The recent shutdown of Grand Theft Auto V tool OpenIV–which is used to power numerous PC mods–has not gone over well with players. Although Rockstar parent company Take-Two says it wasn’t targeting single-player mods, players have lashed out via negative reviews on Steam, where the game’s recent review average is now labeled as “overwhelmingly negative.”
Of the 42,000 user reviews written in the past 30 days, only 13% have been positive–a staggeringly low number for what is a pretty widely acclaimed game. This has also brought the Overall rating (which encompasses all reviews dating back to launch) down to “mixed,” with 67% of reviews being positive.
Looking at specific reviews, there have been a surge of those calling out Rockstar for its shutdown of OpenIV. Thousands of users have marked these reviews as helpful, ensuring they are the first to surface on the game’s store page. The top review has seen more than 22,000 people (about 97%) mark it as helpful. It simply states, “On behalf of the OpenIV team, **** you,” with hearts in place of the asterisks.
Since it was first published, the top review has been edited to add a link to a petition on Change.org, which calls for Rockstar to allow OpenIV to continue. It claims, “All modding used by OpenIV is for single-player use only to make the game more enjoyable, the software OpenIV was never used to mod multiplayer or Grand Theft Auto Online so it does not harm anyone.”
Rockstar disputes that. After word first surfaced that the OpenIV had received a cease-and-desist letter, the company released a statement saying it is only concerned with the tool’s impact on GTA Online.
“Take-Two’s actions were not specifically targeting single-player mods,” it said last week. “Unfortunately OpenIV enables recent malicious mods that allow harassment of players and interfere with the GTA Online experience for everybody. We are working to figure out how we can continue to support the creative community without negatively impacting our players.”
It’s unclear what effect, if any, the petition will have. It’s garnered just over 55,000 signatures as of this writing, with a stated goal of 75,000. It’s a sizable group of people, but also a fairly small number given GTA V has shipped more than 80 million units. Single-player mods, while popular, are a fairly small scene, and it seems likely that Take-Two will deem the integrity of GTA Online–which still represents a significant contributor to the company’s earnings–more important. We’ll report back as the situation develops.