It happens almost every time developers of online games update their cheat detection. Scores of “innocent” players come out of the woodwork and hit the forums claiming they were banned for no reason. Sometimes there are legitimate mistakes, but usually, it’s just cheaters trying to get their accounts reinstated.
Following Rockstar’s latest update to GTA Online (Southern San Andreas Super Sport Series update), users have flooded the game's support forums and Reddit saying that their accounts have been banned for no reason. The bans are without appeal which makes them difficult to overturn even when it has happened by mistake.
In the GTA Online subreddit, MikeRaven11reports that devs rolled out an update to GTA Tunables, which included new coding for Hotring races. It also patched a known car selling exploit. A few hours after the patch people began reporting getting banned.
The number of bans involved coupled with the fact that some of the accounts have logged minimal amounts of playtime seems to indicate that something in the update is falsely triggering the suspensions.
“At first, people were skeptical (after all, everyone and their mother who gets legitimately banned claims they didn't do it) but the sheer number of posts, tags, and claims that they were unfairly banned should at least draw some concern,” wrote MikeRaven11. “Some of these accounts have less than 10 hours of in-game time, supporting the idea that the ban wave is picking up people incorrectly.”
At first, Rockstar was not responding to support tickets regarding the bans. Its stance was “all bans are final and cannot be appealed.” However, pressure both from a spike in negative reviews on Steam and media stories about the issue has caused Rockstar to reevaluate its position.
Developers are now saying that they “are aware of the issue and are looking into it.”
If they find that the suspensions were in error, they will indeed reinstate those affected. However, it is unclear how they will go about this. The reporting systems automatically reject support tickets for unappealable bans. Some users suggest that this can be avoided by not using the word “ban” and the like in the support ticket.
“If you use the word ban or choose the ban category, your support ticket will be auto-closed,” wrote one Redditor. “Try to explain the situation without using that word.”
However, others are reporting that in addition to being suspended, their accounts have been “wiped.”
“If you check your account on socialclub all the stats are wiped (cash earned, achievements, etc.),” said PM_ME_YOUR_TRUESELF. “I hope to god they have a backup and this all gets overturned or this will be a real shitshow.”
It is unclear if these accounts are recoverable.
PM_ME later found out from a Rockstar support rep that at least for his account the ban was legitimate and there was nothing further they could do.
Rockstar has yet to issue an official statement on the issue.