The Red Dead Redemption PC emulation project has been halted

(Image credit: Take Two Interactive)

Work on Red Dead Redemption: Damned Enhancement Project, a fan-made effort to bring RDR to PC by way of the Xenia and RPCS3 emulators, has been halted. Developer DamnedDev didn't say specifically why the project has been suspended, but confirmed in an email that Take-Two Interactive had ordered an end to development.

"Please note project halted," an update to the Damned Enhancement announcement post says. "Update video will be made and will explain. I'm not very happy. Please understand for the time being all will be explained."

That video isn't available yet, but DamnedDev didn't leave much doubt as to what transpired. "I can't [say what happened] but you know who had a hand in this halt," the wrote. "I rather not speak more as they warned me to be hush but cmon really people already gonna know if it gets shut down out of no where. Just gonna put it like that if you get the drift or not. But yeah usual corp greed thinks they can bully you."

DamnedDev insisted that the mod shouldn't be "censored" because "this isn't a port or a remaster or a re-release or whatever," and said that "the media" is largely to blame for the order to halt work because sites misrepresented the actual nature of the project. 

"For legal purpose the project is a 'Mod'. And will use [the] existing game with tweaked stuff and new textures and some updated models here and there," they wrote. "But 'Media' caused this to begin with. They click-baited calling it something it isn't for clicks and views." (The Damned Enhancement Project announcement says the goal is to "remaster and optimize the game" on x64 Windows PC platforms, however.)

Despite the setback, DamnedDev said that they're now looking into legal options to enable work on the mod to resume. 

"My case is pretty strong and could win and change their mind," they wrote. "They done shady stuff getting my private info and contacted my family. I've been contacting people to spread word. I'm not letting them them bully me and keep my mouth shut. I complied and stopped progress but hopefully I can sort out this."

In an email, DamnedDev confirmed that a Take Two representative had demanded that development be halted, but expressed hope that they'd be able to convince it that the mod "does not actually violate any EULA or laws," and noted that would require users to actually own the game in order to operate. They also expanded on the "shady stuff" comment, saying that Take Two accessed their real name, address, telephone number, and "private emails," as well as those of some of his family members, and claimed that the company was "harassing my family and trying to hush me." 

The allegations are reminiscent of an August report that 2K Games had sent private investigators to a streamer's house as part of an investigation into leaked Borderlands 3 content on his YouTube channel. But this actually isn't the first time that DamnedDev has run afoul of a Take Two C&D: They were also part of a team working to recreate RDR's map in Grand Theft Auto 5, which was brought to a halt in 2017.

I've reached out to Take-Two for more information, and will update if I receive a reply.

Update: The post originally stated that DamnedDev had received a cease-and-desist order from Take-Two. They have since clarified that "there was no court-ordered cease-and-desist order," but just a demand from a Take Two legal representative that the project be stopped.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.