Back in July, the Grand Theft Auto modding community plunged into panic when Rockstar Games’ parent company, Take-Two, stepped up efforts to remove popular mods. While companies are no stranger to filming mods that cross this invisible line to the publisher, these efforts seem to have skyrocketed over the past year thanks to a more aggressive approach to the modding community. After the popular GTA Underground mod was previously removed from ModDB due to a DMCA strike by the company earlier this year, the team decided to abandon the mod altogether due to “growing hostility” from the parent company.
GTA Underground Development Team GTAForums to update our initial post from July, which reads: “Due to growing hostility towards the modding community and imminent danger to our mental and financial well-being, we are sorry to announce that we are officially discontinuing development of GTA: Underground and will soon be shutting down all official downloads.” …
The message reads: “We would like to thank the community for the tremendous support they have given us in recent years and our talented modding team for the incredible work, dedication and great times we have spent together.”
The team also added that this decision does not mean the group is disbanding. Instead, they want to launch their own game entirely, which you can learn more about in the Underground end video at the top of the article.
The modding community has previously come together to keep track of which mods have survived the bans, which have not, and which ones can be found. here…
Nintendo is another big company that strongly opposes mod creation, although Rockstar has been a little more lenient (at least in the past). The initial wave of bans was mainly aimed at either general conversion modifications or those affecting multiplayer settings to avoid cheats. Back in 2017 (later updated in 2019) Rockstar changed their support page with a post below regarding single player mods and whether they will be exempt from kills:
Rockstar Games believes in smart fan creativity and, in particular, wants creators to showcase their passion for our games. After discussions with Take-Two, Take-Two agreed that it would generally not take legal action against third-party projects related to Rockstar PC games that are single-player, non-commercial and respect the intellectual property (IP) rights of third parties … sides. This does not apply to (i) multiplayer or online services; (ii) tools, files, libraries or functions that can be used to influence multi-user or online services, or (iii) use or import of another IP (including another Rockstar IP) in the project; or (iv) creating new games, stories, missions or maps. It is not a license and does not imply endorsement, approval or authorization of any third party project. Take-Two reserves the right to object to any third party project or revise, withdraw and / or withdraw this statement at any time in its sole discretion. This statement is not a waiver of any rights that Take-Two may have in relation to third party projects.
Amendments to the creation of new games and content using Rockstar IPs, such as mod modifications that provide new content and “importing other IPs” such as Liberty City and Vice City Stories ports, will not be permitted. This modified wording was not found in the original copy back in 2017 and did explain why some of the mods have been removed in recent weeks.
Always talking about Grand Theft Auto 6; it’s a minefield of leaks, rumors and false reports, but recent harassment over mods seems to be fueling these fires in GTA 6. Much of the GTA community seems to think this wave of bans suggests Rockstar is more protective of property from for something related to the next Grand Theft Auto. Others think this may mean that a possible remake or remaster may be on the horizon, and so old mods are suddenly removed. We have nothing but questions at this point, but we are keen to see if there is a more serious reason for the renewed zeal.