The last week has been a frustrating one for Grand Theft Auto V players, specifically those among the game’s PC modding community. Things came to a head earlier this month when Take-Two, GTA 5‘s publisher, sent a cease and desist letter to the creators of OpenIV, a popular modding tool that enables players to create new items for the single-player mode, as well as access to an enhanced video editor. Following a strong backlash from the community, developer Rockstar has stepped in to get Take-Two to soften their harsh stance against mods.
Take-Two’s main issue against OpenIV and other tools was the threat they posed against the GTA Online mode, and their potential for cheating and harassment. Their letter to the mod’s developers threatened legal action if the tool wasn’t taken offline, which the team did comply with, leaving a significant number of players unable to use their customizations. However, OpenIV was only used to modify GTA 5‘s single-player game, and never touched GTA Online.
Upset players began revolting against this news by tanking the game’s ratings on Steam, as well as creating a Change.org petition that received more than 77,000 signatures. Fortunately Rockstar has managed to reach a middle ground between Take-Two and its players, persuading the publisher not to take legal action fan-made mods as long as they adhere to a handful of rules.
“Rockstar Games believes in reasonable fan creativity, and, in particular, wants creators to showcase their passion for our games,” a statement from the developer reads. It goes on to outline the key requirements that third-parties must follow for their mods to be acceptable.
“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. 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 concludes that this is not a waiver, and “is not a license, and it does not constitute endorsement, approval, or authorization.” In other words, as long as GTA 5 mod creators don’t interfere with online modes, respect IPs, and don’t make money off their tools, they should be in the clear.
But what’s even better for players is that this news was followed by the return of OpenIV with a new update. It’s not clear what changes were made to the tool, but Rockstar said it was in contact with the creators, and apparently have given their blessing.