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

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 a week later, and the project vanished. Now, four months later, both games appear to be back in action.

As reported by Eurogamer, 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. 

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 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
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.