Take-Two Interactive has a little egg on its face. The parent company of Grand Theft Auto‘s original developer Rockstar Games seems intent to do whatever it can to keep control in the face of talented fans, going so far as to issue DMA takedowns against modders for infringing on copyright. This originally took place earlier this year, with the modders in question confirming that they had completely reverse-engineered both Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City, releasing the fan projects under the names re3 and reVC. The modders aren’t taking the claims lightly, arguing that these projects are protected under fair use. After the recent GTA Trilogy debacle, it feels like Take-Two should be offering these dedicated fans a job instead.
While Take-Two’s original DMCA claim was overturned, the company decided to sue the modders back in September. The lawsuit itself states that these fan projects were made to distribute pirated copies of the two titles, and further explains that the mod group “willfully and maliciously” utilized the games’ source code without any consent from the publisher. Torrent Freak has revealed the modders response to the claim, saying that their actions are protected by fair use, as any copyrighted material used was only done so to allow the fan team to fix bugs found in the original releases. Fair Use also allows the use of copyrighted material if the work is ‘transformative.’
In an additional burn, the modders noted that Rockstar and Take-Two hadn’t updated the titles in years and that the release of these fan games didn’t impact the market for the original PlayStation 2 releases. With the recent GTA Trilogy release, that fact may no longer be true–but it’s clear that these fans have a love for the titles that Rockstar (or, at least, Grove Street Games) seems to lack. Curiously, Rockstar has encouraged mods for Grand Theft Auto in the past. The timing of this is more than a little suspect.
If, for some reason, you’re still intent on giving Rockstar money for this release, Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition is out now for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S and PC. It retails for a laughable $59.99 with a physical release still scheduled for December 7, 2021. It will be released on Android and iOS devices in the first half of 2022.