Player protests force change on GTA V mod kit


Grand Theft Auto 5Image copyright
Rockstar Games

Image caption

Many people play heavily changed, or modded, versions of GTA V

Player protests have prompted the publishers of GTA V to halt legal action against a widely used software add-on for the single-player version.

Take-Two claimed the Open IV program that let people change, or mod, the game’s basic elements aided cheats.

In response, players wrote thousands of negative reviews of the game and more than 77,000 signed a petition calling for Open IV to be left alone.

GTA creator Rockstar also put pressure on Take-Two to change its mind.

In a message placed on the GTA V chat forums, Rockstar said “discussions” with Take-Two had led to it ending the legal action.

Technical challenge

The row blew up last week when the lead developer of Open IV said the mod kit was being withdrawn because it had been threatened with legal action by Take-Two.

At the same time, Take-Two took action that led to the closure of three sites that advertised themselves as a way for people to cheat when playing online versions of the game.

These extras let people get huge amounts of in-game cash and easily obtain items that otherwise took hours of playing to acquire.

Users of Open IV said Take-Two was wrong to regard the mod kit as a cheating tool because it was designed to work with only single-player versions of GTA.

In its forum message, Rockstar acknowledged this distinction and said its discussions with Take-Two had meant that the publisher had now “agreed that it generally will not take legal action against third-party projects involving Rockstar’s PC games that are single-player, non-commercial, and respect the intellectual property (IP) rights of third parties”.

Rockstar said it believed in “reasonable fan creativity” that let fans show their “passion” for its games.

Image copyright
AFP

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The GTA V game first went on sale in late 2013, but mods mean many people still play it

Take-Two’s decision was also influenced by Open IV’s creators promising to work harder to stop the kit being used by people to cheat in online versions of GTA.

A small number of people had found a way to use Open IV to cheat in this way, lead developer Yuriy Krivoruchko told news site Motherboard.

The ending of the legal action was “good news”, wrote Samuel Horti on the Rock, Paper Shotgun website.

“It’s helped players produce some cracking mods and machinima [animation],” he said.

Horti added that the Rockstar statement was “carefully worded”, perhaps so it could be reversed later on.

It might need to be, he said, because Take-Two and Rockstar faced a technical challenge when it came to policing add-ons for the game.

“How do Take-Two intend to allow single-player mods without leaving the door open to cheaters?” he asked.

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