There’s no doubt that Grand Theft Auto V is a juggernaut of a game, amassing great critical reception, hundreds of millions of dollars generated through GTA Online, and sales numbers that set records. It is a game that still features around the top five in the UK games charts every week as well. But in recent days a lot of GTA V’s reputation has become tarnished in the PC community due to Take Two Interactive banning modding through the tool OpenIV. This ban has led to a lot of bad reviews on Steam, where GTA V’s recent reviews are showing as Overwhelmingly Negative.
Take Two Interactive, Rockstar’s parent company, sent a cease and desist letter to the team at OpenIV telling them to immediately stop the modding tool from being used. Rockstar issued a statement on the matter to PC Gamer saying:
Take-Two’s actions were not specifically targeting single player mods. Unfortunately OpenIV enables recent malicious mods that allow harassment of players and interfere with the GTA Online experience for everybody. We are working to figure out how we can continue to support the creative community without negatively impacting our players.
A statement which OpenIV has challenged as incorrect. On the OpenIV website the team behind it issued their own response to the cease and desist.
For almost ten years of OpenIV development, we had tried to play as nice as possible and even more:
- Strictly following of Civil Code of Russia (only reverse engineering for interoperability).
- Only clean-room reverse engineering.
- No distribution of original data and code.
- And absolutely no messing with Online…
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“.
Yes, this letter is illiterate both technically and grammatically (really, they don’t even bothered with proof-reading the text).
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.
Going to court will take at least few months of our time and huge amount of efforts, and, at best, we’ll get absolutely nothing.
Spending time just to restore status quo is really unproductive, and all the money in the world can’t compensate the loss of time.
So, we decided to agree with their claims and we’re stopping distribution of OpenIV.
A petition to get Take Two to reverse the cease and desist and save OpenIV has amassed 35,000 signatures at time of writing.