Crytek said the monetization of the mods is against the EULA
The Unreal Universal Unlocker is a mod created by Frans “Otis_Inf” Bouma that brings a powerful photography mode to a long list of Unreal Engine 4 games. It’s a truly impressive piece of software that allows game photographers to capture images far beyond conventional screenshots. Last year, he created similar separate mods for Crysis Remastered 2 and 3, which he offered (along with the latest version of UUU) through his Patreon. But those Crysis mods are no longer available: Crytek has asked Bouma to remove them.
The removal request came from Crytek’s PR manager Adam Grinsell, who told Bouma that the EULAs for both games do not allow modifications. As such, Grinsell asked Bouma to “remove the mods from your Patreon page, and anywhere else they appear for availability”. He also warned that if they were not removed within seven days, the matter would be referred to Crytek’s legal department.
Bouma responded, pointing out that the mod is based entirely on his own code and does not use Crytek’s proprietary assets of any kind. And this is where things got confusing: Grinsell responded by saying that “the main problem with the software is that it is monetised, therefore, we request that you remove the paywall,” a reference to the fact that Crysis Remastered’s photo mode modifications are only available to Patreon subscribers, at prices ranging from $6.50 to $63.50 per month.
The dispute eventually caught the attention of Reddit, prompting Crytek to apologise for its mishandling of the situation. “The initial post led to a misunderstanding, and we have apologised to the modder for this,” wrote Crytek PR manager Utku Çakır. “We really appreciate all the support we receive from the community, but we also have to balance this with protecting our copyrights. It can be a difficult balance to strike, and, in hindsight, we should have approached the situation differently.”
Despite the apology, Crytek’s essential position remained unchanged: it insisted that Bouma either give everyone the Crysis Remastered photo mode mods or remove them entirely. Left with no choice, Bouma has opted for the latter.
“Since I don’t have the time or energy to fight them on this, plus having the tools ready would only benefit them, as people would post pictures of their game on social media and other sites, I’ve decided to take the tools out. and not make them public again,” he wrote on Patreon. “I know it hurts people who would like to use the tools in Crysis 2 and Crysis 3 remastered. To them, I’m sorry. I worked over a week on these tools and would love to keep them, but if I do so, I will only benefit Crytek, and so they are gone.”
As expected, Bouma also said that he would not be working on photo mode modifications for any other Crytek games in the future.
I've made custom photomode mods for more games than anyone else on this planet; for more games than nvidia ansel + all games with a photomode combined. I always heard enthusiastic responses from game publishers and devs because they love the free advertising.
— Frans Bouma (@FransBouma) January 13, 2022