I don’t do any game modding these days, but back before I started this comic I was pretty big into skinning/modeling for Jedi Knight 2, and was part of a team that brought Jango/Boba Fett in as playable characters, as well as a couple of custom Jedi characters and some maps. We all spent our free time doing this because we really enjoyed the game, and adding more to it for the community.
That is by and large mostly what modding tends to be about, a community of people gathered around enjoying a game. So I’m always dumbfounded by some of the approaches that video game publishers decide to take when dealing with the modding community.
I understand that these companies have a right and a responsibility to protect their brand, and that sometimes mods can go too far, or directly compete with a product the company is attempting to bring to market. But it always seems like the first response is to wave their big stick, and it comes across rather hostile, especially in the case of a franchise like GTA where the modding community has thrived for years, benefitting not only the gamers, but keeping the older games alive in a way they couldn’t do on their own.
So when Take Two comes in and not only starts throwing around DMCAs to clear the runway for their GTA Remastered trilogy (they even DMCA’d someone’s non-modded save file), but then turns around and completely fucks up the implementation of said Remastered trilogy, it’s hard not to be at least a little impressed with the scope of that failure.
In a very George Lucas-y move, Take Two has made all original versions of the early GTA games unavailable on digital storefronts, meaning from here on out the Remastered Trilogy is likely it for playing these games. It’s an absolute mess of bugs and visual glitches (the PC versions was unplayable for three days due to issues with the launcher), and to top it off, they’ve now alienated the modders, the very people who would normally be the first to swoop in and start improving these games.
So, um… This probably says more about me than anything, and I love the look of the dog, it’s so cute… but… you drew a dick on its face.
Its supposed to represent GTA, so I think its fitting
You have to admit though. That takes balls.
It’s ok, the dog’s a cocker spaniel
It could have worked with a wiener dog too.
maybe it’s a pointer
And now I can’t unsee that.
*goes searching for my old, now unplayed, disks of GTA series*
Every GTA I ever bought was found in the bargain bin of a GameStop for $5 or less. So, profit?
They’re not hard to find. Probably cheaper to get a shrink-wrapped PS2 version than it would have been to get it on Steam six months ago.
I bet they’ll get a increase in value now.
It’s essentially free dev! Never understood why companies don’t get that. This is why I like what Firaxis did with X-COM; accept and embrace the modding community, and just give them the tools off the bat to make whatever they want. What have they got to worry about?
I do note the irony in my example of 2K breaking the launcher so mods don’t work properly anymore…
I guess many worry about lightning striking twice with something like LoL? Didn’t it start as basically a mod for WC3, and now is it’s own big thing.
The chances of that happening are pretty damn slim, but possible I guess. If you look at some of the Skyrim mods, there was one that basically overhauled the entire game to make a new one in Skyrim combat style.
I know DOTA is a WC3 mod and then Valve snatched it from Activision/Blizzard to make DOTA2 standalone.
Was LoL also a WC3 mod?
Aha, no LoL wasn’t afaik, I just couldn’t remember the name of what was as I never got into them.
The DOTA issue doesn’t really relate to this. Blizzard is annoyed that they were unable to make an official DOTA themselves, not that DOTA exists or that the MOBA genre was created. This issue is usually solved the way that Blizzard did it with the W3 remaster: add a clause to EULA where the developer takes ownership of all mods developed for the game.
This here is T2 just fearing that mods would be competing with their official products.
That would be Enderall.
Durn it! “Enderal” still sounds like a generic sleepin’ pill to me!
Thanks, that’s the one!
I cannot sing the praises of XCOM 2 enough. When you make the dev tools into mod tools you give your biggest fans the ability to share their love through creativity, as well as consumption. It can only be productive.
Now if only I could have gotten the XCOM 2 mod tools to work ;_;
Civ 5 also has many mods (and modders). A friend made his own to really changeup the game by changing the assumptions of relative cost of units and maintenance for the units. He allowed higher stacking limits and levying unit wasn’t too expensive, but maintaining them was a continuous drag on your economy so you were incentivized to arm up, get your war goals achieved, and then let go of some of your military (demob) so the expense aren’t so harsh.
