With the latest Grand Theft Auto 5 title update, Rockstar Games cracked down on cheaters in GTA Online, the game's online multiplayer portion. The battle between the developer and glitchers/exploiters has raged on since the October launch of the mode. With each exploit and glitch found, Rockstar has attempted to take counter-measures to prevent more players from doing so, but to no avail. Now the big question is, should Rockstar just accept glitching and exploiting in Grand Theft Auto Online?
On one hand, the idea of "cheating" certainly fits in within the scope of the game. I know I'm not the only one that sees the irony that the developer of a game which encourages you to earn money through illegitimate actions (ie. robbing banks) is looking to prevent players from getting in-game cash through illegitimate ways (ie. exploits). So from a thematic standpoint, it fits.
But from a practicality stance, glitching and exploiting can ruin the economy of an online game very quickly. Stabilizing an online game's economy is hard enough without players finding new ways to trick the game into rewarding them with free crap, so imagine the challenge Rockstar is facing by players continuing to expose these workarounds. Having an excess amount of money in the game can lead to rapid inflation for goods and services in the game making those items you want even more expensive.
The argument can be made, however, that prices in GTA Online are so excessive that cheating is the only way to afford anything. With each update the payout for jobs, especially ones you've already done, gets smaller. To Rockstar's credit, they have attempted to fix this by adding more jobs and slightly increasing the payout in update 1.08; but, unless you are someone who spends countless hours grinding, it'll likely take you quite a while to afford that dream car or home.
Again, a counter argument is that GTA Online is meant to last a while. You aren't supposed to be able to buy these big-ticket items right off the bat, or else the game would get boring very quickly. Also, the high price tags make items more valuable and, therefore, worth investing time into. Would a high-end car be special if everyone in the game were able to acquire it so easily?
There's also the whole morality thing. I, personally, don't use glitches or exploits in games — especially online games. I like the grind, but I would clearly be at a disadvantage to someone who earned a boat-load of cash through some unethical means. Then again, is glitching unethical? There are those that argue that if it's in the game, or if the developer overlooked it, then it's fair game. After all, it's not the gamer's responsibility to catch bugs — or so some believe anyway.
I can definitely see both sides to the glitching/exploiting argument. While I don't use them to advance my progress, I don't get bothered by those who do either; to each their own.
Things begin to get tricky, however, when you start to throw in microtransactions. And I think that's the problem Rockstar has with exploiters. There are ways to get cash quickly in GTA Online, but it involves spending real life money to do so. As long as GTA Online offers microtransactions as a way for players to quickly advance, I don't ever see Rockstar allowing "illegal" tactics to be used. But should they?
Which side of the argument do you rest on?