After months of Take-Two Interactive attacking and fighting GTA modders, the folks behind the long-in-development San Andreas mod, GTA Underground, have killed the project and removed it from the web over “increasing hostility” from Take-Two and fears of further legal problems.
Over the last few months, Take-Two Interactive — the parent company of GTA devs Rockstar Games — has gone on a digital murder spree, sending multiple takedown notices to get old 3D-era GTA and source ports mods removed from the internet. The publisher is also suing the creators behind reverse-engineered source ports of Vice City and GTA III. As a result of this hostility, GTA Underground lead developer dkluin wrote in a post yesterday on the GTAForums that they and the other modders working on the project were now “officially ceasing the development” of GTA: Underground.
“Due to the increasing hostility towards the modding community and imminent danger to our mental and financial well-being,” explained dkluin, “We sadly announce that we are officially ceasing the development of GTA: Underground and will be shortly taking all official uploads offline.”
Dkluin also thanked the community for the support they received over the last six years and mentioned all the “incredible work” that went into the mod and the “great times” the team experienced working on it together. A final video, simply named “The End.” was uploaded today on the modding team’s YouTube channel.
GTA Underground is a mod created for GTA San Andreas with the goal of merging all of the previous GTA maps into one mega environment. The mod even aimed to bring other cities from non-GTA games developed by Rockstar into San Andreas, including the cities featured in Bully and Manhunt.
The mod had already faced some problems from Take-Two in July. As result, it was removed from ModDB. It is now removed from all other official sources and sites.
In 2018, Kotaku interviewed dkluin about the mod and all the work going into it. He had started development on it back in 2014, when he was only 14 years old. GTA Underground isn’t a simple copy-and-paste job, instead, the modders added AI and traffic routines to every map, making them fully playable as GTA cities. The team also had plans to add more cities to the game, including their own custom creations.
Rockstar and Take-Two Interactive haven’t shared their official reasons for going after these fan-made mods, but many suspect it has to do with the upcoming GTA remasters. As reported by Kotaku last month, Rockstar is working on a collection that includes remastered versions of Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, and San Andreas — and that it was coming to the Switch. Though the collection hasn’t been officially revealed, sources say it’s targeting a release later this year.