Take-Two clamp down on GTA modding with cease and desist order [updated]

Take-Two clamp down on GTA modding with cease and desist order [updated]
Sean Cleaver

By Sean Cleaver

June 15th 2017 at 11:45AM

The OpenIV editor shuts down claiming it was "The day, when GTA modding was declared illegal."

Take-Two Interactive have reportedly sent a cease and decease request to the makers of the Grand Theft Auto editing mod, OpenIV.

OpenIV allows users to upload new textures and 3D models to the Grand Theft Auto games, which has been popular with users that make machinima using the game. The project has been running since the PC release of Grand Theft Auto IV and has been adapted to be used in every game released on PC that uses the RAGE engine, along with Grand Theft Auto V.

Rockstar has added full cinematic editors to Grand Theft Auto V since its release, which enables users to use tools within the game to create films and skits. The game is still, even after its release four years ago, a regular feature on the UK's video game charts and it has a large player base on PC for its GTA Online mode.

A post on the Russian developer's website says,"We feared that this day would come… And now it’s here.
The day, when GTA modding was declared illegal."

On the OpenIV website a statement from the team about the closure of the project read: 

"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."

Previously, modding on Grand Theft Auto hasn't been stopped en masse, with lots of community support for previous GTA titles regularly used like graphics enhancements and replacement textures. But recently, Rockstar and Take-Two has taken a harder line with certain mods. A recent full conversion of Grand Theft Auto V to Red Dead Redemption was ordered to stop development by the two companies.

Rockstar was famously involved in a modding controversy with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and the Hot Coffee mod that enabled a sex mini-game, back in 2004. The mini-game was excluded from the game's release but textures and the code were still included in the shipped game before being unlocked by hackers.

[UPDATE]

Rockstar Games issued a statement to PC Gamer yesterday on the subject of modding and the OpenIV mod specifically:

"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."