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Grand Theft Auto modding tool gets updated, is available again

Huge protest appears to have worked

grand theft auto 4 Rockstar North/Rockstar Games
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

The modding toolkit at the center of a dispute between its creators and Take-Two Interactive, which roiled the Grand Theft Auto PC community over the past two weeks, has received an update and is being distributed. It's another sign that Take-Two is backing away from a hard-line stance on modding.

OpenIV got a small update, notes PC Gameer. It’s now build 907 of version 2.9, implementing "bug fixes and small improvements." By itself that isn't much of a development, except that OpenIV's makers had taken the toolkit offline on June 14, after receiving what they said was a cease-and-desist demand from Take-Two's legal representatives on June 5.

Take-Two owns Rockstar Games, which makes Grand Theft Auto (and Max Payne 3, which OpenIV can also mod). Rockstar, on Friday, stepped in with a statement saying it "believes in reasonable fan creativity," and supports creators who "showcase their passion for our games." On Friday, the studio/publisher said it went to its corporate parent and secured an agreement that Take-Two wouldn't take legal action against Rockstar-made PC games, provided they follow certain rules.

That came after a week in which furious PC gamers staged an online protest, one component of which was bombarding Grand Theft Auto 5's Steam marketplace listing with negative reviews.

OpenIV has been in use for nearly 10 years and is responsible for most of the modding seen for Grand Theft Auto 4 and Grand Theft Auto 5. The original cease-and-desist letter had alleged OpenIV allowed "third parties to defeat security features of (Take-Two's) software and modify that software in violation (of) Take-Two's rights."

Modifying online multiplayer — which OpenIV's developers insist they never did, nor enabled — is still against Rockstar and Take-Two's policies.

Clarification: Speaking to Motherboard, Yuriy Krivoruchko, OpenIV’s developer, said he had never developed mods for Grand Theft Auto Online but conceded that some parts of the toolkit could be used by others to mod that portion of Grand Theft Auto 5.

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