Is Rockstar Games ruining own reputation ?
For these who don’t know much about companies connections behind Grand Theft Auto game titles I’ll try to do short simple explanation first.
Rockstar Games that you all know as creator of Grand Theft Auto series is just a publishing label, but officially registered company that is owner of this game is Take-Two Interactive Software or in short just Take-Two. To make this easy to understand you can understand labels as multiple little companies under one big company, or multiple developer teams under one company, or multiple companies under one publisher or just as multiple projects of one company.
Now let’s go back to Rockstar Games and what’s going on last months. If you are playing any of GTA series you most likely know most of these incidents happening. Let’s go a bit more back when GTA Online started. Yes, we all know how R* is ‘milking’ GTA Online. Once they noticed this is the biggest money maker all their DLCs started to focus only on GTA online and single player of GTA 5 became irrelevant.
Great news was that it became almost fully modable and moders did great job for years to keep this game alive same way as they did in previous titles of GTA. Graphics improvements, new and better models of architecture, vehicles or even peds, 4K textures, better artificial intelligence and much more.
2 years after GTA online was released moders did step forward by doing online servers that allow you using mods online. This project is called FiveM. Take-Two was afraid of their money by people enjoying their game in own style, moded for everyone own taste but not buying their online extra advantages. For this reason Take-Two sued author of this project and was doing everything in their power to take this project down. You can read more details about this situation on internet, I’m not going into details, I’ll just say that FiveM is still alive and very popular.
After another 2 years Take-Two goes even more against the moders and they did try to shut down OpenIV, main program allowing moders to edit files and use mods. Again, I’m not going deep into this situation and I’ll just say OpenIV is still alive, but using mods in GTA online is illegal and you can do that only thru mentioned FiveM servers.
After that for few years there was silence but 4 years later in 2021 Take-Two did it again and they keep going. They decided go against moders even more and they did shut down multiple mods bringing whole maps of older GTA titles reworked into newer GTA games. They accomplished this simply using DMCA but they didn’t explained publicly why they did this. Rumors say that it’s connected with possible GTA 6 leaks and upcoming title being located in these cities.
Later 2021 was announced GTA Trilogy remastered. Think about it - they shut down mods on old titles and then rework these titles to sell you old game again. Then force moders be able mod only remastered version = they give people reason buy this remastered version that we would be normally not interested of, because moders did better job improving original title then Take-Two did with remastering these titles in Unreal Engine.
Most of you know what happen after releasing GTA Trilogy remastered - they was forced to take this games from markets due to lot of glitches. And who knows Rockstar games for years, know that it’s company that don’t publish game before fully polishing all details. They was able spend over year just on making sure are details are working perfectly and no other game company would care about these details back then.
Why this change in company behavior?
Well now we go back to the company and labels. Co-founder and Vice President of Rockstar Games who was leading titles of Grand Theft Auto, Max Payne and Red Dead Redemption is Dan House. Dan House decided to leave Take-Two in 2020, just a year before Take-Two started doing this big mistakes by not only going strongly again moders again but releasing not finished games which is even just a rework of already existing game of their own.
This seems like Dan was key person holding Rockstar Games titles on top level between all competitors in game industry. If we want go even further into Rockstar Games breaking down their name and reputation look further into GTA main characters voice actors relationships with R*. As example we can take probably most favorite character CJ and his voice actor Young Malay or Nico Bellic voice actor Michael Hollick. We can only guess how it will end up with GTA 5 characters voice actors relationship with R* after GTA 5 will stop having new updates and they’ll become not important people for this company.
Latest news was R* bringing popular producer Dr Dre into their December 2021 update. This update may look like great update for some of you, but again it’s just for GTA online, for their golden goose. It’s not only bringing nothing new in single player but they did it again. They broke multiple map mods of many different authors.
Question is: was this made on purpose?
Let’s be realistic and consider both options. After their history against moders that I just mentioned in this article there is big possibility this was made on purpose according to making life of moders more complicated. Why? Because if you make moding more difficult, you have bigger chance these people will give up later when you do again bigger steps to stop moding and will not fight back as they did previously. But let’s say it wasn’t made on purpose.
Let’s say they just didn’t do this on purpose against the moders. Let’s say they was just working on new update. Well then remains question, why did they changed big part of whole system how game files are working? They are not using free game engine that they could have issues with making some new features working correctly. They have own game engine. How is it possible that they don’t know work with their own game and was forced to change whole system?
If you are experienced moder who did see over half of their files already, you know what I’m talking about and that this is not first time. Not finished models and textures. Testing files included in final game files. Files prepared for first updates but first updates containing these files in new location, probably because they noticed these files will not work in original locations. Empty files avoiding autogenerators doing mess. Weird stupid spawns on the maps and much more. When you start working with over half of game files you’ll start noticing it look like game was developed by people who had no manual to their own game engine.
What this means is that new update issues are going according with one of stupid steps of R*, unskilled workers of their own game or fight again moders who are the people that keep their games alive after many years. Result it that in both situations it’s not smart steps and it’s not first steps over especially during 2021.
To finish this I would like to just say that Rockstar Games and their games like Grand Theft Auto are not what they was when they became most popular games and after Dan House step out of company I’m more then sure they’ll be not ever again that great or better then they was and they are going ruin own reputation more and more, but that is good news for any skilled developers. We all know technology is going fast and with innovations like Unreal Engine 5, Lumin, Metahuman and many more, there is lot of space and opportunities for new talents that are willing to learn new things, so everything bad is good for something else (: