A couple of alternate Grand Theft Auto Online mods have been shut down by publisher Take-Two. In one case the publisher allegedly sent private eyes to the modder's home to strong arm them into canceling the project.
Back in August Rockstar banned the folks behind a GTA5 mod called FiveM that was supposed to create an alternate online mode for the game that players could mod without fear of a banhammer. The idea was that players would need to own GTA5 in order to access it, so it wouldn't rob the developer or publisher of sales.
At the time Rockstar said that the mod contained "code designed to facilitate piracy" and suspended those involved with its creation.
Now, the founder of that mod has claimed that GTA publisher Take-Two actually sent PIs to their home to intimidate them into shutting down the project. They offered the following statement on the matter on Reddit:
"I just got a pair of PIs at my door claiming to be sent by Take-Two," the modder explained, "handing me a phone with a person somewhere in the UK or US or whatever to 'discuss how to cease my activities with regard to Grand Theft Auto', that 'they know what happened before with Activision and want to not get the lawyers involved at this time', however they 'have tested their legal standing already and are quite certain of their point' and 'aren't willing to accept any solution other than ceasing my activities'.
"Oh, they also 'couldn't disclose any conversations they're having with other modification developers', didn't want to talk about general modification policy as 'it was just about my case' and admitted they 'looked through my source code.'"
Even stranger, Take-Two contacted another modder working on a different alternate GTA online mod, GTA: Multiplayer, with a similar cease & desist.
"Take-Two Interactive Inc. have contacted us and they asked us to stop GTA: Multiplayer, because from Take Two's point of view GTA:MP is a rival of their business," the mod makers said in a statement on the GTA: Multiplayer site. "Grand Theft Auto and all its content is produced by Rockstar Games Inc. and published and owned by Take-Two Interactive Inc. We, as developers, respect other developer's intellectual property and their legitimate interests. Rockstar's developers have invested so much time to create this beautiful game. We have repeatedly stated our position: We are not going to cross this line, we won't damage them. "
"We clearly see that this may not only result in problems for us, the mod creators, it even may result in a Social Club ban for you, and this is something we do not want to be responsible for," the modder added. "We always respected the copyright of others, and we will not stop doing so."
The modder here claimed that they'd been in contact with Rockstar about their mod and that the GTA developer had no problem with it.
"We were in contact with Rockstar Games and got feedback from them. But you have to see that Take-Two Interactive Inc. is the publisher and Rockstar Games only the developer. "
"We have never endorsed piracy, in fact we encouraged the buying of the game and never touched Rockstar Social Club as other modifications did or still do," the mod developer stated.
"All we ever wanted is to increase the experience and gameplay feeling of Grand Theft Auto 5, we tried, we did our best, we were close to a release, but unfortunately we were not able to make it. "
Here's some test footage of GTA: Multiplayer made only one week ago.
We've reached out to both Take-Two and Rockstar about these mods and will update should either party reply.