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News video games 14 January 2022, 15:35

author: Milosz Szubert

Crytek and Modder Battle Over Photo Mode in Crysis 2 and Crysis 3 Remasters

Crytek has sent a C&D letter to content creator Frans �Otis_Infa� Bouma. It informs that the man's project introducing a photo mode to Crysis 2 Remastered and Crysis 3 Remastered violates the EULA of these items.

IN A NUTSHELL:
  1. Frans "Otis_Inf" Bouma, who created a tool adding a photo mode to Crysis 2 Remastered and Crysis 3 Remastered has been urged by Crytek to remove them;
  2. Through an exchange of emails, it became apparent that the main problem was that photo mode was being accessed by people who support the developer on Patreon. He has been asked to remove this restriction;
  3. Bouma refused and completely removed his projects for Crysis 2 Remastered and Crysis 3 Remastered. He also indicated that he will not create any more tools for Crytek games.

If you like to create the most beautiful game screenshots possible, you may have heard of Frans "Otis_Infa" Bouma. He is a programmer who developed a powerful tool called Universal Unreal Unlocker. It works as a photo mode in a number of games powered by Unreal Engine 4. Bouma prepared a similar program for Crysis 2 Remastered and Crysis 3 Remastered. And that's when his problems began (via PC Gamer).

Yesterday, a post appeared on the programmer's twitter account, the lion's share of which is a letter sent to him by Adam Grinsell, Crytek's PR officer responsible for both the original Crysis trilogy as well as last year's remasters. Grinsell emphasizes that Bouma's projects for the games violate the EULA and other agreements related to modding them. Therefore, he demands that the mod offering photo modes for Crysis 2 Remastered and Crysis 3 Remastered be removed from the web. If this did not happen within seven days, the case would go to Crytek's legal department.

Crytek and Modder Battle Over Photo Mode in Crysis 2 and Crysis 3 Remasters - picture #1
Source: Twitter

Bouma's line of defense was that his projects are entirely based on original code and do not use any resources belonging to Crytek. However, this was not quite what the devs had in mind. According to Grinsell's response, the main problem is the fact that the creator makes it available to people who fund his activities through Patreon, where they make monthly payments of 5, 10 or 50 euros.

"The main issue with the software is that it is monetised, therefore we request that you remove the paywall," reads the message from Grinsell. (via Patreon)

The case caused some commotion on the Internet. It found its way to Crysis' subreddit, which forced Utku �akir, Crytek's social media specialist, to issue a statement. Quoting it in full:

"Hey everyone.

The initial message led to a misunderstanding, and we have apologised to the modder for this.

We truly appreciate all the support we receive from the community, but we also have to balance this with protecting our copyright. It can be a tricky balance to strike, and in hindsight we should have approached the situation differently."

Crytek and Modder Battle Over Photo Mode in Crysis 2 and Crysis 3 Remasters - picture #2
Creating fan projects for video games can sometimes be problematic, and not just from a technical standpoint.

The request to remove the "paywall" from photo tools for Crysis 2 Remastered and Crysis 3 Remastered however, remained. Bouma ultimately decided not to comply, and since, as he stated, he doesn't have the strength to fight anyone, he removed his projects altogether. To quote his words:

"I know it hurts for the people who would like to use the tools in Crysis 2 and Crysis 3 remastered. To them, I'm sorry. I worked more than a week on these tools and I'd love to keep them up but it's only benefiting Crytek if I do, and therefore they're gone."

Furthermore, the man pointed out on Twitter that he usually gets enthusiastic reactions from developers because they provide free advertising and Crytek is shooting itself in the foot. He also stressed that he will never again create anything for the German studio's games. This was met with applause from fans of his projects and some gamers.

Crytek and Modder Battle Over Photo Mode in Crysis 2 and Crysis 3 Remasters - picture #3
Source: Twitter

Who is right in this dispute? Did Bouma have the right to benefit financially from his project in this case, or should he caven in and remove the paywall? We leave the judgement to you.

  1. Crysis - official website
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