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GTA Online’s third anniversary comes with $250K in-game bonus for everyone (update)

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Discounts and a Halloween item, too

Grand Theft Auto Online - LCC Sanctus motorcycle 3840
The LCC Sanctus motorcycle will get GTA Online players in the Halloween spirit.
Rockstar North/Rockstar Games

Grand Theft Auto 5 publisher Rockstar Games is marking the three-year anniversary of Grand Theft Auto Online by giving a special cash gift to everybody in the game, the company announced today.

All GTA 5 players who log in to GTA Online on PlayStation 4, Windows PC or Xbox One from today through Oct. 31 will receive a gift of GTA$250,000, the mode’s in-game currency. The funds will be deposited into players’ Maze Bank accounts by Nov. 4.

GTA Online originally launched Oct. 1, 2013 — two weeks after GTA 5 itself debuted on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 — with severe server issues that plagued the game for days. The mode has come a long, long way since then, with Rockstar having delivered numerous free content updates to add elements like multiplayer heists.

Rockstar is taking a look back at all those updates with an anniversary sale that offers discounts of 30 percent on weapons, vehicles, clothes and other in-game content. The deals highlight “fan-favorite items” that Rockstar added in various updates over the years, such as the Luxor Deluxe private plane from the Ill-Gotten Gains: Part One update. Rockstar’s sale runs through Nov. 7, and the company is temporarily disabling rank and completion requirements so everybody will be able to use the items.

This week, Rockstar is celebrating another special occasion in GTA Online: Halloween. A spooky new motorcycle, the skull-fronted LCC Sanctus, will arrive Oct. 28. The bike will be accompanied by a new mode, Lost vs. Damned, that pits Angels and Devils against each other. With a day/night cycle that switches every minute — of course, the Angels do better in the light while the Devils rule the darkness — this battle will rage for a while. Rockstar is also reviving some classic Halloween items from years past.

For more on GTA Online’s third anniversary, check out the Rockstar Newswire.

Update: While Rockstar is giving GTA$250,000 to all GTA Online players, the company also subtracted funds — sometimes in massive amounts — from the accounts of players who used exploits and mods to accrue absurd bankrolls of in-game cash.

In a post on the Rockstar Support site, the company said it “removed illegitimately gained in-game money from player accounts” in an effort to “keep the gameplay environment fair.” Players can spend GTA Dollars on items like fancy cars and powerful weapons, so cheaters with inflated bank accounts can take over the open-world multiplayer game.

Rockstar continued, “If you received an alert saying that your shared bank balance was adjusted, that is because you had illegitimate funds in your account.”

Some of the affected users lost a Scrooge McDuckian cache of ill-gotten GTA Dollars. A player who goes by the name Carbine King tweeted a screenshot (via Kotaku) in which the game told him it had “corrected [his] GTA Dollars” by removing nearly GTA$118 trillion from his account. Carbine King was not pleased with the discovery:

Rockstar said that it only erased GTA Dollars that players obtained illegitimately. Players who added funds to their account by purchasing Shark Cards, a microtransaction in which players can spend real money on GTA Dollars, will not lose any in-game funds from what Rockstar calls the “GTA Online October 2016 Illegitimately Gained In-Game Money Removal.”