Huge GTA4 Mod Started In 2014 Shuts Down Due To 'Hostility' From Take-Two Interactive

from the mod-squad dept

For some reason, it seems that there is an industry issue heating up among video game developers and publishers over their modding communities. We've begun to see a flurry of stories on the topic lately and perhaps the most impressive thing about those stories is how wildly binary they are. Nintendo tends to Nintendo, for instance, where control is valued over building a community of fans. Other publishers, like CD Projekt Red and Bethesda go the completely opposite direction and not only embrace the modding communities for their games, but also sometimes simply hire talented modders directly to their payroll.

Take-Two Interactive, the publishers of the Grand Theft Auto franchise and the subject of this post, has a history of bullying ambitious modders into shutting down. The company has recently put this practice into overdrive, going after all kinds of modding teams working on current and past GTA games, with the speculation being that it's all being done because of a forthcoming remaster of some of those older games.

Well, the hostility has gotten bad enough that some fan-run projects are simply shutting down before the legal threats start flying. That appears to be the case with an incredibly ambitious mod for GTA: San Andreas.

As a result of this hostility, GTA Underground lead developer dkluin wrote in a post yesterday on the GTAForums that they and the other modders working on the project were now “officially ceasing the development” of GTA: Underground.

“Due to the increasing hostility towards the modding community and imminent danger to our mental and financial well-being,” explained dkluin, “We sadly announce that we are officially ceasing the development of GTA: Underground and will be shortly taking all official uploads offline.”

The mod had aimed at putting all the historical cities from GTA games on a single map, while also developing new home-grown cities for people to play in. Work on it began in 2014, when dkluin was a teenager. As is so often the case with this sort of thing, this was a labor of love by a modder and a community that clearly love the GTA games. But, with Take-Two again set to release a bunch of GTA remasters sometime in the future, the lawyers have been sic'd on all kinds of mods.

In its fair well video by dkluin, where they announce the end of development and then thank all who contributed to it, the comments were almost universally negative towards Take-Two. Examples include:

  • I hate how anti-modding Take2 is towards modding, even for games that are nearly two decades old
  • Been watching this since evolve since 2014. Truly tragic, I don’t even see the benefit of shutting these mods down from a business end unless T2 wants to achieve this same goal GTA Underground has but from a profit angle. But they’d never put all the cities from the 3D era in one map/client, so I don’t understand the move. This is like watching part of my teenage years die. I was 17 when I subbed to this channel, I am 25 now.
  • One of the best mods we can see out there and this is the result, I hate Take-Two

It goes on from there, with hundreds of comments. Now replicate this anger across all the different mods that were developed or in development for a game that came out nearly 20 years ago. All of that very real anger felt by very real fans of GTA and all directed towards Take-Two is going to have some impact on the public's willingness to keep buying Take-Two games.

Apparently the company is betting that such anger is not enough to outweigh the profits gained by remastering old GTA games and exerting strict control. I have my doubts that this was the best route for Take-Two to go.

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Filed Under: fans, grand theft auto, gta4, mods, video games
Companies: take two interactive


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Sep 2021 @ 8:27pm

    Didn't own a console back in the day, never got hooked on the GTA franchise.

    Unfortunately, I still play Civ, including Civ 6, which has the T2 brand stamped on it. sigh 2005 was a bad year.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 10 Sep 2021 @ 9:12pm

    Here pay us for these "remasters", that will not be nearly as good, but we need to cash in one more time on you idiots who keep buying our product when we are openly hostile to people to kept our fans interested in playing all this time on properties we didn't care about until the mod community showed us people still want to play these older games.

    But hey on the upside it is very unlikely that any current players will pick up the new products (if the anger holds, which it often doesn't. see also Nintendo sales despite their insane crackdowns). And no modder, with any sense of self preservation, will ever touch a T2 property again meaning that their games will have a shorter shelf life & no interest from players for newer content and ideas.

    Good plan.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2021 @ 9:44pm

      Re:

      But hey on the upside it is very unlikely that any current players will pick up the new products

      If you actually believe this you need to come back and join us in reality.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Strawb (profile), 11 Sep 2021 @ 7:42am

    Headline

    Slightly misleading. While GTA:SA is technically the fourth game in the series, it's not known as GTA4, since the actual GTA4 also exists.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2021 @ 9:47pm

    You just can't accept that Bethesda only is friendly to mods because they compensate for Tood Howard's lies and their terrible game engine and that they have continuously attempted to turn free mods into paid ones evict is just as bad. But hey they made a pay to win fallout game and then didn't even let you have private servers. So heroic and pro consumer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2021 @ 12:05am

      Re:

      First off, Gamebyro is definitely outdated and at the limits of what it can do, but getting a licence for a new game engine is expensive at best, and if you have to deal with scummy companies like Crytek, dangerous at worst. It is, at worst, a bad fit for what they hoped to acheive, but the engine itself? Doubt it's as bad as you say.

      Secondly, we know about paid mods and will fight against them at every instance that mole pops out.

      Thirdly, Fallout76 was bad and everyone knows it.

      Also, what has Bethseda and their board's shitty decisions got to do with TakeTwo and Rockstar? Stop harrassing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Tanner Andrews (profile), 12 Sep 2021 @ 1:40am

    All of that very real anger felt by very real fans of GTA and all directed towards Take-Two is going to have some impact on the public's willingness to keep buying Take-Two games.

    Evidence, please!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Sep 2021 @ 6:23am

    If you own the software, you should be able to mod it. That's the problem; you don't "own" the software. You basically only have the license to play/use the software. Some devs/publishers don't have a problem with you modding "their" software, some do have a problem with it.
    Copyright and ownership laws would have to change before modding is truly legal. And then there's the issue of selling mods - which I disagree with. I, however, don't have a problem with the selling of certain musical remixes, which is basically the same as selling a modded game. (I know I'm contradicting myself!) Modding legality won't be fixed with a single law. There are some layers here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 13 Sep 2021 @ 9:06am

    Well, I would buy some remasters. Now I won't. And I imagine a lot of those negative comments are lost customers as well. Profit?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Lostinlodos (profile), 13 Sep 2021 @ 5:39pm

    The problem is:

    Remasters are rarely remasters. They’re usually remakes.

    temakes never as good as the original, and in many cases can be worse.
    This big push for calling remakes remasters is really pulling retro gamers in different directions, too!

    Where do you dra the line between the two?
    I’ll grab a legit remaster day one. When it comes to remakes, it’s gonna be a while well I was tech reviews and figure out if it’s worth dropping $50-$90 on.

    I’m growing very tired of bait and switch.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 13 Sep 2021 @ 6:24pm

    They should release all their work and let others download it and continue working on it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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