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People scramble to download extensive GTA 4 mod after it's hit by DMCA takedown

GTA 4 - Niko Bellic
(Image credit: Rockstar Games)
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Just in case there wasn't enough Rockstar in your news diet this week, the popular GTA 4 Definitive Edition modding project has received an anonymous DMCA takedown notice, which the authors assume came from Rockstar or an affiliated company.

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The GTA 4 Definitive Edition was essentially a compilation of mods that aimed to enhance and update GTA 4 for modern PCs through graphical updates and fan-patches, and people are already begging for contraband versions (opens in new tab) of the files in the wake of the takedown notice.

It was just one of several projects under the "Definitive Edition" umbrella, but similar mods detailed on the GTA 4 Definitive Edition's website (opens in new tab)—for GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas, as well as non-GTA titles like Bully and Manhunt—remain freely available.

The DMCA notice doesn't say who issued it, but it was received by the mod's authors on September 18. That's a day before a user named "teapotuberhacker" dumped a load of GTA 6 materials (opens in new tab) onto the GTAForums in one of the biggest games leaks in history (opens in new tab), which explains why this one has slipped under the radar a bit.

It wouldn't be remotely surprising if Rockstar or Take-Two were behind the complaint: The companies have always had a hair trigger when it comes to DMCA notices. Earlier this year, a gaggle of mods that sought to port GTA 5 and RDR 2 to VR (opens in new tab) met a swift end at the hand of Take-Two's lawyers. Not long before Rockstar announced its own ill-fated remasters of the GTA Trilogy, the company went on a spree of issuing DMCAs to various mods (opens in new tab) that punched up the fidelity and gameplay of the original 3D classics.

It's a shame, because Rockstar has historically been a pretty poor steward of its own back catalogue. Between the disastrous GTA Trilogy remasters, the removal of music from old games (opens in new tab), and even putting out patches that take away resolution options (opens in new tab), it's hard to have faith that these games are better off in Rockstar's hands than those of the fans.

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One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was far too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. Since then, his writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.