If you have been hiding in the woods recently, Take-Two Interactive, publisher for Rockstar Games, issued a cease-and-desist order against the developers of OpenIV, a tool used to make mods for a series of games. As you can imagine, this sparked a huge mod controversy in the world of gaming. So, does that make me a bad person for wanting to buy GTA V?
What Drives the Mod Controversy
Grand Theft Auto V once had one of the most overwhelmingly positive reviews in the Steam store. Now, it’s a shell of its former self. The backlash from modders and non-modders alike has driven the rating to one of the lowest I’ve ever seen in Steam. Well, outside of the indie games area anyway.
What sparked this towering inferno? The fact that Take Two Interactive forced OpenIV to shut down. But is the mod controversy really enough to warrant such a negative impact on Rockstar’s most popular title?
According to Gamespot, Take Two wasn’t concerned with the single-player modding. Unfortunately, OpenIV is also used to modify the GTA Online experience. In other words, modders were cheating the system by using OpenIV.
This, I can understand. After all, us legit players would surely enjoy the experience more if cheating and harassing douche bags would simply vanish. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like there is a way to separate the single-player modding from the online experience.
Fueled By Hate
I can’t say this for all of those who down-voted GTA V in steam, but could it be that some people are simply blowing this out of proportion?
Let the hate and trolling commence!
Before you start hammering out a reply or other form of hate mail or death threat, hear me out for a second.
Let’s say that you are the CEO of Take Two Interactive. It’s your job to make as much money from your games as humanly possible. After all, isn’t that what you’re doing in GTA Online anyway? As a CEO of the company, it’s your job to do what is necessary to keep your bills and employees paid.
Now, you discover there are people using a certain programming tool that is cutting into your profits as well as causing mayhem on certain servers. Do you sit idly by, or do you put your foot down?
See, the tool isn’t just being used to make Incredible Hulk mods or showcasing amazing car skins. It’s being used as a weapon against your company as well as the online players who love your game.
What do you do? Personally, I would have done the same thing. However, I may have done it a different way.
Instead of a cease-and-desist letter, Take Two should have contacted the developers of OpenIV and began working on a way to separate the single-player modding from the online functionality. Who better to help with that project than the developers of the modding tool itself?
Do I Support Modding?
Although I rarely install mods for any of my games, I do see how they can be relevant. This is especially true for those who want to get into game development. In a way, they ensure a game can stay a current trend for several years past their prime.
Seriously, GTA V was available on Steam April of 2015. Most games don’t have a two-year lifespan at their original sales price.
What I don’t support are people who cheat the system with modding and hacking. To me, using tools to get an advantage only proves those people don’t have the skills necessary to play on equal ground.
Do I believe taking away OpenIV is justification enough to kick-start this mod controversy? Not really. In reality, this move only serves to inspire others to develop tools similar to OpenIV for modding.
My Dilemma Around Buying GTA V
I am supportive of the gaming community. However, I don’t necessarily think this is the right fight for me. So why do I feel guilty for still wanting to buy the game?
Personally, I rarely use mods for any game I have. This mod controversy doesn’t directly affect me in the slightest as I could really care less. But, I don’t like it when any corporation tries to force its ideals on the consumer. Speaking as a business owner, it’s bad form.
That being said, the consumer does need to cool down and realize the impact of their actions. Are you boycotting the game because it was developed poorly, or because you can’t modify a game you thought was pretty fun to begin with?
The Affect of a Change.org Petition
If you’re interested in helping others keep the OpenIV application alive and modding for Grand Theft Auto, you can sign the petition currently online. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that anything will become of it.
Although it allows users to feel like they are doing good in the world, a petition doesn’t necessarily mean change. If so, Justin Bieber would have been deported. All this does is inform those at Rockstar and Take Two of the tens-of-thousands of people who wish this change to come to light.
In reality, it’s still up to the developer to choose whether or not to listen to consumers or stock holders. With that being said, I signed it today. If I can contribute to potentially changing the minds of corporate owners, so be it.
At the time of this post, it was at 69,611 supporters…of the 75,000 needed.
Speaking of Stock Holders…
The real impact of this mod controversy is through profit. Before this debacle, Take Two Interactive Software was trading for just under $80 per share with a consistent history of growth. Today, it opened at $73.11 and dropping since the mod controversy started. If you were an investor, you would be getting pretty upset at this moment.
Still Worth it to Me
I’ll probably still buy the game as soon as I have the $60 to fork out. Who knows, perhaps this mod controversy will be over and done with by the time I scrape up enough money. Just don’t judge me too harshly. How about this, I promise never to buy a Shark Card to make instant cash in GTA Online.
That’s an article on its own.