'GTA' Forced Temporarily Offline By The Wrong Sort Of Digital Crook

Usually in Grand Theft Auto, crime is a good thing.

But a spate of real-life heists (or, rather, cheats) inside the online version of GTA has seen developers Rockstar scrambling to bring law and order back to their otherwise anarchistic world of assassinations, bank jobs and murder.

GTA Online is the massively-multiplayer mode of Grand Theft Auto, released alongside GTA V. In the game players earn "GTA$" in order to buy new guns, cars, homes and other equipment, while teaming up with other players to carry out crimes - or else just mess about in San Andreas (the game's analogue to Los Angeles).

But Rockstar says that players have recently "sought to exploit the game" by generating massive amounts of "game breaking" cash, thereby wrecking the in-game economy for other players.

And for Rockstar, even in the criminal paradise that is GTA, well, that's the wrote sort of crime.

It's announced a 24-hour offline "maintenance period" to try and fix some of the flaws, and has apologised to the community. It said in a statement:

"Anyone that innocently received GTA$ as a result of these exploits but did not engage in cheating to acquire it will not face any further action - the funds will just be removed , and you'll be able to keep any items you currently own.

Those who actively engaged in cheating and exploiting the game in this manner will, however, be subject to in-game penalties at our discretion. This may include being placed in isolated cheater pools or banned from GTA Online altogether."

Rockstar also asked players to report anyone seen using cheats, and said it was "grateful" for the support of its online make-believe criminals in its efforts to try and stop the offending players.

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