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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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mirv 23 Feb
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Quoting: crt0mega
Quoting: mirvAnd of course the great irony being that the project will be likely far more widely distributed now that it's made headlines and everyone will be looking for it.
Streisand effect ftw :D

Quoting: mirvCheers - to be absolutely clear I have no moral objections and really dislike the dmca slapdown to begin with, it's just a risk thing that I've seen go sour before.
While I don't think that they can do much harm with their DMCA in the UK, I'd also be ... cautious.

There are sort of equivalent laws in the UK, although what they'll look like 6 months from now who knows!
pcavalcanti 23 Feb
How can those companies be so dumb? I've never played those games but as soon as I read the article I went to steam to see the price of the games and was seriously considering buying one of them. No money from me now.
crt0mega 23 Feb
Quoting: mirvThere are sort of equivalent laws in the UK, although what they'll look like 6 months from now who knows!
Good to know, thanks!
Not a legal expert but whether it's a clean room reverse engineer or not, the point remains that these people brought the game to native platforms, at the expense of their own time and 0 costs. They kept it open source and clearly stated you need to own the game to play, it's not like they were including the assets too. If I was Rockstar/Take Two, I'd give these people my blessing and let them do their thing as long as it's not harming anyone.

I considered buying these games solely thanks to this project, looks like I'll save my money from the greedy bullies.


Last edited by Avehicle7887 on 23 February 2021 at 7:19 pm UTC
Mordrag 24 Feb
Really sad to see...
Out of curiosity, if now someone would write specifications based on that code, and another one would write another engine reimplementation based on that specifications, would be it legal ?
slaapliedje 24 Feb
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Quoting: MordragReally sad to see...
Out of curiosity, if now someone would write specifications based on that code, and another one would write another engine reimplementation based on that specifications, would be it legal ?
Depends on how many lawyers get involved. The thing is, clean lab reverse engineering is perfectly legal. From my understanding of it, if it wasn't the PC as it is today would not exist, as IBM's architecture was open, but their BIOS was not, and it was reverse engineered.
In this day and age though, all that needs to be done is for a company to cry foul (claim DMCA) and the project goes away.
The process that is illegal is if they had someone from tge original project working with them, then it would not be considered 'clean'.
(Not a lawyer, juat remembered it from reading things years ago when people were doing similar things with other games.)
F.Ultra 25 Feb
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: MordragReally sad to see...
Out of curiosity, if now someone would write specifications based on that code, and another one would write another engine reimplementation based on that specifications, would be it legal ?
Depends on how many lawyers get involved. The thing is, clean lab reverse engineering is perfectly legal. From my understanding of it, if it wasn't the PC as it is today would not exist, as IBM's architecture was open, but their BIOS was not, and it was reverse engineered.
In this day and age though, all that needs to be done is for a company to cry foul (claim DMCA) and the project goes away.
The process that is illegal is if they had someone from tge original project working with them, then it would not be considered 'clean'.
(Not a lawyer, juat remembered it from reading things years ago when people were doing similar things with other games.)

Well it depends, AFAIK the concept of clean room reverse-engineering does not exist in the legal system. Phoenix did it the way they did when they created their version of IBM:s BIOS not to avoid the copyright of the BIOS but that of the IBM Technical Reference Manuals which is what IBM had put a license on.
Scattershot 27 Feb
Quoting: mirvThere are sort of equivalent laws in the UK, although what they'll look like 6 months from now who knows!

Not to mention that our wonderful government seem perfectly happy to extradite citizens to the US for actions performed in the UK and not in contravention of UK law.
Quoting: Scattershot
Quoting: mirvThere are sort of equivalent laws in the UK, although what they'll look like 6 months from now who knows!

Not to mention that our wonderful government seem perfectly happy to extradite citizens to the US for actions performed in the UK and not in contravention of UK law.

All hail the glorious trade deal i suspect that will stop once the trade deal has been signed, however our copywrite laws do mirror the US ones David Cameron saw to that in 2014 with the Millenium act which made all the isps turn over their records about who downloaded what and introduced the three strikes rule. Though ISPS are not keen on using because they lose customers when they try to enforce it.


Last edited by Whitewolfe80 on 1 March 2021 at 12:39 pm UTC
Cyril 1 Mar
Quoting: Whitewolfe80
Quoting: Scattershot
Quoting: mirvThere are sort of equivalent laws in the UK, although what they'll look like 6 months from now who knows!

Not to mention that our wonderful government seem perfectly happy to extradite citizens to the US for actions performed in the UK and not in contravention of UK law.

All hail the glorious trade deal i suspect that will stop once the trade deal has been signed, however our copywrite laws do mirror the US ones David Cameron saw to that in 2014 with the Millenium act which made all the isps turn over their records about who downloaded what and introduced the three strikes rule. Though ISPS are not keen on using because they lose customers when they try to enforce it.

In France, we have the FDN Federation and they don't do that.
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