The argument I’ve seen is something along the lines of, if the company wants to make a sequel and a dlc and if all the extra features in those already exist in mods no one would buy them. Which is a fair argument I guess, though it doesn’t always apply.
It’s a ridiculous argument. There are tons of games with very extensive mods that successfully sell DLC.
Having worked on mods for Arma II in my spare time and having worked on some video games and having a lot of friends in the artist/animator/3D artist/etc categories, here’s my 0.02: Companies are run by middle managers, CFOs and CEOs. Some middle managers might have come up from the dev ranks, but a fair number did not. No CFO or CEO of a major studio was much of a gamer or is much of a gamer. (Or at least 95% of them aren’t). They are about money and money involves intellectual property tools, lawyers, microtransactions and anything that can… Read more »
GTA Online was turned into utter garbage by modders, not to be mistaken for the community that say mods Skyrim, ESO, etc, These “modders” (hacks) trashed the game so bad I left in disgust after years of playing and vowed to never play another R* game. Auto aimbots, crashed jets and UFOs littering the whole city, steal a car be driving along and all of a sudden you’re standing in the road, or the car just explodes. The list goes on and on. You have two communities who call themselves modders, We recently lost Nuclear Winter (Fallout 76) because of… Read more »
What you’re describing is hacks, not mods. And specifically in the case of massively multiplayer games, mods will not work for the simple reason that people who see you won’t be able to see your modded content. To give an example, in Counter-Strike (the Half-Life 1 classic), I decided for fun to replace the sound effect for the MAC-10 with the Goldeneye 64 sound effect from the same gun (ZMG 9mm). It works perfectly fine on my end, but would sound like the standard sound for others. In theory, I could simply mod all the silence weapon sound effects to… Read more »
Sorry but they WERE called Mods, I do know what you mean and said so in what I wrote, they were called mods but were in fact hacks, both GTA and Fallout 76 the hacks were referred to as mods, and the drawing above depicts GTA as Modders, sorry but GTA Online was completely trashed by so called modders so it’s kind of a slap in the face to those who played and didn’t cheat (I know this was not the intent, the cheats have their own layer in MMO Hell)
Just because someone calls something a certain way, doesn’t mean that is correct.
I for instance call myself the most sexiest man alive.
Take that Paul Rudd!
What is and What is correct are two very different things, my comment remains
..:You really don’t make a lot of sense there. Gta online has a lot of issues with hackers and stuff online, that is one fact. Also has to do with their security architecture being absolutely lackluster, a fact which they have been aware of for a LONG time btw. Instead of addressing that Rockstar and take 2 went after some modding groups already a long time ago, under the pretense it was to fight the hackers. Don’t mind that this specific group worked on stuff specifically for single player modding, don’t mind they even put in great effort to make… Read more »
Maybe you should try reading instead of reacting to a line? I DID say there were differences.
I was going to write more explaining all this but, why bother when you’re not really reading what’s being said anyway.
Expect no more replies, idc anymore I’m out
Just stop labeling Hacks as Mods. The line between them isn’t helped with you or those hackers labeling them as such so don’t propagate their lies.
Yeah you acknowledge it in one sentence and then brush over it in the next one ANYWAY.
That’s not a matter of people not reading what you write, that is a matter of you being willfully ignorant.
Don’t let the door hit you on the way out
They also called themselves “Not Hackers, You just need to Git Gud Scrub, LOLOLOL” so I mean…
Is it a “Modification”? Yes
Is it what people normally understand “Mods” to be? No
Here is a shovel, since you seem to be intent on diggering your self a bigger hole.
I think its very much the Potato argument. You call them this, others call them that. When the ‘hackers’ are self proclaimed ‘Modders’ and generally treated as ‘Modders’ in their community, then its easy to see why they get called Modders. Since they are both Modifying the game by the use of code patches and stuff I don’t fully understand, they fall into the same Umbrella tag with a lot of people.
Even the Mod sites have pointed cheat stuff in their Mod sections
Modders made me stop playing the regular parts of GTA Online at lvl 36 and went into only racing as they dont often come there and easier to kick out.
Ironically this days I am the one getting called a modder/cheater at lvl 502 and couple of thousand wins.
I’m not the type to afford gaming PCs that can keep up with the market, and it’s times like these I’m glad I kept my PS2.
