produced.
... And that just about covers the lows of 2017. Luckily, the past year will be better remembered for its fantastic selection of DLC instead of its controversies. Of the two, one was eventually resolved and the other was inevitable. We hope 2018 will turn out even better, but at least as good!