Take-Two has released withdrawals for GTA mods
Earlier this year, Rockstar’s parent company, Take-Two Interactive, played dismantling with reverse engineered versions of Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City. The publisher has apparently gone one step further over the past week or so, posting DMCA takedown notices for GTA 5 map mods like Vice City overhaul, as well as several popular mods for previous games in the series.
GTA: Liberty City was a total conversion that introduced the tuning of GTA 3 into the Vice City engine, and was first released in 2005. It is no longer available on ModDB. Vice Scream, which replaced the textures and models of Vice City with higher-resolution versions, is also gone. So is GTA: Underground, which combined not only maps from GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas, but maps from other Rockstar Bully, Manhunt, and Manhunt 2 games, then added gang warfare. The same goes for mods that convert San Andreas to console-exclusive ports. Liberty City Stories and Stories of vice-city. And that’s not all.
A thread on GTAForums cataloged the moves, noting that Rockstar statement on solo mods, originally made during the back-and-forth over the OpenIV modding tool in 2017, and which many modders assumed would protect their work, has been quietly updated in 2019. It now notes that it doesn’t does not apply to “using or importing other IPs (including other Rockstar IPs) into the project” or “creating new games, stories, missions or maps”. None of these clauses appeared in the original version of Rockstar’s statement, which was excluded from the Return machine, but can still be read in our report from the time.
As to why Take-Two decided to tackle these mods now – one of which, it bears repeating, is 16 – the internet is currently divided between two theories. First, it’s because they’re seen as a competition for the hypothetical remastered versions of GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas. And secondly, that it is related to recent rumors about GTA 6.