An update to publisher Take-Two’s “legal enforcement policy” for Grand Theft Auto Online was made late last week, which sought to clarify a whole bunch of boring legal and rights stuff, but which is also specifically cracking down on the sales of NFTs within the game.
While never sold by Rockstar themselves, GTA Online’s role-playing servers—a place where players can immerse themselves pretending to have a job/life that thematically fits the world—have clearly become hubs for the sale of all kinds of stuff Rockstar would prefer not be sold within their game, from licensed music to sponsorship deals to loot boxes.
The update acknowledges that the changes aren’t going to affect the existence of role-playing servers themselves, saying “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.”
But it does directly address virtual currencies, loot boxes, sponsorships, crypto and NFTs, bringing existing singleplayer PC mod rules into play across the entire game and all platforms:
As such, Take-Two’s legal enforcement policy will be aligned with our current PC Single-Player mods policy, with priority in enforcement actions focused on: (i) misuse of Rockstar Games trademarks or game intellectual property (IP); (ii) importation or misuse of other IP in the project, including other Rockstar IP, real-world brands, characters, trademarks or music; (iii) 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”); (iv) making new games, stories, missions, or maps; or (v) interfering with our official multiplayer or online services, including Grand Theft Auto Online and Red Dead Online.
While the update also affects Red Dead Online, its online is such a cursed, lawless space that nobody is going to notice the difference.