The GTA 5 banhammer has struck again, to the confusion of modders who thought they were toeing the line.
A group of GTA 5 players claim they've been unfairly banned from Rockstar Social Club, which prevents them accessing any Rockstar game that leverages the system - even in single-player modes.
So far, so what, right? People are always arguing that they didn't deserve bans. What makes this story particularly interesting is that the affected group believe the bans have been handed down based on their participation in a modding project called FiveM.
FiveM is a multiplayer mod for GTA 5 which, and this is the important part, is totally standalone: it doesn't engage with or draw on GTA Online at all.
As such, it should be allowable under Rockstar's policies. Back in May, the developer said that it wouldn't ban users for the creation or use of mods, and that its "primary focus" with bans is "protecting GTA Online against modifications that could give players an unfair advantage, disrupt gameplay, or cause griefing".
FiveM doesn't do any of those things, so it's not clear why it would have attracted Rockstar's wrath, but affected users say it's the only thing connecting them. Some of the team have allegedly never used a single mod, and at least one is a community moderator rather than directly involved in FiveM's creation.
The full Reddit thread on the subject is predictably angry, but it's hard not to be sympathetic when players claim to have lost access to games based on something not explicitly disallowed.
Of course, Rockstar may have a different tale to tell on why these particular players have been hit with the hammer. It may also have a policy on standalone multiplayer mods that the community is not familiar with. But at present the company is silent on the matter, which is hardly a good look.
At this stage it really looks like the only way to protect yourself from a Rockstar ban is to never even look at or think about mods of any sort, let alone make and use them.