Some GTA Online (opens in new tab) players have found their seven year old accounts reset for using an in-game cash exploit.
As first reported by Polygon (opens in new tab), the exploit (known as the “apartment garage glitch") let users in the multiplayer open world title make millions of in-game dollars through purchasing properties and tricking the game through a series of menus.
Why driving safely in GTA 5 can be just as fun as wreckless road-rage (opens in new tab)
Without warning, however, Rockstar has identified those who performed the glitch, and reset their accounts back to zero, meaning all the progress they had made up till now has been completely wiped.
The studio recently explained its decision (opens in new tab) for this action on its official support pages, explaining that “as part of our ongoing efforts to maintain a healthy game environment for all players, anyone found to be abusing exploits and cheats to illegitimately gain GTA$ and in-game items may be subject to penalties including cash balance adjustments, character resets, suspensions and up to permanent bans as appropriate."
For those who have just lost seven years of progress since GTA Online released, for simply making the most of a bug that Rockstar has only just patched out, the consequences are pretty devastating.
Rockstar has yet to offer an official response to the uproar over its decision, but it's unclear whether it would be able to reverse the wipe even if it wanted to. Either way, we'll keep you posted if we hear anything more.
If you're gonna play it, you'll need to keep up on the weekly updates - that's what our GTA online patch notes (opens in new tab) are for. And if you want to have a bit of fun, check out our list of GTA 5 cheats (opens in new tab).