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 yet to be seen, but many developers have already stood for Rockstar.
- On September 18, a GTAForums user nicknamed Teapotuberhacker posted a link to dozens of videos from 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 it “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 for GTA V.
- It is hard to say when this footage was recorded, but some clips were taken between 2021 and early September 2022.
- These videos show gameplay footage for both male and female protagonists, who are walking in the Vice City-like modern environment. This is in line with a Bloomberg report, which previously described the setting of the next GTA.
- It is worth noting that the early-build footage is far from what players will see in the final game, as GTA VI is still in development and has no release date.
- As one source told Axios, Rockstar, like many other game developers, put all the pieces of the game together only in the months leading to launch. And the next GTA is no exception.
- Teapotuberhacker later updated the post, saying that they didn’t expect it to go viral. The leaker asked Rockstar or Take-Two to contact them, so they could “negotiate the deal.”
- Neither Rockstar, nor Take-Two have commented on the matter. However, the publisher made YouTube delete most videos with the leaked footage.
Update: Rockstar publicly confirmed the GTA VI leak today, saying that it won’t have a long-term effect on the development.
- The GTAForums administration eventually removed all links and other sensitive information related to the leak from the original post and made it public again.
How might this leak affect Rockstar?
- Schreier named two ways this leak could affect the studio and the development of GTA VI. It will disrupt work for a while and may lead management to limit remote work flexibility.
To those who asked: There are several reasons this is a nightmare for Rockstar. One is that it’ll disrupt work for a while. Another is that it may lead management to limit work-from-home flexibility. The repercussions of this leak might not be clear for quite a while
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) September 18, 2022
- As sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg, Rockstar employees were “stunned by the leak,” with many now wondering how the studio’s management would respond to it.
- It is also worth noting that gamers were not supposed to see this early footage at all. As a result, people have already started to analyze these clips and criticize Rockstar for how “bad” GTA VI looked despite it being a couple of years from launch.
“They deserve for not giving us anything”
How self-entitled can you be, really?
The reality is they owe you nothing and you’re not playing it until 2024-2025 anyway. If the source code/dev build leaks, it’ll probably be longer than that.
— Tom Henderson (@_Tom_Henderson_) September 18, 2022
- On top of that, the leak of the source code could lead to delays. Grunkle Grok made a good explanation on Twitter, adding that gamers who say Rockstar somehow deserves it are just “cheering on the possible destruction of the game you profess to enjoy, because you think it’s funny.”
So if the source code for an in development project, that is probably multi-user, live-ops/multiplayer leaks, development may have to totally be scrapped. Because the risk and damage of data leaks or an exploit prone software is too great to the company and investors.
— Grunkle Grok (@GrunkleGrok) September 19, 2022
- VGC editor Andy Robinson made some remarks about game leaks in general, saying that they will happen more often in the age of remote work and large teams. He also thinks that the games industry will eventually switch to a movie-style model.
I love those E3 megaton reveals as much as anyone, but I genuinely can’t remember the last time that happened. Everything leaks – and very rarely via the press – so let’s adapt and deal with it
— Andy Robinson (@AndyPlaytonic) September 18, 2022
How did other devs react to the GTA VI leak?
- Cyberpunk 2077 quest director Paweł Sasko said that “years of work are now being shredded, torn apart, analized, misunderstood, taken out of context, and memed.”
Dread to think what the Rockstar team is going through right now. Years of work are now being shredded, torn apart, analized, misunderstood, taken out of context, and memed. A destructive cycle games industry knows way too well. Help to make it better and don’t engage with leaks.
— Paweł Sasko (@PaweSasko) September 18, 2022
- “Game leaks suck,” Obsidian design director Josh Sawyer wrote, adding that things like this are “incredibly demoralizing and disruptive for the team.” He also pointed out how the studio is still trying to undo the damage done by the early Pentiment leak, and the GTA VI case is much bigger.
Game leaks suck. Whether it’s information or assets/footage, it’s all bad. Devs can’t really address it in a productive way and it’s incredibly demoralizing and disruptive for the team.
Pentiment misinfo leaked and we’re still undoing that damage. And that leak was *tiny*.
— Josh Sawyer (@jesawyer) September 18, 2022
- Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann also supported fellow devs at Rockstar, urging developers to keep pushing and making art. “One day we’ll be playing your game, appreciating your craft, and the leaks will be relegated to a footnote on a Wikipedia page,” he noted.
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