The PC gaming community is up in arms this morning after a patch for Dying Light was released which blocks off the game’s potential for modding support.
In the notes for patch 1.2, which was released over the weekend, eagle-eyed gamers spotted the following phrase:
- blocked cheating by changing game’s data files
What this change actually does is block the ability to mod the game, including recent mods that were released to disable the unpopular film grain effect, which can hinder performance on PC. In addition, two such mods – created by Reddit users drogean2 and Descatusat, are no longer available following a claim of piracy from the Entertainment Software Association citing a breach of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
A lengthy thread over on Reddit revealed the news, and has prompted many commenters to state that they view it not only as an attack on the modding community – which has a long history of supporting Techland’s previous Dead Island games on PC – but as an attack on gamers as a whole, and an anti-consumer move.
Here’s the email received by one of the modders:
The action has prompted a swift response from Redditors, with many claiming that it will make them think twice about purchasing any future games by Techland or Warner Bros. “If Dying Light had some good Steam Workshop support and an active modding community, it would make me more interested in buying the next iteration from Techland in a couple of years. This type of anti-consumer move makes me reconsider buying any of their products, period,” said user edge_case. “Was considering to buy it today, will wait now, I do not support companies that are so against their consumers like this,” norBdelta stated.
Ironically, Techland is currently developing Hellraid for PC. Hellraid started life as a mod for Dead Island created by one of the game’s own development team. In fairness, it looks as though this action against modders was taken by the publisher Warner Bros, and not the developers themselves. Warner Bros. is a member of the ESA, so it’s likely that the complaint originates with them. The publisher also has previous form for this kind of behavior: back in 2012, the company issued a Cease and Desist order to players making a recreation of Middle Earth in Skyrim – a story which received widespread attention at the time and saw the publisher come in for heavy criticism.
Both Techland and Warner Bros. have so far remained silent on the move, but we’ve contacted them this morning asking for a statement and why they’ve taken such drastic action against the community.