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GTA Online: Rockstar thanks and awards $10k to a fan for fixing long load times, rolls out a new update

This new patch is based on a fan-made fix and it reduces the loading times for GTA Online by several minutes. Let’s check everything we know about the patch and the bug bounty reward from Rockstar here.

Rockstar Games, the popular video game publisher has just released a new patch for its flagship title, GTA Online. GTA Online is the multiplayer version of its popular AAA video game title, Grand Theft Auto 5 (GTA V). This new patch reduces the loading times for GTA Online by several minutes. Multiple users noted that it reduced the loading times from 7-8 minutes to 2-3 minutes or from 4-5 minutes to under less than 1.5 minutes. This new patch is based on a fan-made fix that surfaced online about two weeks back. Let’s check everything we know about the fan-made patch and the new patch for GTA Online from Rockstar here.

GTA Online patch out; reduces the loading times significantly

The game publisher shared information around this patch while acknowledging efforts from the GTA fan for spotting the issue. According to a report from PC Gamer, “player t0sT” was right in outlining possible improvements in the PC version of the game. Rockstar noted that the new patch included some learning from t0st to improve GTA Online. In addition to the acknowledgment, Rockstar also thanked t0st with a sum of $10,000 for this contribution.

It is worth noting that this $10,000 is part of the Bug Bounty program the company runs. Though, this fix does not qualify as a security or privacy vulnerability as most programs focus on. However, Rockstar did state that it made an exception in this case as the improvement after the update is significant. The initial report also noted that t0st likely deserves an even larger amount because they did most of the leg-work about finding and fixing the problem. This likely reduced countless hours of work for developers at Rockstar in trying to find and then fix the problem. In fact, it did not even attempt to fix this problem in the more than 7 years since the launch.

The reduction in loading times for GTA Online is likely to bring back a small chunk of gamers. This is likely because a not-so-insignificant number of players likely stopped playing the game due to the long loading times. Checking the initial fix, t0st, the player with Github username tostercx shared some technical details around the problem. TLDR version of the analysis states that the game was creating a “single thread CPU bottleneck” during the launch process.