The short version is – Do not, under no circumstances, use, spread, or develop cheats for games, ever. Firstly, cheating in a game will sour your gaming experience and deny you the reward, which is what gaming is all about. Secondly, you will cause numerous complications for other players, if it’s an online game and for the developer too. Time spent on developing this cheat could have been invested into something useful, or simply into enjoying the game, but this particular cheat creator was taken to court and the judge had no mercy – GTA Online Cheat = a $150000 fine.
Okay, sure, some cheats were fun and in the old school days, they were even a part of the games we all used to play. The games were different back then. They demanded a lot more time to master, offered a lot more secret content, unlocked through cheats even. But now, people mostly play MMO games, and cheating and gaining an advantage for one player means spoiling the experience for god knows how many others.
I am innocent, your honor! You gotta believe me!
Why such a harsh punishment? Well, this GTA Online cheat Elusive was created in 2018 by Jhonny Perez, from Florida. This cheat was designed as an ultimate game breaking tool, giving players infinite money and access to other cheats previously available at certain points. But, the worst thing is, Perez actually charged interested players for this Elusive cheat. He was quickly discovered and, according to the Take-Two Interactive Terms and Conditions (you know, that stuff we never read but always accept), he is guilty and answerable by law for copyright breach, disruption of gameplay balance, ruining the in-game purchase system, and polluting the gaming experience for other players.
Take-Two was actually surprisingly gentle at first. After they found Perez, they contacted him and demanded that he takes down Elusive and donates all his proceeds earned off of it to charity. Perez did take the cheat down but refused to give Take-Two the financial records and donate the cash. After failing to comply, Take-Two filed for a lawsuit.
The judge sentenced Perez at a moment’s notice and the damage is $150K for the previously listed violations. Off of the $150K, roughly $66K is for attorney fees alone, while the rest goes to Take-Two. Whether or not they will donate the money to charity is unknown.
Now, while the judge’s decision was quick and painful, the jury is still out on this one, or better said the gaming community. Various critics have spoken out about the punishment, citing abusing the lawsuits and the publisher’s superior monetary power in an unbalanced case. Their main argument is that Perez suffers not only for what he has done but serves as an example to others with his punishment greatly exaggerated. This form of intimidation may be a bit too much, as it still remains unclear if Perez will file for an appeal or pay up the amount in full. There is little doubt that online cheating is, as it was, risky business. But, it is also unclear if this intimidation technique will work and deter others or simply provoke the community and get the developers bad publicity. However, the gaming community would have had their case and the appeal would be so much better had Perez taken the initial offer of simply surrendering the proceeds to charity. This move is probably what tipped the scales and made the judge’s hammer all the crueler.