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Earlier this month, we reported on a stunning project that remade Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in Unreal Engine 4. The 2004 classic was given a new lease on life by a dedicated group of fans, who leveraged their considerable technical know-how to create a trailer that took us on a tour of some of the open world game's most iconic locations - looking better than ever before.
But despite not actually being playable (and despite the fact that the fans responsible never had any desire to make the project playable), Rockstar parent company Take-Two Interactive has pulled the trailer... seemingly putting an end to any future attempts these fans might have made to continue their work in the process.
Attempting to head to the video via this link will lead you to a message explaining that it's been pulled due to a copyright claim. It's unlikely that this was an automatic strike or a mistake on the part of Take-Two, so I doubt we'll see the video back up on YouTube anytime soon.
Take-Two has always been protective over its properties, but this latest move seems a touch... intense. ArcadiaSquad, the team that worked on the San Andreas project, is a "team of three people who like to create audio-visual incredible things," according to their Patreon.
The group were also very clear from the beginning that their project was never intended to be a playable game, nor recreate gameplay in any way. It was simply a technical showcase highlighting what parts of San Andreas could look like with improvements to things like lighting and textures.
ArcadiaSquad acknowledged the takedown in a brief post letting viewers know what had happened. The reaction from their followers was, as you'd expect, outraged.
"Totally not fair," one user wrote in the comments. "Your years of hard work just went down in days."
"I understand your hard work for those years," added another. "That just made me cry so hard." The comments essentially continue in this style, in various languages.
Fans who take on projects like games or movies using characters and properties they don't own often go in understanding the risks. At a certain point, company lawyers can step in and shut things down. But this? This was a small video made by three fans that paid tribute to San Andreas, and again, there was never any intention for it to be more than that.
Take-Two clearly had the legal right to pull this project down... but the fact that it did is definitely going to raise some eyebrows.
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