Grand Theft Auto ‘cheats’ homes raided
The publisher of video game Grand Theft Auto V has been granted the right to search the homes of five people accused of making cheat software.
The court order allowed Rockstar Games and its parent company, Take-Two Interactive, to search two properties in Melbourne, Australia, for evidence related to a cheat known as Infamous.
The Australian federal court has also frozen the assets of the five, who have not yet filed a defence.
The cheat went offline six months ago.
It allowed players who paid about $40 (£30) to manipulate the gaming environment, generate virtual currency and use a “god mode” feature that makes players invincible.
Tech news site Motherboard said using the cheat software “undermines enjoying for users playing fairly in online modes”.
Under the court order, the five people, named as Christopher Anderson, Cyrus Lesser, Sfinktah, Koroush Anderson and Koroush Jeddian, are prevented from creating or using game cheats.
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And they are allowed to withdraw only money for modest living expenses from their frozen accounts.
According to technology news site Torrent Freak, which first reported the story, it is the first time such tactics have been used.
Editor-in-chief Ernesto van der Sar told the BBC: “The search and freezing order go beyond what I’ve ever seen in any cheating related cases.
“It shows that the copyright holders and the court take this issue rather seriously.”
“Many cheaters may believe that it’s a relatively harmless activity – but they ruin the fun for legitimate players.
“Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive Software are targeting the alleged developers of these cheats, who often sell and profit from their software.”
The BBC has contacted Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive but has not received a response to date.