Rockstar has allegedly banned the team behind a PC multiplayer mod designed to serve as an unofficial alternative to Grand Theft Auto V‘s GTA Online.
Called FiveM, the project was the work of modder NTAuthority, who enlisted the help of two other players, TheDeadlyDutchi and Qais “qaisjp” Patankar, for community and technical support. According to a Reddit post from Patankar, all three people have now had their Rockstar Social Club accounts banned, preventing them from accessing any Rockstar games tied to their accounts.
Patankar claims that all three accounts suffered a manual ban within two minutes of one another, meaning it was not a matter of their accounts being incorrectly flagged by an automated system or some other misunderstanding.
Rockstar has claimed in the past that they will not pursue action against anyone who mods the single-player component of the game. “Our primary focus is on protecting GTA Online against modifications that could give players an unfair advantage, disrupt gameplay, or cause griefing,” the developer wrote earlier this year.
FiveM exists in the thorny space between the two sides of that principle. While it is not a single-player mod, it does not rely on any connection to GTA Online to function. Instead, it’s a standalone multiplayer experience with its own dedicated servers. This would technically appear to fall outside the boundaries of Rockstar’s self-stated guidelines, but it’s nevertheless reasonable to assume they would take exception to a product that directly competed with their own online offering, especially when GTA Online includes DLC and in-game currency packs that provide a revenue stream for the company.
Rockstar has yet to issue a statement in response to the bans.