Update: Rockstar has contacted Kotaku since this article was originally published and informed us OpenIV is now back in service with a brand new build, something fan site GTANet also confirms:
— GTANet | GTAForums (@GTANet) 23 June 2017
It seems Rockstar and Take Two have seen sense and decided to focus on clamping down on GTA Online mods, rather than penalise the vast majority of completely harmless single-player mods OpenIV facilities.
Original story: It may be the coolest video game developer on the planet, and GTA V may have sold enough copies to stretch to the Moon and back, but Rockstar and its open-world classic have endured a pretty rough couple of weeks. After issuing a cease-and-desist against Yuriy "Good-NDS" Krivoruchko, aimed at the modder's popular OpenIV tweaking tool that lets you load and tweak mods for various Rockstar titles, the developer and its publisher Take-Two has received a shitload of bad PR. It's no surprise then that a new press release from the studio attempts to douse the fanboy fury.
Here's the statement that was published on Rockstar's support site relating to the use of single-player mods in its games:
Rockstar Games believes in reasonable fan creativity, and, in particular, wants creators to showcase their passion for our games. After discussions with Take-Two, Take-Two has agreed that it generally will not take legal action against third-party projects involving Rockstar’s PC games that are single-player, non-commercial, and respect the intellectual property (IP) rights of third parties. This does not apply to (i) multiplayer or online services; (ii) tools, files, libraries, or functions that could be used to impact multiplayer or online services, or (iii) use or importation of other IP (including other Rockstar IP) in the project. This is not a license, and it does not constitute endorsement, approval, or authorization of any third-party project. Take-Two reserves the right to object to any third-party project, or to revise, revoke and/or withdraw this statement at any time in their own discretion. This statement does not constitute a waiver of any rights that Take-Two may have with respect to third-party projects.
Couple this statement with the fact Rockstar has admitted it's reached out to Krivoruchko in the hopes of resolving the dispute, and there's some hope OpenIV may survive this whole unpleasantness after all. Clearly, there's a big difference in folk using illicit tools to try and cheat in GTA Online and people who just want to fly around Liberty City as Iron Man. Let's hope Rockstar and Krivoruchko can settle this business out of court, and that OpenIV will continue to allow good-natured modders to tinker with single-player GTA in ever interesting ways.
Finally, if there's a lesson to take from this whole PR fiasco, it's that seeing one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time suddenly garner 'Overwhelming Negative' user reviews on Steam will light a fire under corporate asses.