Take-Two Interactive is the publisher of the highly beloved Grand Theft Auto series. A series that glorifies the breaking of pretty much every law that keeps our society together, so it was almost funny that Take-Two decided to send legal threats to the developers of OpenIV, a program that allows users to install mods to GTAV.
In a Cease-and-Desist letter described as “illiterate both technically and grammatically”, the company claims that the program allows “allow third parties to defeat security features of its software and modify that software in violation Take-Two’s rights.“
Basically, Take-Two is claiming that the OpenIV program can alter the multiplayer aspect of the game.
But it can’t. OpenIV and all the mods it supports are purely single player. Attempting to even launch the multiplayer mode of the game with OpenIV installed leads to this:
While a Cease-and-Desist can be fought in court, it’s unlikely that a small independent group of modders could stand up to a team of professional corporate lawyers. Even if they won, the OpenIV devs would have to fight for months and be hit with large legal fees. I don’t think anybody can fault them for their decision to just give into the ludicrous demands.
It should be noted that OpenIV has been around for over ten years without incident. Take-Two and Rockstar have been aware of it for that long. There have been no recent changes that could make the program a threat, and no evidence that it could ever impact the multiplayer aspect of the game. Take-Two have simply targeted it alongside actual cheating mods, as they use an axe to do the job of a scalpel.
Thankfully, the gaming community has decided to show their disapproval in one of the few ways that big publishers listen to. They attacked the product. As of time of writing, GTAV has an “Overwhelmingly Negative” score on the recent Steam reviews, which has brought its overall score down to “mixed”.
Hopefully this will scare Take-Two into submission.