Popular GTA V Modding Tool Shuts Down, Community Explodes [Updated]

The creators of Open IV, one of the most popular modding tools for GTA V, are shutting their services down. They claim they have received a cease and desist from Take-Two Interactive after nearly 10 years of operation. The news comes as a shock to the PC Grand Theft Auto community, who use OpenIV to add thousands of mods into GTA V.

OpenIV, a super popular modding tool used by tons of GTA V fans, had a multitude of uses. Some players used OpenIV to make machinima videos that aren't possible using the in-game video editor. Others used OpenIV to add new vehicles, weapons and features to GTA V. And for those who hunt for mysteries and secrets in GTA V, OpenIV allows them to dig deeper and poke around in the game in ways Rockstar never intended.

According to a post on the official OpenIV website, the alleged cease and desist came on June 5th 2017. The supposed problem, OpenIV's creators say, is that the program allows "third parties to defeat security features of its software and modify that software in violation Take-Two's rights." After discussing their options, the team behind the tool says they decided it was not worth their time to fight back.

"Yes, we can go to court and yet again prove that modding is fair use and our actions are legal," creator GooD-NTS wrote. "Yes, we could. But we decided not to. Going to court will take at least few months of our time and huge amount of efforts, and, at best, we'll get absolutely nothing. Spending time just to restore status quo is really unproductive, and all the money in the world can't compensate the loss of time. So, we decided to agree with their claims and we're stopping distribution of OpenIV."

Accordingly, when players now try to use OpenIV, they see this message:

Image via: @NexxusDrako

The tool is no longer available for download, and will no longer receive updates. UPDATE 16/6: Here’s Rockstar Games, confirming the situation:

Take-Two’s actions were not specifically targeting single player mods. Unfortunately OpenIV enables recent malicious mods that allow harassment of players and interfere with the GTA Online experience for everybody. We are working to figure out how we can continue to support the creative community without negatively impacting our players.

Original story follows:

We reached out to Rockstar, Take-Two, and the OpenIV developers, but did not hear back in time for publication.

News of the shutdown spread fast, with fans and modders alike reacting with anger, confusion, and sadness. "This is such a huge loss to noncommercial homebrew gaming," Jordan Miller, a modder known for making funny GTA V videos, told Kotaku. "This program ... is used by anyone who swaps out 3D models in the game," Miller said. "It's the only way to 'reverse engineer' the game that exists; nobody else has made something comparable because it's so good at what it does and the team behind it is so industrious.

"People will still be able to use single player mods like trainers, but nearly everything I have done with those mods has been in conjunction with being able to poke around the game directories with OpenIV," Miller said.

Many angry GTA fans are even swearing to never buy another game from Take-Two again.

This is just a small sample of the thousands of responses happening right now. The creator of OpenIV himself tweeted this shortly after news of the shutdown came out:

In the past, Rockstar has actually been supportive of GTA modders. As pointed out by GTA News Online, you can find blog posts on Rockstar's official website sharing video links to popular GTA mods that use OpenIV.

And in an May 2015 Q&A on Rockstar's website, they said they "have always appreciated the creative efforts of the PC modding community and we still fondly remember the awesome zombie invasion mod and original GTA map mod for GTAIV PC among many other classics."


Comments

    One day I would like to see a story where these folks use their exceptional skills to make their own games.

      They do. The thing is that most of them (reasonably) decide against going the indie way and simply use their massive experience and demonstrated skills to get positions within the industry. They just become another name in the long list of credits that you let scroll while you go to the bathroom after you end a game.

        Uh, was that meant to be a response to me?

        If so, I can't help but feel we aren't talking about the same thing.

    Slowly killing their own game.

    They keep releasing stupid content for online public sessions which no one wants and now they're actively destroying what their players actually want; private sessions with custom settings and content.

    I hope they leave FiveM alone.

    What's the bet that they are releasing their own modding thing

      And selling it? Pretty ballsy move if that's their intention. Not good PR.

      Could be, especially in the run up to the next Red Dead.

      However, to me it absolutely sounds more like another case of a publisher's legal team doing something that directly contradicts the statements or stance from one of its own developers.

        If it is the legal team, must be a s****y legal team if it took them 10 years to get on to it.

          Its the sort of shit that happens far more than it should.

          Someone (or something in the case of automated systems) in legal sees something, has zero context for what is being looked at, and just goes, "I will not stand by and allow this evil to persist!"

          Reminds me of when DSfix, a mod for Dark Souls 1, was threatened with legal action after years of being out. A mod that some would absolutely argue drove PC sales because essentially all it did was make the game work properly.

          Some legal mechanism took action, then when people who knew what they were actually looking at found out they had to fix the whole mess.

    Curious sort of decision to do this after such a long time. Guessing they either have plans for official support, or somebody did something to make their legal team nervous.

    If they had plans though I'd assume they'd have announced that first, then started to shut down other tools.

    This is a major blunder on Take-2's part. It comes across as outright thuggery.
    They have the finances to engage in litigation, their customer's don't.
    If they were arguing that they were using assets that didn't belong to them- then that would be fair enough, and the defendant should have the option to remove the assets to remedy it.
    The issue is here- no such option was given. It's a shutdown challenge.
    What it means to me, is Take-2 is playing hardline on "you have limited rights as a purchaser to use the material as we intended, you have a license to use them in this context".
    It really worries me as I fear it will take even more rights away from people who buy games.
    We are getting scarily close to not really buying games anymore- just paying a truckload of money for digital rental which can be revoked without warning at the renter's behest.
    As far as I'm concerned when that happens, PC gaming is dead.

    Time for Rockstar to break with Take Two? Surely they can distribute their own games thesedays the size that they are!

    Would be interesting if they did go fully independent though, might start to see some more out of the box games and ideas from them! *cough, manhunt 3*

      Depends on who actually owns the rights to those IP's

    Wasnt it just last week or the week before that Take2's CEO was talking about how they are currently under monetising their products? Despite all the absolute bullshit price gouging that they have done to us australian and new zealand customers, bullying GMG into the forcing us to use Regional Pricing, attempted to the same to GoG.com as well and lately have been region locking their games.

    Stop Playing Singleplayer. Take Two wants you to play multiplayer and buy shark cards and be a good little consumerist ... something, I'm sure it involves rope, whips and and chains.

    No more "horse goes on rampage" videos. No more "early Mario Odyssey footage" videos. No more "Watch an animal walk around" or "watch an AI learn to drive" Twitch streams.

    As far as interesting and funny videos over the years goes, this is actually a pretty big deal and will be missed.

    This is what happens when you pour your heart into a game BY a huge faceless corporation, they eventually turn around and rip your head off and shit down your throat. Did we learn anything yet?

    In saying that some games can be considered safe to mod because that's how they thrive. GTA5 is a online game, this is what you get.

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