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'Grand Theft Auto' Publisher Shuts Down Popular Modding Tool After 10 Years

Publisher Take-Two claimed modding tool "defeated security features" of GTA's software.

Leif Johnson

Leif Johnson

Image: Rockstar

If you've spent a significant amount of time on the PC versions of Grand Theft Auto 5, Grand Theft Auto 4, and Max Payne 3 over the last decade, there's a good chance you've used or used something created by the OpenIV modding tool. Today, unfortunately, OpenIV's glory days come to an end.

Earlier today OpenIV lead developer "GooD-NTS" announced on OpenIV's Twitter account and GTA Forums that GTA publisher Take-Two Interactive sent them an official cease-and-desist letter on June 5. According to the letter itself, OpenIV allegedly allows "third parties to defeat security features of its software and modify that software in violation Take-Two's rights."

"We feared that this day would come ... and now it's here," GooD-NTS said in the post. "The day when GTA modding was declared illegal."

"Take-Two's actions were not specifically targeting single player mods," GTA developer Rockstar Games said in a statement. "Unfortunately OpenIV enables recent malicious mods that allow harassment of players and interfere with the GTA Online experience for everybody. We are working to figure out how we can continue to support the creative community without negatively impacting our players."

There were signs of trouble long before this. In an interview from April of 2015, GooD-NTS told Motherboard that GTA developer Rockstar Games "literally want modding dead," and as such, was using a new algorithm to encrypt GTA's files.

"I don't know what it's called exactly so I named it 'Rockstar Annoying Encryption Algorithm,'" he said at the time.

Worse, Kotaku recently called attention to the fact that mods affecting the multiplayer-focused GTA Online have turned the game into "a cheater's paradise."

Update: This story has been updated with comment from Rockstar Games.

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