There has been quite the hubbub over the PC version of GTA V. First, Take-Two was upset about mods, sent a cease and desist to the OpenIV developers, and took down a bunch of people releasing cheats for GTA Online. Rockstar Games then said it supported mods that weren’t going to totally ruin the game. Single-player modding resumed. The saga is over, right?
Well, mostly. There have been some aftershocks after this whole GTA V modding/no modding debacle. People may be a bit hesitant after seeing so much happen so fast. After seeing how quickly and easily the developer and publisher acted when it came to shutting it down, then pulling things back together again, it may cause some concerns. There is news to support both the assurance that things could be okay again and that the actions may have damaged the modding community.
One big piece of news is that OpenIV has resumed development now that the “all clear” has been given. This comes after a small update that appeared shortly after it shut down development, but now is officially back on. It is following the Rockstar modding policy rules, won’t touch GTA Online at all, and will continue to allow people to improve the GTA V single-player experience. This is a great big “all is well” for everyone involved.
But, the Rockstar mod rules are still causing quite a bit of harm. While the go-ahead has been given for some user-created alterations, there is a line that is killing some of the most ambitious and anticipated projects. In the rules, it states, “Take-Two has 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. This does not apply to (i) multiplayer or online services; (ii) tools, files, libraries, or functions that could be used to impact multiplayer or online services, or (iii) use or importation of other IP (including other Rockstar IP) in the project.” It’s that third part, referring to other IP, that is causing a problem.
Some of the best GTA V mods are dying because of this rule. Remember the Red Dead Redemption map mod? Well, .White had to end Red Dead Redemption V after being contacted by the companies. It would have put all of the Western game’s map and some extra content into GTA V. “Would have” are the operative words here. The OpenIV team has also had to cancel its own project. The Liberty City in GTA V mod, which would have been released this spring, is dead. It would have taken the GTA III and GTA IV map into the newest game, letting people travel between Los Santos and Liberty City. Again, it is another major non-profit project that we will never get to enjoy because of the crackdown.
Does the GTA V modding scene still have a future? Maybe. OpenIV is around and in development. Rockstar Games and Take-Two have some rules set down and are fine as long as GTA Online and IPs aren’t touched. Even so, we’re seeing some of the biggest and brightest projects canceled. Why? Because of those same somewhat-restrictive rules that are now in place. While things seem okay for now, the situation isn’t perfect.