Update: A new update for OpenIV has now been released, seemingly with Rockstar’s blessing. It’s unclear what exactly about it has changed to abide by the rules outlined by Rockstar and Take-Two below, but this appears to be a positive move for the modding community.
Original Story: The recent legal shutdown of Grand Theft Auto V mod tool OpenIV angered fans, to say the least. Developer Rockstar Games has now released a new statement addressing its stance on mods, and while there is some good news, it still likely isn’t what many people are hoping for.
In a post on its website, Rockstar reveals that it’s spoken with its parent company, Take-Two, and convinced it to avoid pursuing legal action against certain types of mods. “Rockstar Games believes in reasonable fan creativity, and, in particular, wants creators to showcase their passion for our games,” the statement reads. “After discussions with Take-Two, Take-Two has agreed that it generally will not take legal action against third-party projects involving Rockstar’s PC games that are single-player, non-commercial, and respect the intellectual property (IP) rights of third parties.”
There are, of course, other restrictions as well: “This does not apply to (i) multiplayer or online services; (ii) tools, files, libraries, or functions that could be used to impact multiplayer or online services, or (iii) use or importation of other IP (including other Rockstar IP) in the project,” the statement continues. “This is not a license, and it does not constitute endorsement, approval, or authorization of any third-party project. Take-Two reserves the right to object to any third-party project, or to revise, revoke and/or withdraw this statement at any time in their own discretion. This statement does not constitute a waiver of any rights that Take-Two may have with respect to third-party projects.”
All of this started when Take-Two issued a cease-and-desist to the developers of OpenIV, which is a tool that is used to power numerous GTA V mods. Take-Two and Rockstar subsequently explained that this wasn’t intended to specifically target single-player mods and that “malicious mods that allow harassment of players and interfere with the GTA Online experience for everybody” were the real problem. The companies also said they were investigating how to “continue to support the creative community without negatively impacting our players.” Despite this, there was an outcry from fans, who sunk the game’s average user review score on Steam. Additionally, a petition calling for OpenIV to be left alone has attracted nearly 77,000 signatures as of this writing.
Today’s statement doesn’t totally clarify what the future of GTA V mods looks like. OpenIV would seemingly still be disallowed by these rules, despite not directly targeting GTA Online. Rockstar told Motherboard that it’s spoken with OpenIV’s developer about allowing it to continue, but at this point, it remains unclear where things go from here.