In recent weeks, a small number of Grand Theft Auto Online players sought to exploit the game by generating and distributing game-breaking amounts of in-game cash, disrupting the experience for other players.(Updated)

We will continue to issue title updates on an ongoing basis to counter the negative impact this has had on gameplay, and as part of today’s maintenance period, we are removing the counterfeit GTA$ from the game’s economy. Anyone who 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.

Should you ever encounter someone in GTA Online that appears to be taking advantage of exploits in your session, we ask that you alert us directly via the in-game reporting functionality. In the Pause menu, under the Online tab, select Players and scroll to the offending player. From there, select Report and choose Exploits from the violation options.

We’re grateful for the community’s continued support in dealing with these issues and once again apologize to anyone that has had their Grand Theft Auto Online experience sullied by these exploits that broke the game’s natural flow. Please stay tuned for lots more news about GTA Online in the weeks ahead.

via Taking Aim at GTA Online Cheaters | Rockstar Games.

Today my cash in GTA Online went from over $5 billion to $550,000. I didn’t hack or glitch for the money, but it was given to me by people hacking and glitching in various lobbies I found myself in. At one point I was actually begging people to stop giving me money; it was too much, and there was really nothing I could have done to spend all of that money in any amount of game playing.

That said, I did enjoy the rich life. I did silly things like respray my cars to match my outfits etc. I will miss that life, but in a way it feels good to have everyone on an even playing field again.

Today’s GTA session was still full of violence, but it was a lot tamer than normal. There were no tanks. People were carefully avoiding blowing up personal vehicles, because when all you have is $550,000 (which is all that most high level players were left with; lower level players have even less), you are reticent to want to spend the money paying for someone else’s vehicle.

Although Rockstar has leveled the multi-player playing field, I fully believe the real intent here is to make it easier for them to sell their game cash or shark cards, and that is unfortunate. Rockstar already made a mint selling the video game at $60 a pop, and to try to milk it even further for cash seems exploitative to say the least.

It’s not hard to earn GTA, and even after I got the cash, I still played a lot of survival which earns me $20,000 each time. Still, I can’t help but feel sorry for those who came into the game when the cash was being given out because they never really had to work hard in GTA, and this is probably distressing them more than anyone else.