The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has issued a statement apologizing for the “mistaken” removal of fan-made Dying Light mods, after previously having them taken down citing a breach of piracy rules based on guidelines laid out in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Yesterday, we reported how a recent patch for the PC version of Dying Light restricted access to the game’s files by modders wishing to create new content for the game, stating the change was made to prevent cheating. As well as that patch, 2 existing fan-made mods, which disable the game’s film grain effect, were removed from file-sharing sites after the ESA cited that they broke rules around piracy.
Now, following a rather loud outcry from modders and gamers alike, both the game’s developer Techland and the ESA have issued apologies and promised to reverse the changes, claiming that both moves were “a mistake”.
According to a statement given to tech website ArsTechnica, the ESA stated that the withdrawal notice should never have been sent, and that they’re now working on additional safeguards to ensure a similar incident doesn’t occur in the future. They’ve also said that they were originally notified by an unidentified third party.
“ESA was notified this morning that potentially erroneous DMCA notices had been transmitted by one of its vendors,” a spokesman for the investigation explained. “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.”
Cue raised eyebrows.
While the ESA is busy sorting out that mess, Techland has also stated that it’s preparing to fix this week’s 1.21 patch, which prevented fans from modding the game on PC – another unintended mistake, according to the developer. It says that modding should be re-enabled shortly.
“With the recent patch (1.2.1) on Steam we blocked cheating to make sure the game’s PvP system (Be The Zombie) would not be abused. This, however, had the side-effect of hindering mod-makers from making changes to the game,” the developer said in a statement. “Creating obstacles for modders has never been our intention. 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.”
With the furore surrounding the latest patch on the PC version and modding support seemingly cleared up, questions still remain over why the physical version of the game has suffered a one month delay in Europe. Currently, only digital copies via PSN, Xbox Live and Steam are available to purchase. In addition, there are still questions to be answered about why review code wasn’t distributed to the press until launch day, a matter which brings back memories of the fiasco surrounding Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Unity last year – another game where review code was held back until the game was already available. Ubisoft later promised to reevaluate the way in which they deal with the press.
We’re currently working on our review of Dying Light after receiving our Xbox One review code late last Friday. As is our policy, we intend to take our time with it to ensure that our final assessment is as thorough as possible – unlike some outlets, who rushed out their reviews just hours after receiving their copies. We hope to have it published sometime this week, so be sure to keep an eye out.