The parent company of Rockstar, Take-Two Interactive, has filed a lawsuit against programmers who have reverse-engineered Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto Vice City. This is not the only effort by Take-Two to make those messing with GTA go away, for lack of a better way of putting it: The company has also requested several popular mods be removed from mod libraries, most of them mods of older GTA games.
The lawsuit lays out what Take-Two wants from the courts: “Take-Two brings this lawsuit to halt the activities of a group of individuals who have sought unlawfully to copy, adapt, and distribute to the public infringing source code for two classic GTA titles… without the authorization or consent of Take-Two.” They also add, in their complaints about the programmers: “Defendants claim that their derivative GTA source code enables players to install and run the Games on multiple game platforms, including those on which the Games never have been released, such as the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo Switch.”
Take-Two has been pretty relentless in trying to suppress the efforts of GTA-based content creators. It recently requested that mod repositories remove several mods, including Ozark, a mod menu for GTA Online, and several mods that were remakes or ports of content from older GTA titles. The lawsuit goes on to say: “Defendants are well aware that they do not possess the right to copy, adapt, or distribute derivative GTA source code, or the audiovisual elements of the Games, and that doing so constitutes copyright infringement.”
As for why it might be doing this, there is a rumor that Rockstar is working on remasters of some of its older games, including possibly GTAIII and Vice City. If that’s the case, it’s probably understandable that they would not want players to have another way of accessing or playing better versions of these games for free or on modern platforms.