On Sunday, September 18, there was a massive and unprecedented leak of one of the most anticipated games of the decade. Dozens of video files related to Grand Theft Auto 6 began to appear on the GTAForums fan forum, giving the world an extremely inadvertent first look at Rockstar’s upcoming AAA game.
The leak has sparked a discussion about leaks within the video game industry and how they affect all levels of game development. As the GTA 6 leak story continues, here you go. a summary of everything that has happened so far.
We will update this story if there is any news.
GTA 6 confirmed, but never shown
Rockstar officially announced the next Grand Theft Auto game on February 4, 2022, in a press release. “We are pleased to confirm that active development on the next installment in the Grand Theft Auto series is well underway.“Rockstar wrote earlier this year.”We’re looking forward to sharing more information as soon as we’re ready, so stay tuned to the Rockstar Newswire for official details.“.
Before the announcement, Rockstar mainly talked about the success of Grand Theft Auto V and GTA Online, which were receiving updates for the next generation. While they are certainly still popular, the announcement of the next GTA game seemed long overdue.
However, as the announcement came from a press release with no additional material, it seemed that GTA 6 was still in an early stage of development. Rockstar’s parent company, Take-Two Interactive, and its CEO, Strauss Zelnick, went on to say that more information about GTA 6 would be shared according to “Rockstar’s schedule.”
This has not happened so far.
The leaks begin: ‘Here are 90 images and videos of GTA 6’
GTAForums is one of the most popular online discussion forums for all things Grand Theft Auto related. On September 18, he became the unexpected home of leaked assets from the still-in-development Grand Theft Auto 6. The leaks quickly spread to other social networks like Twitter and YouTube.
Various clips, with unfinished assets, showed off various elements of the game in development, such as parts of the world, weapon gameplay, and NPC AI. the videos too seem to confirm some rumors about GTA 6 that were already spreading on the Internet, such as the existence of a male and a female protagonist.
The leak comes from a user named “teapotuberhacker,” who also claims to be the same person who hacked the ride-hailing app Uber earlier this month.
“Here are 90 images/clips of GTA 6″, wrote. The hacker also shared what appear to be various GTA 6 assets, and game code.
The withdrawals begin
Later that day, the leaked videos on multiple platforms were removed at the request of Take-Two Interactive. As VGC reported, the takedown requests appeared to come from people with Rockstar email addresses, confirming that the leaks were legitimate.
The next day, both GTAForums and the GTA 6 subreddit removed the threads with filtered content. Messages from both sites explained that they were complying with Take-Two’s requests to remove all copyrighted material. The original GTAForums thread was later reinstated, albeit locked for new comments, and with all links to the stolen material removed.
Rockstar officially confirms the hack
In a surprising move, Rockstar confirmed the veracity of the hack, which until then was still considered by some to be an elaborate hoax.
“We recently experienced a network intrusion in which an unauthorized third party illegally accessed and downloaded sensitive information from our systems, including early development footage of the upcoming Grand Theft Auto.“
A Message from Rockstar Games pic.twitter.com/T4Wztu8RW8
— Rockstar Games (@RockstarGames) September 19, 2022
Rockstar also assured fans that despite extensive leaks, the study did not foresee any interruption or “long-term effect on development” of their ongoing projects. Work on the next Grand Theft Auto game would also “continue as planned”.
The FBI is involved
Given the breadth of the hacks and the fact that the victims are not one, but two large companies, the FBI has become involved in an investigation into the hacks.
Uber published a blog post revealing that was working with the FBI and the United States Department of Justice to investigate the recent data breaches, and mentioned that his hacker was also suspected of being involved in the Rockstar hack. Uber revealed that he believes the hacker or hackers are associated with a group known as Lapsus$ that has carried out similar attacks on companies including Nvidia, Microsoft and Samsung.
“We believe this attacker(s) are affiliated with a hacker group called Lapsus$, which has been increasingly active over the last year or so.Uber cites similar techniques used by the hacking group at large tech companies as reasons for its suspicion.
“There are also reports over the weekend that this same actor breached video game maker Rockstar Games.Uber writes.We are in close coordination with the FBI and the US Department of Justice on this matter and will continue to support their efforts.“.
The consequences of the GTA 6 leaks
Although it’s only been a few days since the leaks, the episode has generated a lot of debate in the video game industry.
One of those debates is the detriment of sharing images so early in a game and how that can affect the perception of the final product. Although the next Grand Theft Auto game is still in an early stage of development, popular understanding of the game’s development is still poor and this could have negative consequences on the final version of the game.
“My thoughts are with the team at Rockstar Games“, wrote Sarah Bond de Xbox. “It can be disheartening when a project you’ve worked hard to delight fans is revealed and criticized before it’s ready.“.
To my fellow devs out there affected by the latest leak, know that while it feels overwhelming right now, it’ll pass. One day we’ll be playing your game, appreciating your craft, and the leaks will be relegated to a footnote on a Wikipedia page. Keep pushing. Keep making art. ♥️
— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) September 18, 2022
Jason Schreier, the Bloomberg he pointed the possible effects the breach could have on employees, and how could “limit the flexibility of working from home”.
Regarding the first images, there have been opposite reactions to any premature judgment on a work still in progress.
“Anyone who judges the leaked images of GTA 6 as an idiot has clearly not worked in game development“, writes the game developer Cliff Bleszinski. “The amount of hours/people/dollars put into these games is insane“.
One of the ways that game developers have begun to combat and educate themselves on what a development version of a game looks like is by sharing images of their games early in the development cycle. Developers from Insomniac, Remedy and others have shared screenshots of games like Control, Spider-Man and others to illustrate what early game development looks likeeven in AAA projects.
Since graphics are the first thing finished in a video game, and CONTROL won multiple awards for excellence in graphics, here is footage from the beginning of development 🙂
Full video here: https://t.co/l2g7oPhtk7
— Paul Ehreth ? (@bacon_sanwich) September 20, 2022
The caveat is that the leaked images of GTA 6 they look very good considering the state of the game images in its development. Additionally, some developers are expanding the scope of how early a game can be shown, such as EA Motive, which has been sharing very early footage of the upcoming Dead Space remake, while emphasizing that anything it’s sharing is still very early.
But if more gamers gain deeper insight and context into game development, even for AAA games, then maybe there is at least something good to take from this episode.
We won’t know the full effects of the leak on Grand Theft Auto 6 development or Rockstar Games for some time. Although the potential fallout may not be revealed for a few years, this one will be one of the biggest leaks in video game historyand possibly the entertainment industry as a whole.