Mod-Me-Do: Dying Light Mod Block & Takedowns Tackled

The zombie represents something and the hand is a mod or look I don't know whatever.

The Dying Light [official site] mod unpleasantness of the past week has been cleared up, and was indeed double whammy of overzealous protection. Developers Techland are doing something about the cheat protection that also blocked legitimate mods, while the Entertainment Software Assocation have nonapologised for copyright takedown notices issue in its name against sites hosting mod downloads. Huzzah! They don’t hate mods, they simply didn’t think things through.

Technland have have said that blocking mods was an unintended side effect of attempts to stop cheating in Dying Light’s PvP mode ‘Be the Zombie’. Yesterday’s statement explains:

“Creating obstacles for modders has never been our intention, and we are sorry for the inconvenience. We are now working on a quick patch that will re-enable common tweaks while stopping cheating in the game’s multiplayer mode.

“At Techland, we have always supported the mod community, and loved seeing how our own game can be changed by the players. A big part of the original Dead Island’s success was the passion and creativity of mod-makers from our community. We want the same for Dying Light. For quite some time, we have been working, and still are, on giving modders all the power we can. We will keep you updated!”

That’s that soon-to-be-cleared-up, then. Meanwhile, the ESA, an industry body which Dying Light publisher Warner Bros. is a member of, have said the takedowns were a mistake but carefully avoid apologising.

“ESA was notified this morning that potentially erroneous DMCA notices had been transmitted by one of its vendors,” they told Ars Technica yesterday, several days after modders had their files pulled by hosts who received takedown notices. “Upon further review, it was determined that the notices should not have been sent and retractions were issued immediately. We regret any inconvenience and have taken steps to avoid similar situations in the future.”

Maybe, one day, they’ll reach a point where folks don’t blindly issue takedowns against people who like games enough to make mods for free (or employ unthinking companies to do the dirty work) then rectify their mistakes afterwards. A similar situation happened with wonderful Dark Souls tool DSfix last year, when a company employed by publishers Bandai Namco to police pirates got a bit carried away with takedown notices.

12 Comments

  1. Anthile says:

    Oh man, this is almost like the plot of Quadrophenia.

  2. amcathlan says:

    Damn….I wrote them a mail where I said that unless they changed their stance on modding, I wouldn’t buy the game. Now I’ll have to buy the damn game (when the aforementioned patch actually appears).

    Well played Industry, well played

    • Bugamn says:

      I think you can still escape. You said you wouldn’t buy if they didn’t change their stance, but you never said that you would buy if they changed. One thing does not imply the other, by strict logic.

  3. stonetoes says:

    Of course the fix allowing mods isn’t out, yet they still deleted the thread on steam for the tool which re-enabled mods. Here’s the thread on it: link to steamcommunity.com

    Here’s the new location of the tool: link to nexusmods.com

  4. The First Door says:

    Sigh! Why do so few people/companies issue proper apologies these days? A company always comes out from these situations better if they just say “We’re sorry, we messed up, we’re fixing it”. These sorts of nonapologies just make me dislike the person/company involved even more!

    • Premium User Badge

      teije says:

      Companies don’t like to apologize since in the US, they feel it opens them up to being sued.

      So “regret any inconvenience” gets used instead as meaningless corporate speak. Governments do it too, of course.

      • Anthile says:

        Well, it’s not just the US. Any lawyer worth his money will tell you to never admit anything directly because the other side will exploit that without mercy.

  5. ScubaMonster says:

    I don’t know, I have a hard time believing the take-down notices were a “mistake”, unless they’re referring to the fact that banning mods in general is a mistake. It’s kind of hard to accidentally send out DMCA complaints. The only proper explanation is that the right hand didn’t know what the left hand was doing, but someone somewhere up the ladder was very serious about these DMCA orders. Sounds more like damage control after fallout.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      I imagine they’d have come from people blithely searching for Dying Light and not being aware they were mods, suspecting they were cracks or goodness knows what.

  6. zeekthegeek says:

    False DMCA claims are /perjury/. But of course Warner and ESA own a few congressmen so they’ll never be fined.

  7. GiantPotato says:

    Is there some reason why the comments in the good-news post are more negative than the comments in the bad-news post?

  8. shaydeeadi says:

    As annoying and heavy handed I’m sure it must of been to block all the mods. I respect them jumping in to stop people with modded characters ruining the game for others even if the implementation was flawed.