Reverse-engineered GTA 3 and Vice City projects are back online

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Cast your minds back to February—a fan project which released reverse-engineered source code for both Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City popped up on GitHub. Unsurprisingly, Take-Two Interactive swooped in with a takedown notice (opens in new tab) a week later, and the project vanished. Now, four months later, both games appear to be back in action.

As reported by Eurogamer, (opens in new tab) the modders recently filed a counterclaim against Take-Two's original takedown notice for the projects, dubbed Re3 and ReVC. Turns out, Rockstar's parent company has yet to respond, meaning GitHub has put the projects back online. (opens in new tab) 

Part of the code has already been back online for just over a month now. In May, New Zealand coder Theo filed a DMCA takedown counterclaim (opens in new tab) for his contributions to the project. It was restored, though it still left over 200 forks of the code offline.

Though the official versions of GTA 3 and Vice City have been available on PC for some time, GTA 3 especially is a bit of a rubbish port. The fan projects did a ton of tidying up and quality-of-life improvements. Bugs were squashed, a debug camera was added, and loading screens between islands were removed. The reverse-engineered code also makes for more freedom with mods, which is always a nice thing.

While it's all good news so far, this doesn't mean Re3 and ReVC are in the clear—it's just how DMCA rules work. Any challenged content has to be restored within 10 to 14 days unless copyright holders take action. Take-Two is yet to do anything, so everything is back up… for now, at least.

Mollie Taylor
News Writer

Mollie's been gaming as early as she could clutch a controller or mouse in her tiny little hands. The main games she remembers playing are Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which still perfectly capture her gaming personality two decades later. She joined PC Gamer in 2020, poking around the weird and wonderful corners of the internet for news. She can probably be found AFKing in Limsa Lominsa for hours on end, using that expertise to write neat things about Final Fantasy 14. When she's not staring at her bunny girl, she can be found sweating out rhythm games, fighters or playing through a JRPG for the fifth time.