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TakeTwo Condemnation

post Jun 18 2017, 10:48 PM
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Coding like a Rockstar!

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UPDATE 24/06/2017: Well, Rockstar Games have reportedly "had a word" with TakeTwo and T2 have somewhat agreed to "back off" when it comes to single-player mods (and presumably mod tools like OpenIV), so IV and V modding may continue strong for the time being, however Rockstar's statement ended in a line basically saying T2 reserves the right to go back on any of the rest of their statement. Presumably Rockstar Games is still on our side at least.

Warning, the following topic contains passionate ranting written over the course of a day with enough words to fill an essay and may also contain half made points, dumb opinions and unnecessary repetition... but this is as close to a seriously important GTAG Modding Annoncement as we'll get...

So, most of you already know this, but TakeTwo have decided to totally mess up the GTA series by taking a hostile stance against modding and they deserve as much condemning as the GTA community can give them.

Here are a couple of great posts and videos on the subject, as it has caused quite a chaotic stir in the GTA community over the past couple of days:
Take-Two vs Modding @ GTAForums
'GTA MODS ARE ILLEGAL NOW?!' by Pretty Good Gaming @ YouTube
Mod Theft Auto (The Jimquisition) @ YouTube (personal fave)

A lot have great points have been made already, and a lot of justified hate has been shown towards TakeTwo for this stupid decision. But there's a fair bit more I'd like to rant on this. I've already added a bad review to Steam like hundreds of others in the past 48 hours. We can only hope TakeTwo notices how many fans of their product that they are alienating with this decision. Unlikely, but, now's the best time to speak out as a community as loudly as we can.

As has been mentioned, the GTA modding community have been breathing new life into the GTA series since at least GTA III. On a personal note, I even used to think up my own missions back when playing GTA London, plan them out and play them - imaginary modding pretty much. In fact, the GTA series has largely appealed to me and many others because of the modding possibilities. The GTA modding scene, being most comparable to the modding scenes of Half Life and other popular games with highly creative and intelligent communities, is to me one of the greatest things that gaming has ever produced. I don't think any other games draw quite as much interest and effort as GTA when it comes to modding. Modders have dedicated great amounts of time and hard work into modding and most truly follow the spirit of GTA with it. Hell, websites even exist dedicated to the topic, such as this one.

GTA V/Online To Blame?

Over the course of the life of "GTA V" we've seen quite a few successes and failures for R* games. They managed to create an incredible game and online experience and make record-setting amounts of profit off it. For the most part, they did this without negatively affecting too many of the games followers. I think in theory they had tried to do everything right with V.

- At one point we thought a V release on PC might not happen because it wasn't going to be deemed profitable enough by R* - we were gladly proven wrong on that and were in fact delivered a rather amazing PC edition of GTA

- Online is new and experimental yet it succeeded massively but for a handful of specific flaws - it provided us with an experience we wanted for mostly free, and kept giving us free content to keep the experience fresh. While not without many faults, I would've said it was done well enough this time to easily do it better next time while succeeding even better than before.

- SP DLC was planned and definitely would have profited R*. However focusing on Online profited them more. Somewhere along the line, something made R* change from their existing goal to produce SP DLC, even though it's believed they were set enough on it that it was already well in development.

I don't think a single bad thing came directly from R*'s approach of where to take V particularly - at least not until after its release, subsequent success and TakeTwo getting a taste of micro-transaction profits. And I don't agree with blaming people who have played and appreciated the Online experience. Greed and a changing interest seems to be the real factors at play here. Between TakeTwo and Rockstar Games themselves, they seem to have lost whatever part of them used to care about bringing us good experiences. I'm pretty sure R* Games tried hard to be the "good guys" of the games industry for quite a while, generally acknowledging what we want and supporting all sorts of GTA communities, but they've fallen prey to the same direction that all companies end up heading in. People who worked for R* since early days have been replaced by people who probably care a lot less, and overall R* Games have shifted from caring more about their dedicated following to, well, just being rather faceless and subject to TakeTwo's money grabbing will, really. Maybe that's relevant to 'The Benz' and others leaving R*, maybe not. In any case, it's not our concern. It's R* and TakeTwo that need to get their acts together.

GTA V made money despite everything. Even if you want to blame modding for hacking, two terms which really should never be confused, V still made record sales. Despite the actual hacks that did allow players to gain in game currency and their poor enforcement against hacking, people still bought the hell out of shark cards and it still made them record sales. Despite "all the mods drawing people to SP over Online", Online is still a huge success. Even despite the widely held game industry belief that "most PC gamers are pirates" and "consoles account for the vast majority of the profit made by game releases", GTA V for PC still did very well - and modding can definitely take a lot of the credit for that. GTA V and modding could have happily continued coexisting with this pattern, but apparently doing better than everyone else in the industry is not enough for TakeTwo. They can "imagine" more money that's not being made, and that's apparently worth the risk of destroying the modding community.


So, many people probably remember San Andreas Multi Player and Multi Theft Auto. These two mods added multiplayer experiences quite similar to GTA Online to the 3D era GTA's. Some Rockstar North devs even quietly helped with the development of Multi Theft Auto by providing GTA source code. These mods most likely did a lot of Rockstar's work for them. As soon as they could consider implementing a multiplayer mode themselves, they had at least those two great references on both what works and what their fans wanted. Technically speaking, the mods pale in comparison to what Rockstar were able to produce, but it's really an example of what could have remained a great relationship between Rockstar and the modding community. All we do is try to enjoy what they give us and add enjoyment to it for others. This is something that seems to be dying with the evolution of selling games in general - we used to be sold games once, and then we could do what we please. Ironically, GTA Online, or "Rockstar's MTA/SA-MP", is what changes this. Now their games have to keep making money, and we can't even have nice things while they do. FiveM was to be the next MTA/SA-MP and was coldly shut down, clearly indicating that this time, things are not the same.

Future of Modding

So if this is basically TakeTwo vs. Modding, it definitely stands against this entire site and the community it exists for. There has been a lot of backlash by the GTA community as a whole but I'm afraid it won't be enough to stir the opinions of those who think only in percentages. This is bad news for the future of GTA modding. The next GTA might prove to be nothing worth us even acknowledging. GTA modding may become heavily limited to the 3D era games and GTAG Modding will probably have to only cover them for a while - at least until GTA V inevitably becomes unimportant to TakeTwo and they stop bothering to be assholes about it in favour of their newest releases.

But hey, that time will come, when V is obsolete to them, and then our time will come again. After all, modding has the ability to keep games alive longer than the publishers will ever care about them. Until then I guess we can take a bit of a break, hone our skills, keep modding the greater half of the GTA series and perhaps focus on researching IV/V as much as we can without necessarily entering TakeTwo's radar again. Remember to be safe out there and try not to get yourself a C&D, but let's keep trying to make GTA better as much as we can.

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