In the PC gaming community, modding is now widely practiced. The range of modifications available on PC games is mind-boggling. Some console games, such as Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, have been forced to install in-game modifications so that users have the same amount of access that PC users do.
But Take-Two Interactive has grown tired of these modifications taking over its games, now declaring them illegal for Grand Theft Auto V.
Is This Treating Fans Like Criminals?
Grand Theft Auto modifications have created some of the funniest viral videos out there, kickstarting many a YouTuber's career. Many choose the PC version specifically for the modifications. They really do set it apart from the console version and the possibilities are seemingly endless.
Countless gamers choose to only use modifications during the single-player campaign mode so that they don't disrupt and cause damage to the online community. You may have seen the likes of the Hulk, or Simba from The Lion King, stampeding around Los Santos, for example.
Some mods have leaked their way into the online community, but they are not aiming to cause disruption. Instead, they offer a fresh viewpoint on how the game can be played online — such as a new series of role-playing missions in which players can access the police, drug dealers or taxi drivers as playable characters.
Cease And Desist
As of June 5, 2017, the popular modding tool OpenIV no longer exists. The team who created and operate the tool have confirmed they received a cease-and-desist order from Rockstar's parent company Take-Two, which has declared modding illegal. The company's open letter states:
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.
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.
It was a hard decision, but when any modding activity has been declared illegal, we can’t see any possibilities to continue this process, unless top management of Take-Two company makes an official statement about modding, which can be used in court.
They Meant No Harm
None of these mods created in OpenIV were used in a malicious way. Some companies, such as Bethesda, have fully embraced the modding community, even going so far as to promote it for financial gain. A whole section of Bethesda's recent #E3 conference was dedicated to bringing modding to the world of Fallout and #Skyrim, with an elite number of modders to create some truly unique in-game modifications that players can purchase with coins or points.
It's difficult to determine why Take-Two has decided to go down this avenue. Modifications have become a vital part of #GTA5 and are the reason why many people still choose to play the game. Mods have been in Grand Theft Auto games for nearly two decades now, so why the company would make this decision now is baffling.
Maybe Take-Two will do as Bethesda did and work on some exclusive mods that it can control. Either way, make the most of the mods while you still can!
We'll bring you updates on this situation as they develop. Will you miss the mods? Let us know in the comments below.