Take-Two Interactive, the parent behind game studio Rockstar Games, has been turning up the heat against a group of modders, issuing a takedown and threatening legal action if not complied with. The mod, which was for the single-player campaign of Red Dead Redemption 2, was put up on Nexus Mods earlier this month before Rockstar caught wind of it.
After of which, the studio buckled down and made the claim it was breaking its code of conduct by distributing something that is “sexually oriented.” To make this abundantly clear, they’re talking about a mod that, by and large, pays homage to one of Rockstar’s biggest controversies labeled “Hot Coffee.”
A scrapped minigame from GTA San Andreas allowed the player to perform fully-clothed sexual positions to fill the “excitement” meter. To today’s standards, that’s warranting an M rating, but when it was first found by modders, it was shown to the world and caused the ESRB to change its rating to AO (adults only), effectively making selling in game retail stores nearly impossible. Many didn’t want games with that rating on its shelves. It was eventually resolved, but not after that was out and the code was scrubbed from the game’s code.
Two modders went out to make a homage mod with nearly the exact same concept, using in-game assets, models, and audio. However, this also played against them as the assets were copyrighted by Rockstar.
The following video is explicit:
The realm of modding a game is a somewhat sensitive one. Sometimes developers allow for users to do as they please, especially if it’s for a single-player campaign, but other times there are rules put in place that if broken will result in major problems with the developer.
According to PCGamesN, Rockstar’s email came as a surprise by one of its developers since the game used in-game assets, didn’t contain nude models, and wasn’t made for online use. As such, he called it unfair.
“The mod doesn’t contain any nudity or nude models, and only uses assets that are still in the game. The animations are from the drunk bar mission with Lenny (which are still in the game), and the ‘moaning’ noises are simply the sounds the [character models] make when they get injured. Also, they mention ‘online services’, however, this mod is only available for single-player. To answer your question: no, I don’t think it’s fair.”
There’s a level of irony that they believe this to be really sexual content when looking back at 2013’s Grand Theft Auto V… it’s non-modded version. Not only is there the ability to hire a prostitute to please you in your car, but you can also pay for a topless lapdance in a strip club. Comparing those two are pretty glaring. Red Dead Redemption 2‘s Hot Coffee homage mod pales in comparison to them actually going about making topless models. All they did was repurpose audio and reuse animations.
Let’s face the fact, they just didn’t want the mod to exist and – sadly for them – by drawing attention to it, they made it impossible to actually takedown. It will go around the internet through forums, chatrooms, adult mod-based websites, etc.
All in all, all Rockstar did was make the mod a priceless find that people – not necessarily the modders – are going to be sharing to their friends and anyone who shows interest without using a service like Nexus Mods. It’ll be a word-of-mouth find.
What do you think? Should Rockstar just have let it slide under rug or are you on Rockstar’s side?