Ooh, mods! Lovely, lovely mods. But while mods can add all sorts of lovely new things to games, a game letting folks fiddle its files might also make it vulnerable to cheaty cheats. The difference between a rad dinocop skin and a spiked model is artistic intent. Dying Light [official site] is being a bit overzealous in its attempts to block the bad, though.
The latest update’s changelog includes “blocked cheating by changing game’s data files”, which also blocks things like editing weapons. Some modders have even had mods they uploaded to public file hosts removed through copyright protection laws.
The author of a tiny mod tweaking one file to remove Dying Light’s film grain effect over everything, for example, found it pulled from file host Mediafire. A takedown notice issued in the name of the Entertainment Software Association claimed it was infringing copyright. Technically it is a modified file from the game, but issuing takedowns over one script seems a mite overzealous.
What we might be seeing is another silly case of publishers calling in another company to police pirating (or having the ESA call them in), companies which get a mite get carried away. In December, a company tasked with policing Dark Souls filed takedowns against the invaluable DSfix tool, which doesn’t even contain code from the game. That was all cleared up as a mistake.
Still, launching takedowns alongside a patch blocking modding is a pretty great way to put off folks who love your game enough to work on it for free with mods. Hopefully developers Technland and publishers Warner Bros. will say something big and sensible and apologetic about all this soon.
Here, this Reddit thread has more on the situation if you fancy poking deeper.