Take Two and Rockstar Use DMCA Claims To Remove More GTA Mods

Niko Bellic from GTA IV with a Take-Two logo on his face walking away from a big explosion.

Screenshot: Rockstar Games / Take-Two / Kotaku

As players continue to criticize the recently released GTA Trilogy remastered collection, Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive has decided this is the perfect time to use DMCA takedown notices to remove some more GTA mods and fan projects.

On November 11, according to the folks over at the GTA modding site LibertyCity, Take-Two contacted them and used DMCA strikes to remove three different GTA-related mods. The three removed mods are listed below:

  • GTA Advance PC Port Beta 2
  • The Lost and Damned Unlocked for GTA 4
  • GTA IV EFLC The Lost And Damned (65%)

GTA Advance PC Port is a fan-developed project attempting to port the game into the GTA 3 engine. Developed by Digital Eclipse, GTA Advance was only released on the GameBoy Advance in 2004.

The Lost and Damned Unlocked for GTA IV is a mod released in 2009 which lets players swap out the star of GTA IV, Niko Bellic, with the protagonist of the Lost and Damned DLC, biker Johnny Klebitz. It also included some new biker outfits and icons.

Finally, GTA IV EEFLC (65%) isn’t even a mod! It’s just a save file for the game that lets players start from 65% completion. Yes, Take-Two used a DMCA strike against a save file for a game released over a decade ago.

These are just the latest in a growing number of GTA mods Take-Two has gone after and removed using legal DMCA notices. Over the last year, the company has been on a takedown spree, like a GTA character on a rampage. It has also sued fan devs over source code projects and led to some old mods, like GTA Underground, shutting down over fears of more legal and financial trouble.

The last time these kinds of mod takedowns happened, they mostly targeted classic PS2-era GTA games, like Vice City. Not long after, and following Kotaku’s own report in August, Rockstar confirmed remastered versions of all three classic PS2 GTA games were to be released this year. Those games have since released earlier this week to mostly negative reactions, with fans sharing numerous bugs and graphical glitches on Twitter and Reddit.

Because of what happened last time, some are speculating that these takedowns are evidence that a GTA IV remaster might be coming sometime in the future. According to sources who have spoken to Kotaku in the past about Rockstar’s future remasters, GTA IV as well as Red Dead Redemption remasters are possible. Though plans can and do change and with the recent backlash facing the GTA remasters, Rockstar might be more hesitant to greenlight future re-releases.

Regardless of if these takedowns are evidence of a future GTA IV remaster or not, it still is a frustrating situation for modders and community devs who have spent decades improving, porting, and maintaining the classic GTA games, allowing fans to play them years after Rockstar had moved on. Kotaku spoke to some modders who seemed fed up with Rockstar and many more have moved on to other games from other companies, worried about the potential legal pitfalls for continuing to mod Grand Theft Auto titles.


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