Polish developer Techland’s latest offering, Dying Light, has apologized to fans of the game after a series of screw-ups resulted in user mods for the PC version of the game being taken down.
Techland has always been a mod-friendly developer, and their previous releases are host to a number of extensive fan projects, such as a Crysis mod for Dead Island.
Within days of Dying Light‘s release, a number of graphical mods began appearing on the internet, such as one that removed the game’s film grain effect and another that removed a similarly pointless effect, chromatic aberration.
However, these mods were quickly taken down by the Entertainment Software Association, a videogame trade association that Dying Light‘s publisher, Warner Bros., is a part of. Using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the ESA had the mods removed from the websites that hosted them, citing copyright violations as the reason.
Simultaneously, Techland put out a new patch for Dying Light that, among other things, prevented mods from working by disallowing modifications to the game’s files. According to the patch notes, this change was done in an effort to prevent cheating in the game’s PvP “Be the Zombie” mode.
After some outrage from the community, both the ESA and Techland apologized for their actions, admitting they were mistakes.
The ESA, in a statement to Ars Technica, blamed a third party vendor working on their behalf for mistakenly sending the DMCA notices:
ESA was notified this morning that potentially erroneous DMCA notices had been transmitted by one of its vendors. Upon further review, it was determined that the notices should not have been sent and retractions were issued immediately. We regret any inconvenience and have taken steps to avoid similar situations in the future.
Techland issued a public statement on the matter, which reads:
With the recent patch (1.2.1) on Steam we blocked cheating to make sure the game’s PvP system (Be The Zombie) would not be abused. This, however, had the side-effect of hindering mod-makers from making changes to the game.
Creating obstacles for modders has never been our intention, and we are sorry for the inconvenience. We are now working on a quick patch that will re-enable common tweaks while stopping cheating in the game’s multiplayer mode.
At Techland, we have always supported the mod community, and loved seeing how our own game can be changed by the players. A big part of the original Dead Island’s success was the passion and creativity of mod-makers from our community. We want the same for Dying Light. For quite some time, we have been working, and still are, on giving modders all the power we can. We will keep you updated!