Team Fortress, Counter-Strike, DayZ and most recently, PLAYERUNKOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS. Some of the most influential and popular games of the past 20 years have been born out of mods. Team Fortress started life as a Quake mod, before becoming one of Valve’s flagship titles. Counter-Strike, famously started life as a Half-Life mod, before the modders were taken on by Valve (again) to make it one of the world’s most popular multi-player FPS games. DayZ is a massively developed mod of Arma II, which has fallen flat in recent times (4 years and over $126m in funding for what exactly?). Finally, PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS. Arguably 2017’s biggest game, it started life as PLAYERUNKNOWN’s Battle Royale – a mod for Arma III, before developers Bluehole partnered with modder Brendan Greene to create the game we know today.
Mods in games for the most part are cosmetic. Changing skins, adding maps or tweaking the graphics. However sometimes modders go above and beyond, as the examples above show. One game that has an extensive and dedicated community of modders is the game that just won’t go away – Grand Theft Auto V. Now I say, “the game that just won’t go away” not in a derogatory way, but more in a surprised way. The time between GTA: San Andreas and GTA IV was 5 years. It was also 5 years between GTA IV and GTA V. Going by that logic, GTA VI should be looking at a 2018 release. That however, is clearly not going to happen – especially with the runaway popularity of GTA Online and the release of Red Dead Redemption 2 in the first few months of 2018.
While Rockstar concentrates on GTA Online, with a new promotion every other week, it’s safe to assume that GTA VI is a long way off. This reason, as well as the creative challenge is I’m sure why many modders are going to town on GTA V. Judging from the successes of the games listed above, could it be a matter of time before one of them strikes gaming gold? Are Rockstar patiently waiting in the wings for a creative talent to rise above and showcase something truly next level? The potential for success is there, so it’s not beyond the realm of possibility for this to become a reality. Could the next GTA game be the brain child of a team of modders?
Just recently, two mods for GTA V have been thrust into the limelight – GTA Space and Project London. Both of these are fairly self-explanatory from the titles, however we’ll go into a little more detail on them. It probably goes without saying, but these mods are for the PC version only.
Grand Theft Auto Space Mod
You can view all the information (including how to download and install) on the official mod page. However the description states:
“This is a GTA 5 expansion that allows you to traverse outside of the world of GTA,
into the solar system and beyond! This mod was not made to be a mission based mod, but more of a platform for experienced developers to integrate scripts / maps / and other things into the DLC in order to create content and expand the community experience.”
Promising the ability to go to 11 planets and 3 moons, this mod has a decent amount of content. If Rockstar wanted to throw a curve ball then taking the franchise into space could be a risky way forward. If modders can create content like this, imagine what could be achieved if they worked with Rockstar fully. You can check out the awesome release trailer below.
Grand Theft Auto – Project London Mod
Grand Theft Auto: London, 1969 and London, 1961 are the only times that the franchise left the USA. They are also the only times a real city was used. However these games weren’t much more than add-ons to the original Grand Theft Auto. Project London is an incredibly ambitious mod to transform Los Santos into London. So far it’s taking shape nicely. Landmarks such as London Heathrow Airport, Wembley Stadium and Great Ormond Street Hospital are already included, with more on the way.
Modder, Kieran Merrilees, has done most of the work solo. He has, however, enlisted some extra help recently and he describes the Project London as:
“Project London is something I have been working on for a while now. My aim is to eventually do a full map overhaul to replace it with British textures and give it a London look.”
Project London is relatively new, however you can find it along with instructions on how to download and install on it’s official mod page. There’s yet to be any kind of trailer for Project London, however check out the screenshots below. Although again, a new GTA game set outside of the United States is not likely to happen – with lead Dan Houser stating in an interview with The Guardian in 2013:
“My own personal feeling is that GTA is America.”
However he did also say about the UK:
“I think for us, my gut feeling is, GTA London was cool for the time, but games were more limited then. These days I think we would love to set a game in the UK, set in London, whatever, but I don’t know if it would be a GTA game. I think there are plenty of great stories we could tell about the UK, great environments to showcase, great gameplay mechanics that could have a UK bent to them – I just don’t think it would be a GTA necessarily.”
Both of these mods have had a lot of time and effort put into them. So a question to ask is clearly this – Are mods a potential future for GTA? One of many, but a route worth exploring? I think there are worse ways to evolve the franchise.
What do you think of these mods? What is your favorite mod for GTA V? Would you like to see official support for some of the larger mods? Let us know what you think in the comments.