Universal Unreal Unlocker is a mod created by Frans “Otis_Inf” Bauma that brings a powerful photo mod to the long list of Unreal Engine 4 games. It’s a really impressive piece of software that enables videogame photographers to capture images far beyond traditional screenshots. Last year they made similar, different mods for Crysis Remastered 2 and 3, which they introduced through their medium (with the latest version of YuU). Patreon, But those Crisis mods are no longer available: Crytek has asked Bauma to take them down.
delete request That came from Crytek PR manager Adam Grinsel, who told Bauma that the EULAs for both games don’t allow mods. Because of that, Grinsel asked that Bauma “remove mods from their Patreon page, and anywhere they appear for availability.” He also warned that if he was not removed within seven days, the matter would be referred to Crytek’s legal department.
Bauma pushed back, pointing out that the mod is built entirely on its own code and makes no use of any Crytek-owned assets. And this is where things got confusing: Grinsel replied to say that “the main issue with the software is monetization, so we request that you remove the paywall,” in reference to the fact In that Crysis Remastered Photo Mode mods are only available to Patreon customers at prices from $6.50 to $63.50 per month.
The controversy eventually came to the notice of redditCrytek apologized for the wrong handling of the situation. “The initial message caused a misunderstanding, and we apologize to the modder for this,” wrote Crytek PR manager Utku akır. “We really appreciate all the support we have received from the community, but we also have to balance it with protecting our copyright. It can be a difficult balance to strike, and in the end we have to approach the situation differently. Should have done.”
Despite the apology, Crytek’s base position remained unchanged: it insisted on Bauma to either give the Crysis Remastered Photo Mode mods to everyone, or take them down entirely. With no choice, Bauma has chosen the latter.
“Since I have neither the time nor the energy to fight over this, plus having the equipment will only benefit them as people will post shots of their games on social media and other sites, I have decided to pull out the equipment and Don’t make them public again,” he wrote on Patreon. “I know it hurts people who want to use Crysis 2 and Crysis 3’s remastered tools. For them, I’m sorry. I worked on these tools for over a week and I want to keep them But if I do it’s only benefiting Crytek, and so they’re gone.”
Unsurprisingly, Bauma also said that he will not be working on a Photo Mode mod for any other Crytek games in the future.
But Crytek being Crytek, they can’t help themselves and have to shoot themselves in their feet. If I had to pull off my Crytek 2/3 Remastered Photomod mod, which just adds a Photomod to these games, I would but I would never make a custom Photomod for any Crytek game.13 January 2022
It’s a shame the mod is gone, but the controversy also highlights potentially bigger questions for other Patreon-backed mod makers. Very generally, game companies don’t sweat mods too much unless someone is making money on them, and will sometimes even give them an official blessing: For example, Installation 01, a fan- Produced Halo is a game that is non-commercially licensed, relying on the developers to never accept any money – not even donations – for the work. Bauma’s monetization of his work was clear, and even though his talk about it entirely his code may be valid, it doesn’t mean he’s unwilling to fight the issue in court if he doesn’t—and makes sense. Well, this is something that most individual mod makers can’t or won’t do.
I’ve reached out to Crytek for comment and will update if I get an answer.