Also, I so love how well the puppy is drawn! Can I please hug it?
You’ll have to find it first.
And then pay for the license to hug it ($2.99 per hug, or $19.99 a month for unlimited hugs).
In the vast majority of situations modders only improve the game and increase replayability. Would there really be the 8 releases of skyrim Tim was joking about the other day, if there was no modding for it?
Yes, because Skyrim is good even without modding. Or to put in another way – people mod Skyrim so much because the game is great. If you create a shit game, noone will want to mod it. Also, according to official statistics less then 10% of players mod Bethesda games. It’s the 90+% of players that made the game successfull and worthy of re-releasing.
While I agree, those ‘official statistics’ must be incredibly skewed: console players (undoubtedly the main buyers of Skyrim) were physically incapable of modding the original Skyrim release (and their mods remain very limited in the Special Edition, particularly for PlayStation), so they shouldn’t be counted at all because they never had the option to mod the game in the first place. Beyond that, where did they pull these statistics from? If it’s through surveys or some other opt-in method, they’re not really getting a good estimate, and if it’s through some check like the one they do for disabling Steam… Read more »
see this is what i always used as an argument FOR the paid mods thing when bethesda first put it out. they have the ability to do exactly this, but they are smart enough to know thats only going to get them some major bad press. so instead they go the reward the modders path…only to get bitchy people being bitchy saying they are money hungry.
Personally I had no problem with paid mods. But were all of the mods forced to be paid mods or something? Because when it was implemented that one time, all of this content that people had made to be free, suddenly had a price tag, and I find it hard to believe that all of the modders suddenly got greedy just because they could, and I certainly would’t be happy if people had to pay for something that I made to be free.
No, regular free mods are still in Bethesda games, even on console. Todd just recently made a shout out to the modder community in an interview.
My Anniversary Edition Skyrim is a mix of the freebie Creation Club that was part of the edition, and my favorite free mods. No crashes yet. 🙂
As I recall, a major problem was that there were no safeguards on the original paid mods marketplace to ensure the mod authors were the ones profiting from their work, and random people were taking the free mods and uploading them for their own profit.
basically if you went through steam workshop to get your mods it had a price tag. that money would be split between bethesda, cause they are legally the owners of anything related to the game, steam, cause they are hosting the service, and the mod poster. i will grant the other comment about authorization issues cause i cant argue against it and its a valid point. but people really forgot one MAJOR detail, nexus existed, still exists, and probably wont be going down anytime. many MANY of the mods on the workshop were also available on nexus and some were… Read more »
And how long until they tried to kill Nexus if paid mods had taken off?
You know, I don’t care much about the paid mods either way. But I want to bring up two points: First, if their main intention was to *reward* the modders, as you put it – they didnt have to take a cut for themselves, you know? Of course, that is well within their rights and it is a company and not a welfare enterprise, I get that. Then again, I feel it is important to consider that Bethesda profits GREATLY from their modding scene merely existing, probably moreso than any other company out there and has been for a loooong… Read more »
The only reasonable explanation I can think of is that they don’t care at all about this game. I mean: experience says that 100% of the times that a company goes against the modders if the product they release is not 120% perfect they negative backlash is biblical.
No, the best part of this remaster mess? Their CEO’s comments about remasters… (PS the GTA DE disaster is because they ported the mobile version…)
Zelnick said he feels “confident Rockstar is going to deliver a great experience but you can’t do that if you’re just doing a simple port.”
Was it intentional to make the guy look like Nicholas Cage?
That’s why I was such a huge fan of Total Annihilation back in the day… so much custom content and the company encouraged it.
As long as I still can play GTA 1 & 2 😉
I get problem you are pointing at.
Just like Reddit……..
Never realized you were big in JK2 modding, now I’m curious if you knew ShroomDuck back in the day. He did a lot of map making, on top of helping to create the TMBJ clan. I still miss going in every night and just hanging around the Bespin landing pad, dueling and joking around. Good times. Okay, snapping out of nostalgia mode now.
I don’t know how I managed, but I thought the title of the comic was “Dentist.”
That made reading the comic kind of interesting, because I was trying to figure out which guy was the dentist and why a dog was involved.
Then it clicked. That doesn’t say dentist.
