[UPDATE: It seems the team behind GTA:MP have also had a couple of PIs round.]
Take-Two has reportedly sent a couple of private investigators to the home of a Grand Theft Auto V modder, to intimidate them into ceasing development of the FiveM online multiplayer mod. The modder in question made the claims on Reddit yesterday, stating that they "just got a pair of PIs at my door claiming to be sent by Take Two, handing me a phone with a person somewhere in the UK or US or whatever to 'discuss how to cease my activities with regard to Grand Theft Auto'".
Here's the statement in full:
"So I just got a pair of PIs at my door claiming to be sent by Take Two, handing me a phone with a person somewhere in the UK or US or whatever to 'discuss how to cease my activities with regard to Grand Theft Auto', that 'they know what happened before with Activision and want to not get the lawyers involved at this time', however they 'have tested their legal standing already and are quite certain of their point' and 'aren't willing to accept any solution other than ceasing my activities'.
"Oh, they also 'couldn't disclose any conversations they're having with other modification developers', didn't want to talk about general modification policy as 'it was just about my case' and admitted they 'looked through my source code'. Fun times!"
Development of the FiveM mod, which offered a modding-friendly alternative to the official online multiplayer mode, appears to have ceased in response, as does development of a different online mod, GTA:MP. Private investigators don't seem to have been involved on that occasion [UPDATE: actually, it seems they were], the creators also receiving a standard cease-and-desist letter from publisher Take-Two.
The developers of GTA:MP say that Rockstar had actually offered feedback on the mod, and that the cease-and-desist request comes from GTAV's publisher, Take-Two.
"Take2 Interactive Inc. have contacted us and they asked us to stop GTA:Multiplayer, because from Take2’s point of view GTA:MP is a rival of their business," the modders state in a message on the GTA:MP site. "Grand Theft Auto and all its content is produced by Rockstar Games Inc. and published and owned by Take2 Interactive Inc. We, as developers, respect other developer’s intellectual property and their legitimate interests."
Back in August, Rockstar issued bans to the creators of FiveM, explaining in a statement to us that "the FiveM project is an unauthorized alternate multiplayer service that contains code designed to facilitate piracy. Our policy on such violations of our terms of service are clear, and the individuals involved in its creation have had their Social Club accounts suspended".
I've reached out to Rockstar for comment, and will update if I hear back.