On Sunday, September 18, a massive and unprecedented leak hit one of the most anticipated games of the decade. Dozens of video files related to Grand Theft Auto 6 began to appear on fan forum GTAForums, giving the world a first – very unexpected – look at Rockstar’s next AAA game.
The leaks caused a massive decline, sparking discussion within the video game industry about leaks and how they affect every level of game development. While the story of the GTA 6 leaks continues, here’s what you need to know about the saga so far.
We will update this story with new developments.
Every IGN Grand Theft Auto Review
GTA 6 confirmed, but never shown
Rockstar officially announced the next Grand Theft Auto game on February 4, 2022, in a press release. ,[W]We are pleased to confirm that active development for the next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series is well underway,” Rockstar wrote earlier this year. “We look forward to sharing more as we’re ready, so please stay tuned to Rockstar Newswire for official details.”
Prior to the announcement, Rockstar primarily discussed the ongoing success of Grand Theft Auto 5 and GTA Online, both of which are receiving next-generation updates. While undoubtedly still popular, continuing promotion of the decade-old game was thin for some fans and the announcement of the next GTA game was long overdue.
However, with the announcement coming from a press release without any additional content, it looked like GTA 6 was still early in development. Rockstar’s parent company Take-Two Interactive and its CEO Strauss Zelnick then stated that more of GTA 6 would be shared “on Rockstar’s schedule”.
It did not happen.
Leaks begin: ‘Here are 90 footage/clips from GTA 6’
GTAForums is home to one of the most popular online discussion boards for talking about all things Grand Theft Auto. On September 18, it turned out to be an unexpected home of leaked property from Grand Theft Auto 6, still in development. The leak quickly spread to other social media sites such as Twitter and YouTube.
Various clips show several elements of the game in development, including parts of the world, gunplay and NPC AI, along with unfinished assets. The clip also confirmed some of the rumors about GTA 6 that were already circulating online, such as the existence of male and female protagonists.
The leak was from a user named “teapotuberhacker” who claimed to be the same person who hacked ride-hailing app Uber earlier this month.
“Here are 90 footage/clips from GTA 6,” he wrote. The hacker also shared what looks like various GTA 6 assets and code from the game.
Later the same day, the leaked videos on multiple platforms were removed at the request of Take-Two Interactive. as reported by VGCRemoval requests appeared to be coming in from individuals with Rockstar email addresses, but confirmation that the leaks were legitimate.
The next day, both GTAForums and the GTA 6 subreddit removed threads featuring the leaked content. Messages on both sites explained that they were complying with Take-Two’s requests to remove any and all copyrighted material. Original GTAForums thread It was later reinstated, though locked to new comments, and all links to the stolen material were removed.
Rockstar officially confirms the hack
In a surprise move, Rockstar has confirmed the veracity of the hack, which until then was being touted as a very elaborate hoax by some.
“We recently encountered a network intrusion in which an unauthorized third party illegally accessed and downloaded confidential information from our systems, including preliminary development footage for the next Grand Theft Auto.”
A message from Rockstar Games pic.twitter.com/T4Wztu8RW8
— Rockstar Games (@RockstarGames) September 19, 2022
Rockstar reassured fans that the studio did not expect any disruption to its ongoing projects or “a long-term impact on development” despite widespread leaks. Work on the next Grand Theft Auto game will also “continue as planned.”
The FBI is involved
Given the widespread nature of the hack and also that the reported victims are not one but two major companies, the FBI has become involved in the investigation of the hack.
Uber released a blog that revealed it was working with the FBI and the US Department of Justice to investigate recent data breaches, and noted that their hacker was suspected of involvement in the Rockstar hack as well. Uber revealed that it believes the hacker or hackers are linked to a group called Lapsus$, which has carried out similar attacks on companies such as Nvidia, Microsoft and Samsung.
“We believe that these attackers (or attackers) are affiliated with a hacking group called Lapsus$, which has been increasingly active over the past year or so.” Uber cites similar techniques used by the hacking group on major tech companies as reasons for their suspicion.
“There have also been reports over the weekend that the same actor violated video game maker Rockstar Games,” writes Uber. “We are in close coordination with the FBI and the US Department of Justice on this matter and will continue to support their efforts.”
GTA 6 leak result
While we are only a few days away from the leak, the episode has generated a lot of buzz within the video game industry.
One such discussion is the pitfalls of sharing such early footage of a game, and how it might affect perceptions of the final product. While the next Grand Theft Auto game is still in its early stages of development, popular understanding of game development is still low and this could have negative consequences on the final version of the game.
“My thoughts are with the team [Rockstar Games]”Xbox’s. wrote Sarah Bond, “It can be frustrating that there’s a project you worked hard on to please fans and criticized it before it was ready.”
To my fellow devs affected by the latest leak, know that while this feeling overwhelming right now, this will pass. One day we’ll play your game, appreciate your craft, and the leak will be transferred to a footnote on the Wikipedia page. keep pushing. Keep making art
— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) 18 September 2022
Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier noted The potential effects the leak could have on employees, and how it could “limit work-from-home flexibility.”
As far as the early footage is concerned, there has been pushback against any early decisions on the work still going on.
“Nobody is judging the leaked footage [GTA 6] like an idiot clearly hasn’t acted in game development,” the game developer writes. Cliff Bleszinski, “The amount of hours/people/dollars that go into these games [equals] Mad.”
One way game developers have begun to combat and educate what an in-development version of a game looks like is by sharing footage from their games early in the development cycle. Insomniac, the developers of Remedy and Control, shared early footage of games like Spider-Man, and even AAA projects to illustrate what early game development looked like.
Since graphics are the first thing in a video game, and controls have won many awards for excellence in graphics, here’s footage from the beginning of development 🙂
— Paul Ehreth (@bacon_sanwich) September 20, 2022
The caveat here is that the leaked GTA 6 footage looks great, considering how early the game’s development is. And some developers are expanding the scope of how quickly a game like EA Motive’s look at the upcoming Dead Space remake could be shown off, while emphasizing that whatever they’re sharing It’s still too early.
But if more gamers gain deeper insight and context into game development, even for AAA games, there’s probably at least one benefit from this episode.
We won’t know the full implications of the leak on the development of Grand Theft Auto 6 or Rockstar Games for some time. While no likely outcome may reveal itself for years, it will go down as one of the biggest leaks in the history of video games, and possibly the entertainment industry as a whole.
Matt TM Kim is IGN’s news editor. you can reach it @lawoftd,