I was initially excited about the “Remaster” until I realized that I already had all 3 games they were remastering: untouched, unfixed, fairly broken, without controller support for systems they came out on and requiring a lot of modifications and re-configuration to get them to run and act stable and then I saw that they might as well have left in the old graphics for all the work they did.
I think I’ll stick with the PS2 sitting next to my Desktop at this rate.
I think we can all agree on that a “remaster” in essence is a money grab? Now don’t get me wrong, if i want to play old games i play them because of nostalgia. Diablo 2 for instance, it still works, i got the original CDs on the shelve, it reminded me on the days of not having internet. But since the gameplay has not changed, all it shows me now is that i am used to better games, an endgame for instance. A challenge other than running the same thing over and over again to the point that bots… Read more »
Eh. “Money grab” might be an unfair term. If it’s done well, it’s fantastic. It brings the game to a new audience, and a remaster is generally better-performing than an emulation of the old game. No one’s forcing you to purchase it, and unless the company is Nintendo, the price will drop after a while, anyways.
Some people really shouldn’t own dogs.
I’m pretty sure Lucas encouraged mods for his franchise, going as far as commissioning a few of them into cannon, aka Force Unleashed and KOTOR. It’s actually Disney whom you should compare T2 to.
If you look back far enough you’ll find Lucas did this exact thing with the original trilogy remasters, removing the original copies from sale to sell more Digital remasters. Which is what T2 is doing here.
I think the comparison here is less about Lucas expanding the canon, and more about how Lucas altered the original films, and then only those altered versions could be distributed. The last time you could get a copy of the Star Wars films as originally released was back on LaserDisc.
Mmmm, I remember LucasArts going after BadKarma for his UT Star Wars maps. After getting the C&Ds, he took the maps down for a day or two, talked to his family, then decided that he was going to take a stand. Put the maps up and posted the C&D order.
LucasArts wisely decided that this would cost more than they would gain, particularly since Episode 1 hadn’t quite caught fire as was hoped.
Unoriginal, soapbox-y, downvote-y take right here: I dislike mods, except when the devs explicitly say that they either don’t have an issue with them, or encourage them. I’ve been a creator myself, and one of the thing that I have a real issue with is when people go and change what the creator originally did, especially to “improve” it or “fix” it or “modernize” it, without the creator’s permission. Even if other people like it better – and maybe, especially if other people like it better. Call it petty, immature, or dumb, but that thing was something I created, that… Read more »
I understand your point but will counter with two examples of mods being still a good thing: Factorio has a number of mods which add complexity. The factorio devs have themselves said this is a good thing. Their reason? They don’t want to put that complexity in the base game because they want to keep it accessible, but welcome well balanced overhaul mods that up the complexity factor Kerbal Space Program had a number of mods that increased functionality – bringing it very close to what is being proposed for Kerbal Space Program 2 (if that ever makes it off… Read more »
Again – I’m not at all against modifying games; only as long as the developers have given their blessing. Back in the day, when I bought Morrowind, it came with an additional disc that basically allowed you to mod it to kingdom come. Mods have made some games amazing. In both examples that you gave, the devs were A-OK with it. I can think of a bunch of other games that were the same. And that’s great. On the other hand, I can see it going the other way. For example – Kerbal Space Program. You said that the modders… Read more »
Well, Kerbal Space Program is now owned by a subsidiary of Take Two who basically looked at the most popular mods and hired a completely different dev company to “make that, but better more profitable.” So, I don’t really see how the mods interfered in this case because without the modders, KSP 2 wouldn’t even be viable as a cash grab. Factorio on the other hand hired a couple of modders who made things that are similar to what they want to make going forward – as a result there are now a couple of mods that are likely to… Read more »
Essentially, anyone who has a game that’s offered for free or at an extremely low cost, but then earns a profit off of in-game purchases, will have an issue with mods. Fanmade mods compete with official content and ultimately take away money that would have otherwise been earned. The devs of Payday 2, for example, will ban anyone who attempts to mod the game. Having microtransactions doesn’t automatically make a game “cash grabby.” People put time and effort and money into making something that they’re essentially giving away, and as long as they don’t use predatory or abusive tactics, it’s… Read more »
