OpenIV, the popular modding tool for games like Grand Theft Auto V, appears to be getting back to business as usual weeks after it was shutdown due to a cease and desist letter issued by Take-Two, GTA’s publisher. Over the weekend, a download button for the software returned to OpenIV’s website.
First removed on June 14 when GooD-NTS, OpenIV’s creator, revealed that Take-Tw0 had sent a cease and desist letter earlier in the month, it seemed like the end until on June 23 an update for the modding tool was pushed out. While it included mostly small bug fixes, its existence appeared to indicate that OpenIV would continue to live on. And a statement put out by Rockstar on the same day as the update went out implied some sort of understanding had been reached with its parent company, Take-Two, that would allow OpenIV to come back to life:
“After discussions with Take-Two, Take-Two has agreed that it generally will not take legal action against third-party projects involving Rockstar’s PC games that are single-player, non-commercial, and respect the intellectual property (IP) rights of third parties.”
But for days afterwards there was still no way to download the program from OpenIV’s website. If you wanted to get it after June 14, you needed to go to GTA-Mods.com which had begun directing traffic for downloading the tool to a version uploaded to Google Drive (it now once again directs back to OpenIV).
Kotaku reached out to OpenIV for comment on the program’s future, to which the site simply responded, “The development of OpenIV will be continued soon.”
That certainly makes it sound like OpenIV, Rockstar, and Take-Two still have some things to sort out, and that while GTA’s publisher has retreated somewhat from it’s original position regarding OpenIV in the wake of fan backlash on social media and Steam reviews, the modding group may have to operate a little differently going forward.
When the cease and desist letter was first revealed, Rockstar put out a statement trying to explain its parent company’s position.
“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.”
It sounds like if the backdoors in OpenIV which allow players to use the tool to affect online play are closed, the modding group should be able to proceed with their work on single-player projects without running afoul of Take-Two. GooD-NTS alluded to as much when speaking with Motherboard a few weeks ago, saying he was aware of ways in which his modding tool could be used to impact players’ experiences in the game’s online mode.
UPDATE (4:25pm): The OpenIV team has posted an update on the situation over at GTAForums, stating that while work on the modding tool will continue as it had previously, the “Liberty City in GTA V” mod has been canceled. The team’s full remarks are below:
First of all, we want to say “Thank you” to everyone who supported us in this tough situation. We’re very grateful for your support; for demonstration of the fact, that modding community is still a minority, but very vocal, creative and determined minority. You made the impossible and this story is already scribed into the history of PC gaming and the Internet itself.
Yes, this is your victory! Congratulations and many thanks once again!
OpenIV and modding
The development of OpenIV will be continued as before. OpenIV never supported GTA Online modding and will not support it in the future. Our work will be continued within the Rockstar modding policy.
Liberty City in Grand Theft Auto V
Unfortunately, our highly anticipated mod “Liberty City in GTA V” will not be released because it clearly contradicts with Rockstar modding policy. Liberty City mod is a big loss for us, since it was a huge part of our motivation to push OpenIV functionality.
If you are wondering what is next, well, we are currently revising our plans for the future.”