The fan-made Red Dead Redemption: Damned Enhancement Project (which attempted to bring the original Red Dead Redemption game to Windows PC with enhanced graphics and features) has been canceled, after a lawsuit from Take-Two Interactive.
Thanks to TorrentFreak, a copy of the lawsuit was made available publically. It names mod developer Johnathan Wyckoff and 10 unnamed contributors, referred to as John Does, as the defendants. The alleged offense is detailed below:
“Take-Two brings this action to maintain control over its world-famous video games in the face of Wyckoff’s publicly stated intent to distribute unauthorized software files that would dramatically change the content of Take-Two’s video games. Those unauthorized changes include but are not limited to importing the entire game map of 2010’s Red Dead Redemption into the 2018 game Red Dead Redemption II, enhancing graphics and visuals in Take-Two’s Red Dead Redemption game, and allowing players to play an enhanced version of the game on personal computer (“PCs”), a platform for which Take-Two itself has not yet released the Read Dead Redemption game.”
Reacting to the lawsuit, Wyckoff posted to his thread on GTAForums saying the project was canceled. Take-Two sent him a cease-and-desist letter months ago, which Wyckoff allegedly ignored.
Responding to his claims of simply working on the mod as a hobby, the lawsuit had this to say:
“Moreover, although Wyckoff portrays himself as a hobbyist who is creating the Infringing Programs for free, he actively solicits “donations” to fund the development of his unauthorized projects, which he then uses to drive followers to his social media and streaming accounts.”
These donations came through Patreon and Streamlabs, meaning Wyckoff was actively profiting from his work on the allegedly infringing mod. There have been other cases of other mod creators having donation options for their projects, that have not been legally pursued.
“As i am shocked not even i knew and found out Take Two filed a law suit. I was debating to cancel this. And without letting me know they filed one. I want to step away from any R* game now. I do not want this law suit can not afford it,” Wyckoff stated in his project page on GTAForums.
“I had planned to cancel the project after some thought a while ago was too caught with life stuff. They should had waited and give me more time. And i agreed. Was bad move and will hope they just drop the case. I wanted to make and release a video earlier this month.”
The lawsuit provides evidence that Wyckoff planned to ignore the cease and desist, including screen grabs from his Discord, Twitter, as well as Youtube videos and Twitch streams. Take-Two also claims that his project encouraged users to purchase a copy of the original game and rip it to their PC, circumventing copy protection and violating the User Agreement.
Therefore, the lawsuit asserts that Wyckoff’s project has resulted in damages totaling up to at least $500,000. If the lawsuit moves forward, discovery will be required to identify the names and addresses of the other John Does, to serve them as well.
What will come of this lawsuit is unclear, but we will keep you posted as any further information breaks.