Well, I think all reasonable people should draw the line at a game where the devs (who were also the original publishers) fostered a strong modding community on purpose, did so again over multiple subsequent games, even going so far as to basically fall on the sword when the modding community triggered a massive scandal, and then sold out to a publisher who turned around and started harassing those same modders because the publisher wanted to make a quick buck on a shitty re-release. Yes, I’m 100% talking about the example in this comic where R* repeatedly and over multiple… Read more »
I understand where you’re coming from, and you’re certainly not the only person to have that opinion (I’ve spoken to enough hobbyist game creators that have that exact same point of view), I’m personally of the opinion that you should be able to enjoy any piece of media the way you want to, rather than the way it was “intended”. Because the latter sounds rather elitist to me. There’s two main reasons why I think that way (there’s more than two reasons in total though). The first is because I’ve made quite a few little games, as well as a… Read more »
The main point that we disagree on isn’t whether mods are good or bad, but whether the dev is in the wrong to disagree with mods, and to use the legal system to stop them from being distributed. You say you’re A-OK with mods of Chex Quest, and that’s great. Consider a situation where someone might not be. For example – consider the game Celeste, which stars a plucky female protagonist dying over and over and over while climbing a mountain. Recently, the developers of Celeste mentioned that the main character, Madeline, is trans. Can you imagine any mods that… Read more »
So out of curiosity, what is your thoughts on the Mods that actually fix games?
Take an older game, Temple of Elemental Evil. When I had it years ago, it didn’t work. The game would install and just wouldn’t actually play. Then I found a group, circle of 8 or something like that who basically did an unofficial patch (Which still falls into the general theme) which actually made the game run and worked.
That’s just the main one which pops into my mind with this, I have seen others
I view it in much the same way that I view a third-party computer repair shop: the consumer has the right to repair. You have the right to fix what you bought. Technically, you have the right to change or modify or do whatever to anything you bought, and others have the right to offer their services to fix something of yours. What isn’t right, is to take something that someone else created, modify it or tweak it or whatever, add my own creative touches, and then distribute the changed media without the copyright holder’s consent. Especially if that person… Read more »
There are so many flaws in this I can’t address them all. Creators don’t create masterpieces most of the time. Many don’t even know clearly what they want or lack time / funds / skills to achieve exactly that. Add to that bugs / glitches / exploits / technical issues. Mods are a wide variety of things. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with mods fixing actual flaws and making games playable. You also entirely ignore the case when people played through a game plenty of times already and then start using mods to keep things fresh and spicy, so they get… Read more »
I’m coming back to this a month later and just reading through responses. I’ve tried three to four times here, but I just can’t get through yours. I’m sorry. Learn paragraph breaks, please. The core of my argument is that the copyright owner has the legal right to defend his own IP, and to not allow others to distribute stuff that uses it. That’s something I believe has a right to exist. The second part is that a copyright owner is not automatically in the wrong for exercising that right and stopping others from distributing content based on his IP,… Read more »
Start doing anti-mods. Mods that make the characters look even worse. Replace game villains with Take Two execs. Cyberpunk 2077 references. That sort of thing.
Are we really taking pot shots at George Lucas in 2021? If you still somehow hate the prequels fine but after what Disney did and continues to do there’s no reason to drag his name through the muck for no reason. The prequels were excellent.
You do realize he’s taking pot shots at George Lucas not because of the prequel trilogy, but because of the crappy “Special Editions” of the original trilogy that outright replaced the much better original versions.
I’m not even sure if it’s even possible yet to legally obtain a HD quality version of the original versions. (You definitely can through more questionable means though, thanks to dedicated Star Wars fans.)
This is nothing to do with the prequels. It’s about the fact that the original cuts of the OT can no longer be obtained legitimately. You can only get versions with added CG and effects.
OUR GAME OUR IP RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!
Yeah, that’s it. Alienate everyone, that’ll make us buy your steaming heap of a ‘remaster’.
