Grand Theft Auto’s creator Take-Two Interactive has shut down three hugely popular tools that let players alter features and cheat at the game.
The modding tools Force Hax, Lexicon and Menyoo, which incurred a fee for subscribing, have been taken offline with all earnings going to charity.
The tools allowed players to give themselves endless amounts of money.
The news comes less than a week after legal threats forced the closure of a popular Russian toolkit for the game.
Open IV’s Russian developers stopped distribution after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from Take-Two.
The mod menus work by offering players multiple ways to cheat in the game, including gifting themselves rare items and endless money that are not easy to obtain.
In particular, Force Hax allowed users to carry out nefarious actions in another user’s name, such as kicking other players out of GTA Online, freezing the game so it stops working, or deliberately killing or trapping another user to prevent them from playing the game.
The modding tool also enabled users to steal money from other players’ accounts.
Force Hax’s website now redirects to a blank webpage containing a single statement: “After discussions with Take-Two Interactive, effective immediately we are ceasing all maintenance, development and distribution of the Force Hax cheat menu services.
“We will be donating our proceeds to charity and we apologise for any and all problems Force Hax services have caused to the Grand Theft Auto Online community.”
The statements posted on Lexicon and Menyoo are identical to the one posted on the Force Hax site.
Although GTA fans acknowledge that the three tools were enabling players to unfairly gain an advantage in the game instead of playing it in the correct way, they are angry that Open IV was shut down.
To them, it was designed to enhance the overall game experience by letting players customise objects, models and textures. Sadly, some malicious users sought to use the tool to cheat and harm other players, which is what prompted Take-Two to take legal action.
Fans have started a petition asking Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive to allow Open IV to continue distributing, saying that the software is only used to make the game more enjoyable. The petition now has almost 51,000 signatures.
“The future of GTA V mods feels shaky and uncertain right now, and players are expressing worry that their favourite tool will be next on the radar. After all, modding tools fuel everything from the ever-elusive Chiliad Mystery, to popular role-playing servers,” writes Zach Zwiezen of video game website Kotaku.
“While taking down a mod menu like Force Hax is definitely a good thing, overall, Take-Two and Rockstar have an uphill battle to fight if they want to gain back the community’s trust.”