Rockstar has made a rare statement on GTA Online's roleplay servers, reiterating some rules its players must follow. In a new post on its support page, Rockstar states that while it hopes these servers "thrive for many years to come", it will ban users for in-game "commercial exploitation", including the sale of real-world and GTA currency, loot boxes, crypto, and NFTs.
While this means RP servers are safe for now, it's a reminder that Rockstar and Take-Two can and will take them down if it's decided that they are in breach of the user agreement, which doesn't just pertain to commercial exploitation. These servers will now also be shut down if they incorporate other IPs, mod in new stories and missions, or "misuse Rockstar Games trademarks".
This update brings GTA Online RP servers in line with Rockstar's rules on single-player mods, applying the exact same guidelines. Of course, GTA still has a thriving modding community under these regulations, but Rockstar has been notoriously harsh on creators in some instances. For example, when gearing up to announce the GTA remastered trilogy, prolific fan-made remasters were taken down, and the creators even issued with cease and desists.
However, the opening to the update seems to try to put these concerns at ease: "Third-party 'Roleplay' servers are an extension of the rich array of community-created experiences within Grand Theft Auto that we hope will continue to thrive in a safe and friendly way for many years to come." It also seems that the focus will indeed be on those using GTA Online to push crypto and NFTs - something which most players would likely want to see gone anyway.
There was recently a Mario Kart-inspired meet-up in GTA Online, but it's not clear how this would have fared under the new rules. As long as it's not advertising itself as a Mario meet-up, it might be in the clear. Yet as we've seen from the modding community in the past, the rules can often be enforced harshly and with little warning. With any luck, the roleplay community will be able to avoid this, and coming under Rockstar's radar like this isn't the beginning of the end.