I understand the financial reasons for wanting to be at the helm, but I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for those that love games so much as to build upon that framework into newer exciting opportunities. Counter-Strike started as a mod for Half-life, and we played that beta to death back in college. My own modding experience was with the original Starcraft and Diablo 2. Modding the Starcraft map maker allowed you to bake the changes into a specific map, so individual installations didn’t need to be modded to play under the new ruleset in multiplayer. Diablo… Read more »
Yea, like that one “modder” who fixed a bug where loading times improved significantly? You kind of need this when the developer doesn’t give two hoots about improving their latest iteration of the game to have a more enjoyable experience JUST loading it up. I’ve seen many titles fail to embrace the mods, can’t name any cause they’re not played anymore (at least not by me and my friend group). The games that have made a specific provision FOR mods (even those who don’t DMCA for various reasons because the mods are enjoyed and keeps the game alive) has a… Read more »
I’m pretty hard on Take2 and Rockstar and the like over most of this, but there’s a lot of hyperbole in the statement: Take Two has made all original versions of the early GTA games unavailable on digital storefronts, meaning from here on out the Remastered Trilogy is likely it for playing these games. Anyone who wanted to play these games already played them. And given how cheap and available they were, most people even half-interested likely bought a copy for $5 on a Steam sale and have them sitting in their queue undownloaded. There’s not some massive hidden audience… Read more »
There’s an entire younger generation of gamers who have never played old games but may wish to do so some day. Not all gamers are in your peer group.
You think that’s bad, Take-Two sent private investigator’s to a modder’s house like they were the mob: https://archive.ph/hIm6M
Hey, same story with Hasbro, DHX, and My Little Pony.
Ok, that hit HARD. Because of the dog. Bella(May 15th 2009-October 31st 2021)
T2I takes on modders who fix bugs and add game content, meanwhile does nothing against the makers/sellers/users of mod menus for GTAO that are used to cheat, grief and mess up the lobby stability. they really have their heads screwed on backwards.
One wonders if, in this case, there is possibly some more “Hot Coffee” lying around that they didn’t or couldn’t extricate. I mean, I know that it’s a different decade but Ion Fury proved that people will find things that shouldn’t be found and will raise a stink. As they are dealing with the game that caused a huge issue back then, the “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” maxim may also be influencing decisions.
This is why I stopped buying their crap after the first time they attacked modders.
Take Two can DIAF for all I care.
For an alternate take on how to treat modders, Egosoft took the ‘X3: Farnham’s Legacy’ mod built by the community and packaged it up as a free DLC on steam for owners of their 10 year old game. And followed that up with posting a ‘donation pack’ item on steam for a few months where the community could let the modders get some financial compensation.
 Sorry, the donation pack went to their designated charity, not the modders themselves.
Hah, something actually happened super similar to Old School Runescape of all things. Dude spent 3 years making an HD mod pack that would work with the custom launcher almost all RS players use. They had spoken to this guy about making it not trigger bot detection, RS devs had acknowledged they heard about it on twitter, ect. So they knew about it years in advance. A week before release they updated terms of service to prevent graphic over haul mods because they “might” start working on graphics over haul themselves. Let’s just say everyone was upset. The community spent… Read more »
Simple rule: Company sucks = no buy. Who DMCAs the fans that put in time and effort for free to improve the game and keep it interesting doesn’t deserve a fanbase. Another sad case of everybody loses because stupid decisions were made. Not to mention the part about their incompetence, which is also nothing new. I wonder if these lawyers even care about or realize what damage they’re doing because if not they’re like parasites that move on to the next host once their host is dead.
So. Funny story. I use to work as QA for a major game development company. Being QA, I loved video games, as did everyone else in the department. At one point, I worked in a giant room with no walls that could fit an entire elementary school cafeteria, and we had our work stations with PCs set up like you would on portable lunch tables. A World Of Warcraft release dropped. And 75% of the staff called in sick that day. The following day, 60%. As the week went on, we slowly got back up to full staff, but not… Read more »
I remember playing the jango fett skin, was my favorite 🙂
The world is small
This is the difference between Bethesda and all these scummy companies. Bethesda are truly behind modding. Not only do they offer better tools than other companies, they also don’t go after the mod projects. Unless it infringes on some copyright (like in the case of Fallout 3 voice files), they always give OK to the projects. Even all the major cross-game projects like F4NV, F4CW, Skywind and Skyblivion are aproved by Bethesda as long as both the new game and the old game are needed to play it. Which is clever because it will boost sales of the games…