Take Two Takes Down GTA OpenIV Modding Tool

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Published by Serio 1 year ago , last updated 10 months ago

It was only a matter of time, wasn't it? Take Two, the owners of developer Rockstar and publisher of Grand Theft Auto V, has issued a Cease & Desist against the popular modding tool OpenIV.

GTA V's steam page has been flooded with negative reviews after the publisher of Rockstar's latest Grand Theft Auto game, Take-Two Interactive issued a cease and desist to the near ten year old mod.

The mod in question, OpenIV, is used by modders all over the world to edit the files of Grand Theft Auto IV, Grand Theft Auto V and Max Payne 3.

The tool, which was released in 2008, was primarily used for singleplayer modding and allowed players to activate and run various mods within the game. This, according to Take Two, also allows for cheaters and ne'er-do-wells to disturb the carefully crafted ecosystem of Grand Theft Auto Online.

Take-Two Interactive say that the modding tool allows modification authors to circumvent security features of the software and modify the software in such a way that it is in violation of Take-Two's rights. In a statement, the company said:

Take-Two"ake-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.

Gamers and fans alike have been quick to rail against Rockstar and Take Two on the matter, and in a statement issued by Take Two to PC Gamer, the publisher does acknowledge the role that OpenIV plays in enabling singleplayer mods, but states that they also allow cheaters to interfere with the online systems.

The author of the mod has issued the following statement:

To make it all clear, here is what happened: 1 - At May 19th, 2017, I received an email from the legal counsel for Take Two Interactive in the USA. In this email they has requested to stop immediately any further work and/or distribution of OpenIV and "Liberty City in GTAV" projects. 2 – In belief, that we did not violate any laws, I asked them to provide more detailed information about their request. They agreed to provide details by email. 3 – On June 5th, 2017, after two weeks of silence, I got C&D letter from lawyers company (legal representative of Take Two in Russia), both in electronic and paper form, to my employer address. This C&D accuses me in Russian laws violations. 4 – After many heavy thoughts, we had decided to agree with their claims. We did not make it easily; it is very hard decision for us.
As Grand Theft Auto V has hundreds of modifications available which have used this tool, it's admittedly an odd decision for Take-Two to make. You could argue that the GTA series does owe some of it's success on non-console platforms to modifications which allow users to extend the base game and introduce new features or outlandish customisations which would never be officially released.

According to the developer of the tool, OpenIV does not actually allow for the user to engage the Online functionality of the game as long as the tool is active - essentially calling bogus on Take Two's statement about the interference.

It's a huge blow to the modding community that such a well supported and regularly updated modding tool has been taken down in this manner after so long being online.

How this plays out will be paramount to modding for Take Two games in the future - will this begin the death spiral of the modding community for Grand Theft Auto, or will it persevere through this?

( Special thanks to Mikey for contributing to this article )

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