A fan project to port Red Dead Redemption into GTA5 has been shut down.

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Dead, not alive.

The promising mod, named Red Dead Redemption V, had been in development for around three years.

Screenshots of the project were released last month to a warm reception. The images showed Red Dead Redemption's sunset-drenched Western map successfully ported over into the GTA5 engine.

The project got a lot of attention, and fan anticipation levels rose ahead of the release of a trailer.

Last Friday, this trailer was released - and swiftly pulled offline by Rockstar. The project had finally caught the attention of the powers that be.

"I know this is hard pill to swallow, but as you may have noticed we did get contacted, and we sadly have to say we are stopping this project," project leader Mr. Leisurewear explained on the gtaforums.

"So thanks guys, we were all so happy to see this, but it isn't going to happen, sorry :/ :/ :/"

Leisurewear did not go into the details, but it isn't hard to guess what happened: the trailer caught the eye of Rockstar or its parent company Take-Two, and their legal team swooped in.

It is, perhaps, not too surprising. GTA5 is home to a bustling mod scene on PC, but one Rockstar and Take-Two still keep a close eye on.

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The popular FiveM mod, which aimed to create a new online multiplayer mod for the game, was shut down nearly two years ago, again after Rockstar intervened - and allegedly sent investigators to the mod owner's home.

But it's easy to see the other side. As the creator of Red Dead and GTA5, Rockstar has a legal duty to block any infringement of its intellectual property - or actual, non-fan competitors could capitalise on the lack of policing as a way to release their own imitations.

In a follow-up post on the gtaforums, Leisurewear said: "And they can sue me for the fact I provide a tool that 'reverse engineers' their property which in the EU (where I am) are not mild on.

"And to be correct it is Take-Two, but somewhere I can sense them for 'protecting their label', but yeah sh*t happens."

And then there's the small matter of Red Dead Redemption 2, still apparently on track for release this year on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. We'll likely hear more about that at E3.

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Tom Phillips

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