GTA Online has never sold NFTs or crypto itself, but now they’re banned
Even criminals have standards.
Since its inception, Grand Theft Auto Online has given players a lot of freedom to live out their criminal endeavors as they see fit. Roleplaying servers have been a big part of that, letting GTA Online users ‘live’ as inhabitants of Los Santos, whether they be criminals, cops, chop shop owners, or workers of some other sort. If you’re looking to roleplay as a crypto bro, however, that’s now a no-no.
As spotted by Kotaku, GTA Online’s Q&A for legal enforcement on roleplay servers has been updated. Rockstar’s policy is “focused on” five different areas, and the third one is the sticking point here. GTA Online does not permit “commercial exploitation, including the sale of ‘loot boxes’ for real-world currency or its in-game equivalent, the sale of virtual currencies, generating revenue via corporate sponsorships or in-game integrations, or the use of cryptocurrencies or crypto assets (e.g. ‘NFTs’).” GTA Online has a virtual currency of its own, but the game has never sold cryptocurrency or NFTs. The updated wording here is meant to deter players from trying to do so themselves using GTA Online as a fence.
The other pillars of Rockstar’s roleplaying enforcement include misusing Rockstar trademarks or other companies’ IPs, making new content for the game, and interfering with official assets already in it. That still leaves a lot of room to enjoy it the way you want to play without trying to dupe other players into the crypto and NFT markets. Considering all the expensive helicopters and airplanes one can purchase in the game with GTA$, it’s easy to see how these sorts of exchanges could happen if they weren’t explicitly banned.
Generally speaking, stories about crypto and NFTs in the gaming world haven’t been good news. For example, this spring saw $625 million stolen from Axie Infinity, the largest NFT game at the time. There’s a good reason why game devs are more interested in unionization over NFTs.