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GTA 5's Hacked Source Code Reportedly Sold For An Insulting Price

"Grand Theft Auto" fans have gotten a greater peek behind the development curtain than Rockstar Games ever anticipated, and the situation is only getting more frustrating for the embattled developer. Late last year, hours of footage from the in-development "Grand Theft Auto 6" were leaked online by a hacker group. Then, striking a blow against Rockstar right around the holidays, the entire source code of "Grand Theft Auto 5" was dumped onto the internet this week, along with dozens of other internal dev documents. Rubbing further salt in the wound is another embarrassing reveal: Before being made widely available online, the "GTA 5" source code was sold to members of the "GTA" modding community for an insultingly low sum of money.

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According to a series of leaked DMs that have been circulating throughout X (formerly Twitter), it seems the source code was purchased by a group of modders for approximately $2,000 USD. One of the members of this group, who went by the screen name TMP, then attempted to re-sell the code and turn a profit. When TMP could not find anyone to take the code off his hands — even after offering to sell it for as low as $200 — he decided to just dump the entire thing online for free. In one of screenshots of leaked messages, an unknown party tells TMP he's most likely made himself a target of not only Rockstar's lawyers, but also the entire modding community and the people who spent thousands of dollars on purchasing the hacked code. According to sources that have spoken with content creator Dyllie, TMP ultimately leaked the source code "out of spite." According to Dyllie, "If [TMP] wasn't able to make a profit, he was going to make sure no one else could."

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Putting the source code sale into perspective

"Grand Theft Auto 5" is the second best-selling game of all time, moving over 190 million units since its debut in 2013. In all, "GTA 5" and "GTA Online" have netted Rockstar Games well over 7 billion dollars in revenue over the last decade. The fact that the source code for this record-breaking title was sold for a mere two grand must come as an even greater blow to Rockstar Games and its parent company, Take-Two Interactive. Also, now that the game's entire code is available for the downloading (and no, we're not going to provide a link to it here), savvy PC users have managed to compile a playable build of their own. While this is no doubt a revolutionary moment for the "Grand Theft Auto" modding community, it could result in swift backlash from Rockstar Games. Despite the company's relatively relaxed approach to mods for single-player campaigns, it would be easy to see this latest move as a step too far. It remains to be seen how the developer will respond.

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As for the modding group who originally bought the source code, it seems there's still much we don't know. According to Dillie, "There's a lot of detail left out of this story, as I am reporting on what I was told by two credible people ... If anything else comes up, I'll be sure to report on what I'm told." Likewise, "GTA" fans will be sure to keep their eyes peeled as this story develops.

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