Grand Theft Auto is a series known for total freedom, over-the-top violence and a modding community dedicated to making the GTA franchise one of the wildest on the market. However, Take-Two, the parent company behind Rockstar, have begun cracking down on these modders and forcing them to give up their work. Most recently, GTA Underground, one of the largest and most complex GTA mods in development, has officially ended production over fears that Take-Two would do the same to them.
Over the past months, gamers began to notice that Grand Theft Auto mods were going missing at a rapid-fire rate. It turned out that Take-Two was issuing DMCA takedown requests to all the developers behind these mods. As reported by Kotaku, Take-Two has even gone so far as to sue over a fan project to reverse-engineer the source-code for Grand Theft Auto III and Vice City, claiming that this knowingly violates their copyright on both games. Whether this is the case has yet to be proven in court, but it’s an excellent example of how aggressive Take-Two’s lawyers have become.
David Driver-Gomm, Editor and Community Manager on ModDB (one of the internet’s largest mod downloading cites), has recently tweeted his frustrations. Driver-Gomm even states that he’s attempted to reach Take-Two to find a different solution, but has gotten no response.
We did try to appeal and open up a dialogue to get this resolved without requiring the takedown of mods – of which a good dozen or more were affected – but TakeTwo were unreceptive. Right now my advice is tread carefully if your mod wasn’t DMCA’d too as it could be possible.
— David Driver-Gomm (@DriverGomm) July 17, 2021
Among the lost mods is GTA Underground, a San Andreas mod which aimed to merge all of Rockstar’s maps into a single, massive environment all enclosed in one game. The mod has been in development for the past six years, but developers are calling it quits after seeing what’s happened to so many others. The announcement came in the form of a video on the development team’s YouTube channel simply titled “The End.”
This very well may be the end for the Grand Theft Auto modding scene.