It seemed like the end of an era for Grand Theft Auto V mod makers when the popular modding tool OpenIV was shut down by Rockstar Games' parent company, Take-Two. But the good news is that the tool is back, and while there may be some potential catches to brace for, players can now let their creative spirits shine, while enhancing the overall GTA V experience for themselves and other gamers.
Last week, GameSpot reported that the makers of the OpenIV modding tool had received a cease-and-desist order from Take-Two Interactive, effectively shutting down the crew's programs and essentially banning players from creating their own GTA V mods with the software. While the OpenIV crew had clarified that they followed all rules regarding the modification of GTA V content, Rockstar Games explained in a subsequent letter that it was a necessary move to protect the safety of GTA Online players, even if most people use the tool for single-player gaming.
"Take-Two's actions were not specifically targeting single player mods. Unfortunately OpenIV enables recent malicious mods that allow harassment of players and interfere with the GTA Online experience for everybody."According to Ars Technica, this created a huge uproar among gamers, many of whom took to Steam's website to give negative reviews to GTA V, all because a modding tool was taken down by the companies behind the game they normally love. Players even started an online petition on Change.org, asking that Rockstar and Take-Two soften their stance and bring back OpenIV. That petition has drawn over 78,000 signatures out of a required 150,000 as of this writing. But people need not sign it anymore, as Rockstar Games and Take-Two are now allowing the OpenIV crew to distribute their tool once again, and letting players create GTA V mods with the software. It's still not clear what sort of discussions took place between both sides since the tool's shutdown, but Ars noted that it's back to business as usual for OpenIV, as the program is again being updated and available for players to download. Gamers have also observed that the OpenIV team added a shout-out to Rockstar Games in the credits for the new version of their tool. Meanwhile, Rockstar and Take-Two issued a statement confirming that the companies will "generally" not take legal action against third-party companies that allow players to edit Rockstar's PC games' single-player content and do not use their mods for commercial purposes. However, the statement did make it clear that the above provision does not apply to online game modes, such as GTA Online.
"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."In addition to OpenIV, another well-known modding tool, Script Hook V, appears to have been updated and ready for download as of this writing. One Angry Gamer wrote that the tool's creator had held off on releasing an update until the OpenIV crew got things sorted out, but everything appears to be all good to go.
As Ars Technica noted, it's completely possible for Rockstar and Take-Two to change their minds and crack down again on GTA V mods at any time. But for the meantime, it's a case of all's well that ends well, at least for those who focus on single-player gameplay when making their mods.
UPDATE [6/25/2017, 6:15 a.m. ET]: Details on a second GTA V modding tool getting released after Rockstar and Take-Two lifted their ban.
[Featured Image by Rockstar Games]