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Never underestimate the power of angry gamers. Following a dispute over Grand Theft Auto modding tool OpenIV that resulted in the program being shut down earlier this month, it seems the community's reaction has now led to its reopening.
Despite taking precautions such as not "messing with online" and not distributing original data and code, Rockstar Games owner Take-Two sent a cease and desist letter to OpenIV's lead developer demanding it be shuttered. The reason? It "enables recent malicious mods that allow harassment of players and interfere with the GTA Online experience for everybody."
OpenIV's developer, Yuriy Krivoruchko, told Motherboard that he had never created mods for GTA Online, but admits some parts of his program could be used by others to mod the game's multiplayer element.
The closure caused an uproar among fans of OpenIV and GTA, and angered many mod-supporting gamers. It led to a "save OpenIV" petition that is closing in on 80,000 signatures and a slew of negative reviews for GTA V on Steam, resulting in its overall rating falling to 'Mixed' and its recent reviews being classed as 'Overwhelmingly negative.'
The reaction got the attention of those responsible for the GTA series. Developer Rockstar Games wrote the following answer to the question "are single-player mods allowed?" on its support page last Friday.
Rockstar Games believes in reasonable fan creativity, and, in particular, wants creators to showcase their passion for our games. 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.
Rockstar added that it was in contact with the developer of OpenIV, and it appears that the discussions went well. OpenIV received a small update a few days ago, which brought "bug fixes and small improvements," and the toolkit is now available to use once again. It appears that in this instance, the protests worked.