Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive are learning the hard way just how dedicated the Grand Theft Auto V community truly is after making one of the best/worst decisions they possibly could against their fanbase. Earlier this week, Take-Two forced Open IV to shut down, which if you haven’t used it, it’s essentially a modding tool used on GTAV (as well as GTA4) to create single-player mods for the game using the software behind the game. Apparently, some people found a way to hack Shark Cards, which moderate the in-game currency, which also determines how much money the company makes off microtransactions. As gamers should know by now, the minute you start screwing with a company’s income, they come down on you hard.
After the system was shut down, Grand Theft Auto V players flocked to Steam to rate the game negatively. As of when we’re writing this, the Steam page for the game has received nearly 32k ratings for “Overwhelmingly Negative.” And those reviews probably aren’t going to stop, since today PC Gamer revealed that Take-Two is also going after Force-Hax, who have shut down their services as well. While the game itself isn’t going to be affected much by protests and petitions (especially since it was recently ranked as one of the best-selling games of all time), there’s a really good chance that all this ill-will toward the community could screw over Red Dead Redemption 2. The company has already shut down a few attempts by designers to create modded versions of RDR‘s landscape using GTAV tools, which didn’t earn them any brownie points in the fans eyes either.
If Take-Two continues to shut down organizations who’s communities are primarily made up of fellow developers who are just experimenting with the system for harmless fun, there’s a really good chance that community won’t buy into the next game to come along. Depending on which website you go to for finer hacking details and numbers, the current system of active players who use mods is somewhere between 30-60%. Those are hardcore fans still playing the game years later. Even if you’re a company like Disney or Nintendo, that’s a huge chunk of cash you can’t afford to lose based simply on disapproval. We won’t know for a while what the long-term effects are, but I can’t imagine anything positive coming from this besides Take-Two protecting their own investments.
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