In an unprecedented move, Rockstar announced that it has acquired Cfx.re, the makers of popular role-playing mods FiveM and RedM. Despite the sandbox hit-maker’s welcoming words, its parent company, Take Two Interactive, has not exactly seen eye-to-eye with the Cfx.re team in the past, hence the significance.
Cfx.re has deep roots within the GTA modding community trailing back to the early days of the original 3D-universe on PC, and was born out of the desire for an online multiplayer experience within those popular open-world titles, specifically, GTA San Andreas and GTA Vice City. The team’s efforts, along with other modding enthusiasts, were welcomed with open arms by Rockstar during this particular time period, not excluding GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption, that is, until GTA V‘s online component arrived.
In case you didn’t know, FiveM, together with other modding tools like OpenIV, are major components for those who partake in GTA RP servers. These mods are incredibly intricate and allow for a ton of new content simply not available in the base game. The mod grants users the ability to add various custom vehicles, clothing, weaponry, or even niche gameplay mechanics such as survival modes, levelling systems and simulation mechanics.
Back in 2015, the rising popularity of FiveM was considered a big threat to GTA Online, with Rockstar subsequently banning its makers from the Rockstar Social Club platform in August 2015, accusing them of unauthorised modification “designed to facilitate piracy,” ergo, violating the game’s terms-of-use policy. Take-Two followed up the legal onslaught in November of the same year by hiring two private investigators to seek out and stop development of the mod. We are inclined to believe that Rockstar didn’t take too kindly of FiveM providing a free, alternative multiplayer counterpart to its own massively profitable one, but that’s hearsay. Wink-wink.
As we all know, despite alleged fears of the mod affecting revenue, GTA Online continues to rake in billions for the company on a yearly basis. As such, Take-Two later reached an agreement in 2022 with the FiveM creators, and has since updated its online policy to allow the continuation of the mod as long as it is non-commercial, doesn’t infringe on IP rights, or violates any official online multiplayer services. Which leads us to today, and the surprise announcement that Cfx.re is officially a part of the Rockstar family.
The official announcement states “Over the past few years, we’ve watched with excitement as Rockstar’s creative community have found new ways to expand the possibilities of Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2, particularly through the creation of dedicated roleplay servers. As a way to further support those efforts, we recently expanded our policy on mods to officially include those made by the roleplay creative community.”
“By partnering with the Cfx.re team, we will help them find new ways to support this incredible community and improve the services they provide to their developers and players.”
The GTA RP community saw a massive boom in popularity during the pandemic-fuelled era of 2019, with player count constantly peaking above 200,000 concurrent players. In fact, as of February 2023, creators reported breaking the record for concurrent players with 269,097 at its peak, totalling more than twice the amount of people playing GTA Online.
Now that Rockstar has found new admiration for the team, it’s highly like the acquisition of Cfx.re could mean that GTA RP servers will play a major role (excuse the pun) within its next GTA VI Online iteration, or serve as an official alternative, microtransactions withstanding. Pure speculation, of course.