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It was only recently that we picked up the news of both GTA III and Vice City getting a fully working reverse engineered game engine, along with plenty of upgrades. Sadly, and expectedly, it got nuked from orbit.

Even though it required you to own the game assets, so you would have needed to purchase a copy of either to use the re3 and reVC game reimplementations that wasn't enough to satisfy Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., the parent company of Rockstar Games. They've now given it the DMCA treatment, with the main repository and all known forks at the time to be taken offline on GitHub.

Sad but fully expected. Big publishers really don't like these sorts of projects, even though they can help revive their older games and perhaps even get them more sales. Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights are a legal minefield at the best of times, so the only way we may get this treatment in future is a fully clean-room reimplementation more like OpenMW for Morrowind or OpenRA for classic Westwood RTS games.

Perhaps now someone can pick up OpenRW again.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Game Engine, Misc
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51 comments
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TheSHEEEP 22 Feb
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Yeah, that's not exactly surprising.
DebianUser 22 Feb
I see that publishers dont have enough ressources to port their games on Linux, but they have ressources to make DMCA for this kind of projects which could lead to more sales...
Sad world.
Saw this one coming. I hope Github doesn't get hate for this like they did with Youtube-dl. Github are not to blame for this, they have no choice but to comply with the awful DMCA
GBee 22 Feb
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It's not surprising but it's also not really the end of the road. A DCMA claim is not the same as a Cease and Desist or any other legal measure. It requires no proof to be provided up front and for this reason, the fact that the repo is offline is NOT an indication that the developers were in any way in the wrong. The developers can challenge this with Github and if Take Two's lawyers cannot immediately provide a solid legal reason for the DCMA order (say because the repo contained Take Two assets), then the repo would be restored.

The fact that they went with a DCMA and not more formal legal proceedings suggests to me that this was a drive-by attack by a company, not necessarily a law firm, hired to protect Take Two's IP/Copyright.
mirv 22 Feb
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If it was a clean-room implementation there wouldn't be as much of a problem, however this was reverse engineered directly from the binaries it seems. That's a bit more of an issue as far as countries with dmca style laws go.
ssj17vegeta 22 Feb
Isn't there something that can be done about it legally speaking ? I don't know the american laws very much, but don't you have things like class actions that could help with things like these ?

I mean, FFS, people invested time and efforts in this, probably without earning a penny. What is the legal justification of this ? If GTA's code was indeed reverse-engineered, that means not a single line of code or asset belonging to Rockstar exists in this project, hence no reason for the DMCA.

If it's the case here and it turns out to be yet another DMCA abuse, I *do* hope it will attract negative (but constructive) feedback, hopefully a lot of it, on both TakeTwo AND GitHub. If every unjustified DMCA takedown procedure was met with a fierce reaction from people turning it into a living nightmare in terms of company image/prestige and unending lawsuits, big companies would probably think twice before abusing the system.


Last edited by ssj17vegeta on 22 February 2021 at 11:08 am UTC
Arehandoro 22 Feb
Were I Take-Two, or any other similar company, I would hire the developers. Reverse engineering is difficult and if they managed to also bring improvements and port the code to other systems other than Windows, I would be like: "Hell, work for me and let's make next GTA/Assasins/whatever even better!"
Quoting: LibertyPaulMSaw this one coming. I hope Github doesn't get hate for this like they did with Youtube-dl. Github are not to blame for this, they have no choice but to comply with the awful DMCA

Youtube dl is back though and has been for over a month now
Quoting: ArehandoroWere I Take-Two, or any other similar company, I would hire the developers. Reverse engineering is difficult and if they managed to also bring improvements and port the code to other systems other than Windows, I would be like: "Hell, work for me and let's make next GTA/Assasins/whatever even better!"

But they dont want it on other platforms given the PS5 and the Xbox whatever the fuck is essentially a pc the windows port involves tweaking the xbox port to a very limited degree and viola windows console port or vice versa. They have no interest in supporting linux or mac they will leave that upto proton. Besides Take 2 would rather sell you a remastered port of vice city in fact they do sell a remastered version of vice city it does not have anywhere near the level of polish of this former project but its for sale.
Quoting: DebianUserI see that publishers dont have enough ressources to port their games on Linux, but they have ressources to make DMCA for this kind of projects which could lead to more sales...
Sad world.

I have some knowledge on this from a business point of view they view it as brand protection, what if the fan remake rule 34s everything or has anti gay or racist messaging. Now of course this project didnt but how would take 2 know that without playing it or investing the project. It's far easy to get a law firm to nuke it from orbit rather than bother investigating it. Which saves the corporation time and time is money.


Last edited by Whitewolfe80 on 22 February 2021 at 11:22 am UTC
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