It's always somewhat ironic when there is a crackdown on illegitimate money making methods in Grand Theft Auto Online, a game literally named after crime, where players murder and swindle their way into exorbitant wealth.
Thematic dissonance aside though, it's still an online game where order needs to be maintained, so better hope you didn't use the garage money glitch that made the rounds recently!
First reported by reputable GTA Online informant and dataminer TezFunz2, Rockstar did a deep sweep and anyone who exploited the popular garage money glitch has had their entire progress wiped. Characters, ranks, items, GTA$, unlocks - all gone in an instant.
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A wave of money resets occurred today, targeting the players who participated in the apartment garage glitch.#GTAOnline
— Tez2 (@TezFunz2) August 27, 2020
This isn't the first time Rockstar utilised progression resets punitively. In fact, it's the standard punishment for first-time offenders before the permanent ban hammer is swung. Usually this is reserved for hackers and cheaters who use third-party method to gain an illegal advantage.
Understandably, this is a pretty controversial move.
When punishing hackers who use outside software, it's understandable. However, in the past when in-game exploits were used to make quick cash, Rockstar either quietly patched it without any repercussions for those who used it or simply "rebalanced" in-game wallets to deduct the illegally gained money.
It is questionable to dole out complete progress wipes for using a glitch the existence of which is entirely the fault of the developers. Players who made money using this method didn't alter the game files or inject malicious scripts. They simply found a particular bug in the game's code and found a way to turn it to their advantage.
Even the rebalancing was a bit sore - if you leave an exploitable glitch in the game, own up to the mistake and leave people alone after you patch it - but this time the response is definitely too harsh. There's a fair bit of complaining going on in various GTA Online social circles, but we'll have to wait and see if anything changes.