Modders love the challenge of iterating old content into new games or fixing up assets so gamers can experience titles in full HD or ultra HD. However, in one particular case, the modders were met with roadblocks from Take-Two Interactive when they attempted to put Red Dead Redemption's map into GTA V on PC.
According to a post on the GTA Forums by the lead programmer and head of the White Team, the project to port over the map of Red Dead Redemption into GTA V has been brought to an end. Project lead Mr. Leisurewear informed the community that supposed legal pressure from Rockstar's parent company, Take-Two Interactive, has led to the closure of the project, saying...
Some people have said that modders have no right to mod the game, and that they're infringing on Rockstar's property. It's true that modders don't have an explicit right to mod Rockstar's games, but modding has always been one of the top selling points for the GTA franchise dating back for nearly 20 years. In fact, during big mod releases for GTA IV there were usually sales spikes on Steam to reflect renewed interest in the property. It was basically free advertising and promotion for Rockstar and Take-Two Interactive.
Sure Take-Two -- and any publisher for that matter -- is well within their rights to shutdown modding ventures and legally threaten the modding community, but the only thing that's really going to do is eventually whittle down interest in modding. Eventually, they'll stop producing as many mods for the game and all that's going to do is hurt the community and longevity of the game's interest. There are countless publishers out there who would love to have a fostered modding community similar to the one that Rockstar has for GTA V. The modding scene alone generates millions of views a week on YouTube, and has spawned all sorts of subcultures centered around the game, including a deeply artistic machinima scene.
In this particular case, Mr. Leisurewear and a full team of other well-known modders, artists, scripters and programmers within the GTA V modding community came together to work on doing a total conversion port based on the map from the Xbox 360 asset of the Red Dead Redemption map. Modders have done similar things in the past (or working on similar things right now) such as porting over the entirety of GTA: San Andreas or GTA: Vice City into GTA IV and GTA V. Take-Two previously let those things slide, but they absolutely refuse to allow PC gamers to have any sort of access to Red Dead Redemption, which came out seven years ago for the PS3 and Xbox 360.
Some people have claimed that Take-Two is doing this because they have plans on porting over the original game as an HD remaster for PC gamers ahead of releasing Red Dead Redemption 2 on Xbox One and PS4. That's not an impossible theory given that some companies in the past have issued cease and desist legal threats to community creations and mod projects when they had plans on re-releasing an old game or a new project based on an old game. Something similar happened with a Lord of the Rings mod for Skyrim that Warner Bros. had shut down due to having their own games in the works. And it also happened with a Star Wars: Battlefront mod for Arma 3, obviously since EA has their own Star Wars: Battlefront 2 set for release later this year.
If there is a PC version of Red Dead Redemption in the works then that could be pretty cool -- still terrible that the mod project is canceled, but cool that Red Dead would be coming to PC. If there is no PC version of Red Dead in the works and Take-Two canceled the mod, then it's just sadness all around. This means the only way PC gamers get to play Red Dead is by paying for a PlayStation Now subscription.