Rockstar has recently made modding Grand Theft Auto V a violation of their terms of service, enforcing a ban on players found to be using mods. This wouldn’t be a surprise for mods affecting the online mode, but it seems that even single player mods can get you banned. To justify the banning of players, some Rockstar representatives are referring players to the EULA where the following can now be found:
You agree not to:
[..] reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble, display, perform, prepare derivative works based on, or otherwise modify the Software, in whole or in part;
According to the terms of service, unless there is a change in Rockstar’s EULA, the Grand theft Auto V modding scene, one of the biggest sell-points for the PC version, is not allowed to take off, effectively forcing players to choose between modding their game or the ability to play online. The Internet has taken to Steam, where Grand Theft Auto V’s review count has hit 6,529 negative reviews with no sign of slowing down.
User G0LKS left the following review:
Good game but can’t recommend due to Rockstar’s shady practices…Banning people, who paid 60 freakin dollars, because they use mods to enhance their SP experience is abhorrent and violates the basic principles of PC gaming. It’s made even more ridiculous by the fact that most of these mods are harmless graphical fixes (such as the FOV mod) which serve to improve the already awesome game that rockstar has developed.
I hope the developers change their stance about this and do it soon.
Some users indicate that changing your Rockstar account username to bypass the ban will “unbind” the activation code from the account since they are bound to the username and non-transferable, resulting in users getting the message “Rockstar activation code already in use.” when trying to launch the game.
Given Steam’s mod controversy, and Gabe Newell’s statement about the costs of angering the Internet (“yes, I mean pissing off the Internet costs you a million bucks in just a couple of days“), we can only hope Rockstar see its potential mistake, and fixes it before it is too late.
What do you think? Did you get GTA V for PC? Let us know in the comments!
Update: When asked about the recent mod controversy, Rockstar made the following statement:
“We have always appreciated the creative efforts of the PC modding community and we still fondly remember the awesome zombie invasion mod and original GTA map mod for GTAIV PC among many other classics. To be clear, the modding policy in our license has not changed and is the same as for GTAIV. Recent updates to GTAV PC had an unintended effect of making unplayable certain single player modifications. This was not intentional, no one has been banned for using single player modifications, and you should not worry about being banned or being relegated to the cheater pool just for using single player PC mods. Our primary focus is on protecting GTA Online against modifications that could give players an unfair advantage, disrupt gameplay, or cause griefing. It also bears mentioning that because game mods are by definition unauthorized, they may be broken by technical updates, cause instability, or affect your game in other unforeseen ways.”
It seems the recent bans for singleplayer mods were not intentional and are only temporarily enforced, being reverted in an average of 16 days, as reported by some users. Despite that, until a new system is enforced by Rockstar, it is still highly advised that you remove any mods before heading into GTA Online as to avoid being falsely flagged.