Rockstar's parent company Take-Two Interactive has sent a DMCA takedown to the modder responsible for making Grand Theft Auto 5, Red Dead Redemption 2, and the complete Mafia trilogy playable in VR.
As modder Luke Ross explained on Patreon (opens in new tab), "They are demanding that I remove all their copyrighted works from my Patreon page." Which came as a surprise since, as he says, "none of my modifications are built using software belonging to Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc, and the modifications are not intended to replace their games, nor are they a means of exploiting Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc's proprietary IP or assets."
Right now you can download the R.E.A.L. VR mod for GTA5 from Github (opens in new tab), though Luke's mods for the Mafia trilogy and Red Dead Redemption 2 are still in development and only obtainable by subscribing to his Patreon (opens in new tab). Luke recently told the Verge (opens in new tab) that he earns over $20,000 a month from his Patreon backers, who receive access to prototype builds of his VR mods for not just Rockstar games, but also Horizon Zero Dawn, Dark Souls: Remastered, Cyberpunk 2077, and Elden Ring.
The DMCA notice doesn't seem to have anything to do with whether Luke makes a profit from his mods, however, simply demanding the removal of copyrighted works rather than demonetizing them. As Luke puts it, "this was filed as a copyright issue and not a licensing issue, so the motivation for the request does not appear to be related to the fact that there is money involved."
In an update to the original post, Luke explained he's trying to talk things over with Take-Two directly, saying, "Patreon has offered to try and establish a direct channel. I'm grateful for that and I hope that the effort will succeed and lead to a positive resolution, because I'm firmly convinced that what we're doing cannot be hurting Take-Two's bottom line in any way."
This is far from the first time Take-Two has used DMCA notices to get GTA mods taken offline, of course. And just as previous takedowns fueled rumors of the GTA Trilogy remasters, this could suggest Rockstar is working on its own VR re-releases of these games. People did seem to enjoy LA Noire: The VR Case Files, and a VR version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was announced for the Meta Quest 2 in 2021, though we've heard no more about it since then.
Incidentally, Luke's VR mod for No One Lives Forever 2 (opens in new tab) is available to download without subscribing to Patreon.