Final Fantasy XIV community abandons most popular plugin because of developer deceit

This plugin’s popularity is now a fantasy.

Image via Square Enix

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Final Fantasy XIV has a new plugin controversy, and this time it has nothing to do with the game. GShade, the most popular plugin used by the Final Fantasy XIV community and many other admired PC games, is now in hot water over issues regarding malware. What makes it worse is that the GShade developer purposely put the questionable function into the program in order to trigger a computer restart should tampering with GShade be discovered within the installer.

This issue has not stood well with the Final Fantasy XIV community, who have begun to exit en mass and switch back over to the original program that GShade is a heavily modified version of — ReShade. Many community discords are actively spreading the message and discouraging the use of GShade while providing ways to safely uninstall the program in favor of ReShade.

The GPOSERS’ official Discord posted a statement to clarify the controversy after word began to get out that the GShade program contained malware. The function in question is there to deal with third parties attempting to redistribute copyrighted assets within GShade without permission. To counter this, an anti-tampering function was added to GShade’s installer to trigger restarts in the event that a third party, external software or library utilized the GShade installer’s functions without actually running it. It was not possible to trigger this function by running the GShade installer normally.

Related: The Final Fantasy XIV plugin debate has reached a grim reality

It has been stressed that the function has been removed from the GShade installer, and will never be re-implemented again. Due to the recent controversy with GShade, the server will be reverted back to its original intention of serving GPOSERS monthly magazine. GShade will remain available on GitHub, but will not receive updates for now.

Many players relied on GShade to make Final Fantasy XIV’s graphics better or help with disabilities, so the move back to ReShade will be a jarring, yet important process. Final Fantasy XIV will be getting a graphical update in the near future, meaning GShade’s popularity would have been affected regardless of developer deceit.