Several publishers have been getting hit with massive amounts of negative reviews on Steam recently, most notably Paradox for stripping away features that are essential to their games and hiding fixes behind DLC, which left many players feeling like the vanilla versions of the games were being made intentionally unplayable. Not to mention Bethesda’s latest modding issues.
But not even Rockstar, one of the more historically beloved devs, is safe from the backlash after Take-Two issued a cease and desist letter to the people behind OpenIV, the most prominent modding platform for Grand Theft Auto V. OpenIV didn’t impact GTA Online, it was simply single player mods for the game, which countless people had invested thousands of hours into creating to share with members of the community.
— OpenIV (@OpenIV) June 14, 2017
Take-Two’s legal team messaged the creator of OpenIV and claimed they were breaking laws. The lead dev couldn’t figure out what laws they could be breaking, and requested more information and clarification on the matter. Radio silence for weeks, and then Take-Two issued the cease and desist. Here’s a statement that Rockstar issued to PC Gamer:
“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. We are working to figure out how we can continue to support the creative community without negatively impacting our players.”
This doesn’t impact the majority of players of the game, but it’s definitely a slap in the face to some of the most hardcore and dedicated players, and even people who play on consoles or don’t use OpenIV to mod the game are standing up and sharing in the outrage. Freely modding games you own has been a cornerstone of PC gaming culture since the very beginning, with many mods turning into full, and very successful, retail releases.
Since news of this broke a couple of days ago, reviews for GTA on Steam have been getting absolutely slammed.
In the past 30 days, there have been 27,060 reviews of the game and only 18% are positive, and the positive ones are presumably from before this whole ordeal went down, which leaves the recent score for GTA V at “Overwhelmingly Negative.”
The moment RDR2 drops, Rockstar will probably have most of their goodwill back from the average gamer, but the modding community won’t soon forget this slight.