Update: In an earnings call, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick has addressed the matter of taking down the old GTA Mods. Zelnick defended the decision and noted it would be “flexible” with takedowns, you can read the full statement:
However, some have speculated that these takedowns, could be related to the heavily rumored remaster of the GTA PS2 trilogy.
Original Article: Takedown notices have been addressed to the mod creators concerning the GTA mods (map mods) by the parent company of Rockstar Games, Take-Two Interactive.
The company has gone far by issuing DMCA notices to takedown GTA 5 map mods like Vice City Overhaul and many other popular mods. The DMCA has to remove certain mods like the Grand Theft Auto mod, without any explanation for this sudden action.
Last week, mod creators and players reported on Twitter that the old forums of GTA were being pulled, and on July 17 (via PC Gamer), it became clear that something fishy was going on, as well-liked Vice City and San Andreas mods were deleted and no longer existed on ModDB.
The takedown orders have been issued to many by Take-Two, it also includes mods highlighted in GTAF in the modding section. GTA: Underground, GTA: Liberty City, and also HD projects like Vice Cry are also targeted.
These extremely old GTA mods like GTA: Liberty City, were deleted by Take-Two. GTA: Liberty City was first released back in 2005, and it was a total conversion to the Vice City mod, which is no longer existing. GTA: Underground, popular among game lovers, was a merge of multiple GTA maps into one massive game. The DMCA takedown notice was confirmed via a discord message.
ModDB explained that this decision of taking down is more than just retching popular mod creators as it is a solution to different issues. ModDB was forced to remove the mods after the notice from DMCA. No response has been received from Rockstar Games on the same.
In 2017, when the popular GTA modding tool software, Open IV, was shut down, the modding community exploded. The players and creators were so outrageous that the Take-Two had to bring back Open IV. Maybe we observe the same rage after this mod ban as the mod creators are uncertain of what to do next.
The original agreement draft of 2017 can be summarized as,
“No porting of maps/vehicles/content from the old version of GTA games or any other video game series to RAGE. Strict prohibition to stay away from online especially from GTA online and do not sell your mods.”
It seems now that whosoever violated this part of the rule, Take-Two, is going to take down them shoving modders muddled about what to do next. Though in 2017, it was stipulated that Take-Two can amend any rule and reject any mod for any reason, but still the DMCA takedowns have surprised many.
This issue is altogether challenging because players and modders find it defying to compare the two versions- old and new versions of the agreement as the page is banished, from the Wayback Machine, and websites are archived so that no one can check what to say.
The actual purpose of the takedown is yet uncertain, but some speculate the remake project of older GTA games released on current-gen systems, or it could be a result of GTA 6 ( not confirmed officially). But all these are mere speculations, and Take-Two is still silent on this.