If you thought Bethesda’s E3 announcement regarding the Creation Club was a travesty, then this will make you think twice about the bad guy. Earlier today, the publisher behind some of the most well-established IP’s such as Grand Theft Auto and Bioshock has sent out a notice that prohibits users from modifying its games. The devs behind the popular Grand Theft Auto 5 modding tool known as OpenIV notified the public about a cease and desist letter they received earlier this month from Take-Two Interactive in regards to their work.
In a thread titled “Take Two vs Modding” on GTAForums, lead developer GooD-NTS stated the team cannot continue developing the OpenIV software despite their attempts to play ball with the publisher at hand. During its ten-year course, OpenIV has strayed from illicit practices such as redistributing original game code and tinkering with the online portion of the Grand Theft Auto games. Regardless of their careful actions, the team is now encouraging users to uninstall their software in order to avoid potential legal issues on the user’s end.
“On June 5th, 2017, we had received an official Cease-and-Desist letter. It clearly says, that with OpenIV we allow third parties to defeat security features of its software and modify that software in violation Take-Two's rights” GooD-NTS said. “Yes, we can go to court and yet again prove that modding is fair use and our actions are legal. Yes, we could. But we decided not to" He added:
"Almost ten years of my life were dedicated to @OpenIV and now this time is over."
As a fellow modmaker, this comes as a complete shock to myself and the entire Grand Theft Auto modding community. For those that are not familiar with the past actions of publisher Take-Two Interactive, they have a habit of sending cease and desist letters to anything that is deemed a threat to their business. Earlier this year, the team working on the Red Dead Redemption V mod cancelled their project after receiving a letter in the same vein as OpenIV. In late 2015, they halted the FiveM GTAV multiplayer mod from further progress.
After speaking with several PC gamers, we’ve learned the reason they mainly buy Grand Theft Auto on PC is due to the fact it can be modded with customized content. Even to this day, dated titles such as GTA: San Andreas and GTAIV are kept alive on PC due to modding and user-created multiplayer content. Taking this away from the community after 15 years is not going to sit well with users who spent their money for the sole purpose of modding.
If you glance at the Grand Theft Auto V Steam store page, you’ll notice a rising trend in negative reviews being left by furious users. “Take Two has really shot themselves in the knee here with the whole Open IV situation” says Steam user Polecat, who has over 106 hours clocked into GTAV on PC. Taking a quick glance at your favorite online gaming communities ranging from Reddit, Neogaf and 4chan will reveal hundreds of negative comments regarding Take-Two and the great modding debacle. To seal the deal, there is a petition titled ‘Save OpenIV’ with over 3,000 signatures in less than a single day.
It’s rumored that Take-Two planned this move in order to restrain cheaters from ruining GTA Online, but cheating will continue to remain until they tackle scripting and memory-based issues. OpenIV is more of a file editor used for modding the single-player version of Grand Theft Auto V and removing it will only continue to hurt the player base. Although the future may seem bleak for the modding community, there seems to be no shortage of concerned gamer's who are willing to raise their voice on this matter until it’s resolved.
Do you think Take-Two made the right decision? Let us know in the comments below.