In the latest chapter of Take-Two's unrelenting battle against Grand Theft Auto 5 and GTA Online hacks, another cheat creator is being taken to court. Florida resident Jhonny Perez (that's not a typo), known for creating the "Elusive" paid cheat menu for the game, might have to pay up to $150,000 in damages if Take-Two wins its newest case.
This is just the most recent in a string of lawsuits against cheat creators. Not long ago Take-Two acquired search search warrants for the homes of five Australians who were involved with selling hacks for GTA Online. Earlier, the Menyoo and Absolute hacking menus were shut down and the creator, David Zipperer could still face fines. Another Australian hack creator was also sued, and other hack menus were shut down as well.
Perez created and sold the Elusive cheat, accepting money via PayPal as well as Steam and Amazon gift certificates, selling various packages ranging from $10 to $30 in price. Earlier this year, Elusive's distribution was ceased and the developers released a public announcement stating that they will donate all proceeds to a charity selected by Take-Two Interactive. However, Perez stopped responding to Take-Two's legal team sometime after financial documents were requested to confirm the amount of profit gained from selling the cheat, which led to Take-Two taking the case to court.
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“In essence, Defendant is free riding on TakeTwo’s intellectual property to sell a commercial product that interferes with the carefully orchestrated and balanced gameplay that Take-Two created for its players.” - Court Filing
TorrentFreak reports that Perez continues to avoid contact even though the court is now involved. As a result, Take-Two has motioned for default judgment, asking for maximum damages. The legal team suggests that more than $500,000 was lost due to these GTA Online hacks. GTA Online offers microtransactions that allow players to purchase in-game currency with real money, however with the use of cheats they can simply grant themselves the currency.
Take-Two argues in favor of the maximum damages, which is $150,000, because this would serve as a deterrent both for the defendant and for other hack developers. Not only would such a fine likely dissuade Perez from selling hacks in the future, but other distributors would look at the case and see the kind of trouble they could find themselves in.
The legal team mentions the numerous other lawsuits it has had to file against other cheat creators both in the USA and abroad. The company is also seeking an additional $69,686 in attorney's fees on top of the damages. Perez may also be permanently injuncted to prevent any future activity infringing on Take-Two copyright.
Take-Two's legal team has been relentless in their battles against hackers and cheat creators. They have plenty of experience in the matter, plus the fact that Perez has not responded to the court means that this will likely go their way. If this is kept up, soon Rockstar may succeed in bringing down hacking in GTA Online to a minimum. After the particularly hack-happy years of 2016 and 2017, it would be a big change for the players, though already things are greatly improved.