In February, fans managed to reverse-engineer the source code for Grand Theft Auto III and Vice City. A week later, publisher Take-Two went after them and had the projects taken down. Now in June, they’re back again.
As Eurogamer reports, the modders actually challenged Take-Two’s original takedown notice, which saw the projects removed from Github. When Take-Two didn’t respond to this, GitHub simply restored them, making them freely available for all to download once more.
If there’s anything worse than a takedown notice it’s issuing one and then not having the mustard to back it up. Though it should also be noted here that restoring the project at this point is simply in accordance with how takedowns work, as copyright holders have 10-14 days to take legal action, which Take-Two hasn’t currently pursued. So the games go back up. Whether they pursue this later is still unknown.
If you’re wondering why these projects are so cool when these games have been available on the PC for a very long time, it’s simple: When you’re trying to mod the original games, you’re stuck working within the confines of that original code. When the source code itself is available, though, you’ve basically got the keys to the kingdom.
We’ve already seen that over the past 12 months with Super Mario 64, whose source code was also reverse-engineered and has resulted in a number of very cool mods for PC players that fundamentally change the way we play and enjoy Nintendo’s classic.
Below you’ll find a trailer showcasing what both GTA III and Vice City’s reverse-engineered versions currently look like, but given the possibilities inherent in messing around with this code, hopefully the next few months/years can lead to some very cool shit coming from this. Provided the projects get to stay up, anyway.
And you can check out the code itself here.