A wave of Grand Theft Auto modifications have been hit with Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) strikes from publisher Take-Two Interactive, according to a statement posted to popular mod repository LibertyCity yesterday.
“All these mods were ports of the locations, cities, cars, and characters of old Rockstar Games titles on newer Grand Theft Auto engines,” wrote LibertyCity admin jdayke. “The mods won’t be available to download on LibertyCity anymore.”
The files hit by takedown notices include Vice Cry: Remastered, a popular mod that ported the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City map to Grand Theft Auto V, and SA2LC, which similarly recreated Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in Grand Theft Auto III. Others, like OpenManhunt and Bullworth, added assets from the Manhunt and Bully franchises to San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto V, respectively.
This comes less than a month after a previous wave of DMCA notices against older Grand Theft Auto modifications on ModDB, a much larger modding site. Much like this week’s takedowns, Take-Two largely targeted mods that converted old Grand Theft Auto assets to newer engines.
“I just want to state now we literally can’t do much else but comply with a DMCA,” ModDB community manager David Driver-Gomm tweeted at the time, “but as a modder of various games who has shipped a few mods in his time, this has saddened me too. I wish there was something else to be done.”
“It is worth noting the EULAs for a lot of the [Grand Theft Auto games] forbid modification, so if I were you, I would try to pivot into modding games less likely to result in this outcome, or at least make backups of your work in case it gets challenged later,” Driver-Gomm added in a follow-up tweet.
Ozark, a cheat menu for Grand Theft Auto V, was also taken down yesterday according to an announcement posted in its official Discord server. Some users, however, believe the creator is running an exit scam to avoid delivering on purchases while pivoting to an entirely new project. Unlike the ports mentioned above, Ozark’s removal was largely met with celebration due to its reputation for ruining the Grand Theft Auto Online multiplayer experience.
Kotaku contacted Rockstar Games about the situation but didn’t hear back before publication.
It’s unclear at this time what’s made Take-Two so takedown happy, but common speculation is that it has to do with the trio of remasters the company mentioned during a recent earnings call. If Rockstar is currently working on reworking games like Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and San Andreas for modern consoles, Take-Two would naturally — well, “naturally” in the poisoned brains of greedy business execs, at least — want to edge out third-party devs who have been doing that kind of work pro bono for years.