Update 8/11/2015 9:00AM: Rockstar reached out to Digital Trends with the following statement regarding the bannings. “The FiveM project is an unauthorized alternate multiplayer service that contains code designed to facilitate piracy. Our policy on such violations of our terms of service are clear, and the individuals involved in its creation have had their Social Club accounts suspended.” Qaijsp noted in their Reddit post that they aren’t involved in development, they’re just a moderator of the associated subreddit, but that appears to be involved enough in the development of the mod to warrant a ban.
Rockstar warned users that while modding in GTA V for PC is encouraged, it will only tolerate single-player changes, and multi-player mods would be met with a swift ban on the Rockstar Social Club. It appears that Rockstar’s mighty banhammer has swung already, but it’s not cheating users who are threatened — it’s mod developers.
In a thread posted on the GTA V for PC subreddit, a poster named qaisjp described trying out the FiveM mod, which uses non-Rockstar servers to allow users to play together in highly-customizable game modes. The mod, the poster believed, followed Rockstar’s rules because, despite offering online play with other users of the mod, it didn’t use any of Rockstar’s online components or data.
Still, just a couple days after installing FiveM, qaijsp received an email informing them that they had been banned from Rockstar Social Club. That means they are not only banned from playing GTA V online, but also from playing the single-player Story Mode, and from Max Payne 3. Forever. They also will be banned from any future games that use Rockstar Social Club.
Rockstar banning one user in the middle of the night does not a conspiracy make, but as the poster reveals, the plot thickened when they reached out to the developers. It turns out that within two minutes of qaijsp receiving his ban notification, so did another Reddit user, The DeadlyDutchi, who was involved in the FiveM community. NTAuthority, another well known modder, also suffered the wrath of the ban-hammer.
It’s all speculation at the moment, but it’s hard to believe these three users were all banned at the same time for anything but their connection to the multiplayer mod. NTAuthority shared that FiveM only connects to Rockstar Social Club as it’s launching, and only to verify that the user actually owns the game, and to give their online account a name without having to log in again.
The users have all reached out to Rockstar looking for an explanation, or an opportunity to plead their case, but have yet to hear back. If that’s the reason they were banned, Rockstar is within its EULA rights to do so, but it’s a poor way to manage gamer satisfaction.