Take-Two Interactive, parent company of Grand Theft Auto developer Rockstar, has issued more DMCA takedown notices for GTA mods. These mods are mostly for newer GTA games, and they're intended to bring classic settings and assets into modern titles.
Which GTA mods have been hit by the DMCA takedowns?
This news comes via prominent GTA mod repository LibertyCity.net. Mods confirmed to be the victim of DMCA takedowns include efforts to bring the settings of Bully, Manhunt, and GTA: Vice City into the engine of Grand Theft Auto V. As writer jdayke confirms on LibertyCity, all of the DMCA'd mods were ports of classic Rockstar games on newer engines. Mods that don't feature content from older Rockstar games aren't being hit in this newest wave of DMCAs.
This follows on from a wave of DMCA takedowns that Take-Two issued back in July. Those mods included Vice Cry, Liberty City Stories: PC Edition, and GTA: Underground, among others. Again, the DMCAs were issued against mods that brought classic Rockstar content into the Grand Theft Auto V engine. GTAForums poster Ash_735 says that in 2017, TakeTwo introduced an "agreement" that prohibited players from porting old content into the new engine or from modding GTA Online in any way. Supposedly, that agreement was updated quietly in 2019 to also prevent players from adding new content to the RAGE engine, too.
These DMCAs could feed into Take-Two's previous comments, in which CEO Strauss Zelnick stated the company would only take down mods if they threatened "the economy" or if they contained "bad behavior". Although Zelnick's comments are perhaps a little vaguely worded, "economy" could refer to the company economy, i.e. mods depicting classic Rockstar games could harm Take-Two's ability to make money from potential future remasters. Given that rumors are swirling around that these remasters could be in the pipeline, this could be why these notices are now being issued.
Why has Take-Two been issuing these DMCA takedowns?
The prevailing theory as to why these takedowns are being issued is that there could be a wave of old-school Rockstar remasters or remakes on the way. It seems a little convenient that Take-Two is targeting mods specifically using content from PS2-era GTA games as well as Bully and Manhunt. These rumors are backed up by comments made by Take-Two earlier this month, announcing that the company is working on three remaster projects for unannounced games, and Zelnick's comments about the company's economy being a driving force for when they issue take downs. These could well be Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, and San Andreas, or perhaps Bully and Manhunt.
We'll have to wait and see what Strauss Zelnick and Take-Two announce in the future regarding their plans for classic Rockstar remasters. In the meantime, if you're a GTA modder and you've got a project based on remastering or reworking PS2-era Rockstar games in modern GTA style, you might want to be careful; there's a good chance Take-Two will issue a DMCA notice for the project. We'll bring you more on this as we get it.
How do you feel about these takedown notices being issued? Would you like to see classic GTA remasters? Let us know in the comments below!