More and more gamers are starting to find out that cheating isn't just wrong — it can be illegal.
Florida resident Jhonny Perez will have to pay $150,000 to the makers of "Grand Theft Auto V" for creating and selling cheat software for the massively popular game. The video-game publisher Take-Two Interactive alleged Perez created a software called Elusive that let players manipulate the game in their favor and sold it online for between $10 and $30.
TorrentFreak obtained a full copy of the judgement, which was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.
While some cheats are purely for aesthetics, others create an unfair environment for players online, and Take-Two alleged that this hurt the reputation of "Grand Theft Auto V." Players using Elusive could also generate an infinite amount of in-game money, undermining Take-Two's ability to sell their digital currency for real-life cash.
Since 2013, "Grand Theft Auto V" has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide and was among last year's best-sellers. The game's healthy online community and microtransactions help support the game's ongoing development.
"Mr. Perez's Elusive program creates new features and elements in 'Grand Theft Auto' which can be used to harm legitimate players, causing Take-Two to lose control over its carefully balanced plan for how its video game is designed to be played," Take-Two said in its complaint.
The court awarded Take-Two a default judgement against Perez for copyright infringement, breach of contract, and tortious interference with contract. Perez will need to pay $150,000 in damages, the maximum amount allowed by law, and $66,868.95 in attorney fees.
Take-Two isn't the only publisher defending its games in court. In October 2018, Epic Games, the creator of "Fortnite," filed a copyright complaint against a pair of YouTubers believed to be responsible for selling a variety of modification software for popular online games, including "Fortnite," "Grand Theft Auto V," and "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds."
And Nintendo was awarded a $12.23 million judgement against an Arizona couple that hosted a website offering free downloads of classic games such as "Super Mario World." The couple's site, LoveROMS.com, hosted hundreds of games for more than 17 million visitors per month.