A pair of Grand Theft Auto fan projects have been shut down on GitHub by publisher Take-Two Interactive. The games were reverse-engineered versions of GTA 3 and Vice City, which gave them a number of modern improvements and upgrades. The takedown was reported by @TezFunz2 on Twitter, who pointed out that it likely came about as the result of gaming outlets discovering the project and amplifying it. It's impossible to say whether or not the DMCA request might have something to do with rumors surrounding official remasters of the GTA games, but fans that were enjoying these unofficial remasters will be disappointed, regardless.
The Tweet from @TezFunz2 can be found embedded below.
Remember the reverse-engineered GTA 3 and Vice City project with "fan-created source code"?
Take-Two has taken it down. Not really surprising since it hit mainstream media only a few days ago.https://t.co/Vp0BPyIHNp— Tez2 (@TezFunz2) February 20, 2021
Known as re3 and reVC, the projects were in the works for several years. In a recent interview with Eurogamer, the developers stated that they were surprised Take-Two had not taken steps to have the game removed, and were hopeful that the publisher might not care. They also had several future plans for the remasters, including VR support and a ray tracing update. However, as @TezFunz2 pointed out in a follow-up Tweet, reverse-engineering goes against Take-Two's terms of service. On GitHub, Take-Two's DMCA takedown request states that "the best and only solution is complete removal."
Unfortunately, fan projects such as this one are often taken down by publishers. It's disappointing for everyone that pours time and effort into these projects, but it's also an outcome that rarely seems in question. Video game companies are quite protective of their IP, and will invariably step in to do just that.
For now, Grand Theft Auto fans will just have to hope that official remasters for Grand Theft Auto III and Vice City truly are in the works, and that was the reason behind the removal. It's impossible to say for certain, but with Grand Theft Auto V seeing a next-gen upgrade later this year, perhaps a pair of older games will also get the remaster treatment.
Did you check out these unofficial remasters? Are you disappointed that Take-Two had them removed from GitHub? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!