Picture it. You’re a fan of the Grand Theft Auto series, and you love GTA V. When you hear about Grand Theft Auto Online, it sounds like a dream come true. You can enjoy the GTA gameplay in an online community with other players. You start playing. You work hard at the game to earn money. Maybe you have your eye set on that great car that will help you win the next race.
But when you finally get to the race, you’re beaten by someone who has an even better car. You’re impressed by their dedication to the game and hope you can be that good someday-and then you find out that they got all of their money through a glitch.
When the “money glitch” surfaced in GTA Online, Rockstar’s multiplayer addition to their popular franchise, it caused a lot of controversy. By exploiting a glitch in the system, a player could gain infinite amounts of money by selling the same car over and over again. This is the sort of glitch that probably would have been dismissed as harmless, or at least not an urgent problem, if it was in a single-player game, but since it was a multiplayer game, it affected everyone else, as well.
Players who made use of the glitch had an unfair advantage over those who did not. It was a glitch far more devastating than the technical difficulties that appeared at the game’s launch. It caused debates and controversies. Was it right to cheat in order to level the playing field? After all, if everyone cheated, everyone would be on equal terms again. Or should the players who used the glitch be banned from the game forever? Did responsibility rest with Rockstar or the players?
And, the greatest question of all, had the glitch ruined GTA Online forever?
While some players learned to live with the situation and enjoy the game anyway, others encountered situations where the glitch drained all fun from the game. They found themselves on servers where high-priced bounties were repeatedly placed on each player, lost races to opponents they could never hope to face, and similarly were disappointed in other ways. The money glitch was a high threat to the integrity and future of the game. Even the promise of cash cards, where players could spend real money for the in-game currency, offered only a little hope of a change.
However, things took a turn for the better this past month. Rockstar released a new patch for the game that finally seems to have eliminated the money glitch. There will still be aftereffects, due to the number of players who made use of it, but the core problem is gone. All that remains is for GTA Online to rise from the ashes and prove that the glitch has not destroyed it.