Take-Two Interactive has filed a lawsuit against the creators of a reverse-engineering open-source software called Re3, which allows GTA III to run on the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation Vita. The lawsuit was filed on September 2nd in the United States District Court in California and states that Re3 is acting unlawfully by copying, adapting, and distributing the source code to GTA III and GTA: Vice City.
Take-Two’s lawyers said the Re3 technology allows anyone to play these titles on platforms the games weren’t meant to be released on, including the Switch and the Vita.
“Defendants’ conduct is knowing, willful, and deliberate. Defendants are well aware that they do not possess the right to copy, adapt, or distribute derivative GTA source code, or the audiovisual elements of the Games, and that doing so constitutes copyright infringement,” the lawyers stated.
The suit specifically calls on Re3 developer Angelo Papenhoff. He reportedly stated in public he was “very much worried” about Take-Two finding out about Re3.
The lawsuit comes after Take-Two attempted to remove the source code from the internet earlier this year. In response to this, the company’s lawyers say the defendants knowingly filed bad faith counter-notifications that materially misrepresented the legality of their content, apparently claiming that because they allegedly ‘reverse-engineered’ the games’ source code, they somehow cannot be liable for copyright infringement.”
“Yet while making this claim, Defendants also have bragged that their derivative versions of the Games are functionally and visually identical to the originals, and have even suggested they be used for unauthorized ‘modding purposes,’ ” the suit says. “As such, defendants’ software plainly infringes Take-Two’s exclusive rights to copy, adapt, and distribute the games.”
Take-Two says the actions of the defendants continues to cause “irreparable harm” to the company. The Re3 software not only allows GTA III and Vice City to be playable for anyone on new platforms, but it also gives “countless others [the ability to] create their own unauthorized derivative versions of the games.”
Take-Two is seeking damages, as well as an injunctive and other “equitable” relief.
This legal action comes amid reports that Take-Two is getting ready to announce remasters for GTA II, Vice City, and San Andreas. GTA III will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and Rockstar has already told fans to look out for some “surprises.”
Even if these games don’t end up getting remasters, 2021 will still see the release of Grand Theft Auto V for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S in November. A standalone edition of GTA Online will also be launching this year.
GTA 6 is also reported to be in works, but won’t be hitting the market until 2025.