GTA VI Leak: How It Could Affect Rockstar Games and What Other Developers Are Saying

Dozens of never-before-seen footage from GTA VI have been made public in what appears to be one of the biggest leaks in video game history. The consequences of this hack are not yet known, but many developers have already defended Rockstar.

What happened?

  • On September 18, a GTAForums user dubbed Teapotuberhacker posted a link to dozens of videos of what appears to be an early build of GTA VI.
  • The leak also contained around 10,000 lines of the project’s source code. Jason Schreier called him “one of the biggest leaks in video game history and a nightmare for Rockstar Games.”
  • The user then threatened to reveal more data, including assets, a test build for GTA VI and the source code of GTA V.
  • It’s hard to say when these images were recorded, but some clips were taken between 2021 and early September 2022.
  • These videos show gameplay footage for the male and female protagonists, who walk around the modern environment of Vice City. This goes in the direction of a Bloomberg reportwhich previously described the setting of the next GTA.
  • It should be noted that the first build images are a far cry from what players will see in the final game, as GTA VI is still in development and has no release date.
  • As a single source said to Axios, Rockstar, like many other game developers, only put all the pieces of the game together in the months leading up to launch. And the next GTA is no exception.
  • Teapotuberhacker later updated the post, saying they didn’t expect it to go viral. The lessor has asked Rockstar or Take-Two to contact them, so they can “negotiate the deal”.
  • Neither Rockstar nor Take-Two have commented on the matter. However, the publisher asked YouTube to remove most of the videos containing the leaked images.
  • The GTAForums administration eventually removed all links and other sensitive information related to the leaked original post and made it public again.

How could this leak affect Rockstar?

  • Schreier named two ways this leak could affect the studio and the development of GTA VI. This will disrupt work for some time and may cause management to limit remote working flexibility.
  • As sources familiar with the matter told BloombergRockstar employees were “stunned by the leak”, and many are now wondering how studio management would respond.
  • It’s also worth noting that players weren’t supposed to see these early images at all. As a result, people have already started analyzing these clips and criticizing Rockstar for how “poor” GTA VI looks despite a few years of launch.
  • On top of that, leaking the source code could lead to delays. Grunkle Grok did a good explanation on Twitteradding that gamers who say Rockstar somehow deserve it “simply rejoice in the possible destruction of the game you claim to enjoy, because you think it’s funny.”
  • VGC Editor Andy Robinson make some remarks on game leaks in general, saying they will happen more often in the era of remote work and large teams. He also thinks the games industry will eventually transition to a cinematic-style model.

How did other developers react to the GTA VI leak?

  • Cyberpunk 2077 Quest director Paweł Sasko said that “years of work are now being shredded, torn, analyzed, misunderstood, taken out of context and memorized”.
  • “Game leaks suck,” Obsidian design director Josh Sawyer wrote, adding that things like this are “incredibly demoralizing and disruptive to the team.” He also pointed out how the studio is still trying to undo the damage caused by the first Repentance leaked, and the GTA VI case is much bigger.
  • Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann also backed fellow developers at Rockstar, urging developers to keep pushing and making art. “One day we’ll play your game, enjoy your craft, and leaks will be relegated to a footnote on a Wikipedia page,” he noted.
  • Other game developers who commented on the GTA VI leak included Cory Barlog (creative director at Santa Monica Studio), Tim Soret (founder of Odd Tales, a studio behind The last night), John Epler (creative director of Dragon Age: Dreadwolf), and more.

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