In the past few days, some Grand Theft Auto players have logged into GTA Online and got quite the pleasant surprise. According to an announcement from Rockstar, GTA 6 is coming soon! Preorders are a-go-go! 2019, Baby! Get HYPED!
There’s just a little problem. It’s totally fake.
It’s easy to see how people were caught. The announcement uses all the trimmings of a Grand Theft Auto. The fonts, the layout and such are all here. So of course, the “announcement” got its spread through Twitter. Users left and right, splurging out the excitement for a new entrant into the universally acclaimed series. But alas, this is total baloney, propagated by hackers slipping some mods in.
Obviously though, with no announcement on the part of Rockstar, the hoax holds absolutely no water. In the meantime whilst there hasn’t been a big blog post about it, Rockstar Support on Twitter has confirmed it as a hoax.
This is a hoax made with the use of mods, and not an official message or statement from Rockstar Games. *OV
— Rockstar Support (@RockstarSupport) July 2, 2018
Unfortunately there’s a bit more bad news to come. Some users have reported that the hack has caused performance issues and, in some cases, the notifications have led to the game crashing. The silver lining? Not all the GTA Online servers have been compromised. Xbox One and PS4, appear to be completely free of any issues. The hackers only seem to have been able to access PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.
It’s fair to say that GTA is quite the target for these kinds of shenanigans. In a justifiably infamous video, youtuber Sernandoe claimed to be the owner of the first copy of GTA VI. A quick search shows there are a depressing number of people pulling the same stunt. The unfortunate truth is that where there’s an audience there is someone who will be making something for them.
Games, for better or worse, have become the newest advertising vehicle. Whether a subtle notification of DLC or a full-blown tutorial for lootboxes, we get covert commercials in our games. This practice seems to have caught the attention of hackers and modders who may have a new target for their hoaxes. Suffice to say, there may be more stories like this in the coming years.
Stay skeptical, folks!