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Take-Two sues makers of Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City reverse engineering project

Rockstar parent firm takes aim at more recreations of games from its portfolio

Take-Two Interactive is suing a team of developers that have reverse-engineered source code from Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City.

The lawsuit takes aim at 14 programmers behind the re3 project, which offers "the fully reserved source code for GTA 3 and GTA VC", alongside ports of the titles for Switch, Wii U and Vita.

In the suit, the company stated that it wants 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 authorisation or consent of Take-Two."

Take-Two also attempted to have the project removed from Github, and claimed that three of the developers involved "knowingly filed bad faith counter notifications that materially misrepresented the legality of their content, apparently claiming that because they allegedly 'reverse engineered' the Games' source code, they somehow cannot be liable for copyright infringement."

The company also claims that the creation and distribution of the rebuilt games "has caused, and is continuing to cause, irreparable harm to Take-Two."

The re3 project does not use any leaked source or copyrighted assets belonging to Rockstar or Take-Two. To access those, players will need to own their own copies of the games. The project also adds new features to the existing games, including a new camera, various bug fixes and widescreen support.

Back in July, Take-Two also delivered a series of takedowns to community-made map mods in Grand Theft Auto 5 -- specifically maps based on locations in GTA 3 and Vice City.

The company also attempted to have reverse-engineered source code from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas removed from Github earlier in the year, but was unsuccessful.

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Latest comments (3)

Seth Byrnes Game Designer 13 days ago
Why are they going after these people?

Irreparable harm? The modders keep these old games alive and bring in new players who wouldn't have TOUCHED them if it wasn't for new and updated controls.

It's not like Take-Two supports their own game anymore. It's more likely that these modders have MADE them some money. You have to buy the game to use the code.
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Alfonso Sexto Pereyra Quality Assurance Manager, DACS Laboratories GmbH12 days ago
@Seth Byrnes:
Fully agree with this.
I do wonder if, like the case between the band Iron Maiden and the game Ion Fury, this is not Take-Two directly, but their legal team acting autonomously. They provably only think in legal and copyright terms (it's their work, after all) and don't pay attention to things like image, reputation and how player will perceive this.
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Allan Smith Producer, Z3 Bros Studios12 days ago
It wouldn't surprise me if the sudden interest in taking down those developers/mods and so on is that they are likely working on a "definitive edition" of GTA 3 which I am sure would sell like crazy given how popular it was back in the day. They might not be supporting the old game, but they surely expect to still earn money with it!
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