The current state of the AAA industry is one in which companies will do everything short of catering to their audience in order to make money. Increasingly being brought before government oversight over pushing gambling onto children with exploitative designs patented to increase engagement and spending with industry lobbyists denying emphatically the behavior exists. At a time when all eyes both regulatory and civilian are on them, this is the time when the industry needs to appear squeaky clean, even saintly. Take Two Interactive has other ideas, however.
Many publishers do not like it when content out of their control and capacity to profit off of is made, but other companies follow the letter of the law in their attempts to take it down. Even if several of their attempts boil down to exploiting the creators inability to fight it out in court thanks to a lack of a loser pays system in the United States.
Take Two opts instead to pursue extra-legal means to silence content creators again and again. Highlighting both the level the industry is okay with along with their contempt for the market they serve. Gaming Damned (GD for short) became the latest target of Take-Two for his work on an enhancement mod for Red Dead Redemption on emulators.
[Update: The issue was discussed by Gaming Damned in a video on his YouTube channel, which you can view below.]
Unlike previous victims of this harassment GD has declared he will fight back against Take Two with a friend of his who became a lawyer. To aid in this struggle he has asked people to share what is going on. Indeed criminal enterprises rarely act brazenly when everyone is watching.
Through an unknown method Take-Two Interactive has acquired GD’s real name, email address, and his along with his families phone numbers. In a blatant attempt at intimidation a team of lawyers began calling both him and his mother’s numbers while emailing him. Upon getting in touch with GD, they proceeded with empty legal threats refusing to go into details of what laws he was violating or what exactly they didn’t they like, just that he needed to shut down the mod.
Working with his legal friend GD has stated he intends to fight this ’till the end, but currently he has brought his discord down of his own volition. After Discord demonstrated they are willing to collude with Take-Two to remove Supmatto’s discord on false grounds with no means for appeal this should be considered the safe approach. GD goes into detail that he is not selling information or access via discord leaving it evident this was his consideration as well.
What appears to have triggered this entire saga appears to have been how other websites and “journalists” covered the development and announcement of his mod. Namely many refused to call it a mod and even alluded that it was its own game. This caught the attention of Take-Two who instead of going after the outlets who were printing false information, went after the content creator. GD has stated that the mod is not a rip and will only contain assets he himself has developed.
YouTuber SWEGTA covered the incident in a recent 16 minute video.
What is the mod?
Red Dead Redemption Damned Enhancement is an overhaul of the original Red Dead Redemption for emulators. Adding a slew of new assets, improvements, and refinements it contains no ripped files or original assets from the game. Nor is it an attempt to reverse engineer the game as it requires ownership of the original title.
Take-Two’s handling of the entire saga is yet another stain on the triple-A industry. Not only is it a gross overstep of the law, but it continues the toxic publisher/developer trend of harassing and attempting to strangle the industry to death at the mere appearance of anything that may cost them a single cent.
If the company were smart they would have hired the original mod team and had them finish their work and release it to make a lot of money and good will from the consumers. Instead twice they’ve attempted to shut down the project by acting like a criminal organization while the other members of the ESA remain silent towards their routine mafia-style behavior.