The leak had a massive effect, starting a discussion about leaks in the video game industry and their impact on every level of game development. While the history of GTA 6 leaks will continue, here’s everything you need to know about this saga so far.
We will update this story with new events.
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 work on the next Grand Theft Auto franchise is underway, ”Rockstar wrote earlier this year. “We can’t wait to share more as soon as we are ready, so stay tuned for official information at Rockstar Newswire.”
Prior to the announcement, Rockstar mostly discussed the continued success of Grand Theft Auto 5 and GTA Online, which received next-generation updates. While it is undoubtedly still popular, the still popular game that has been around for a decade has been weak for some fans, and the announcement of the next GTA game seemed long overdue.
However, following an announcement that came from a press release with no additional material, it seemed that GTA 6 was still in an early stage of development. Parent company Rockstar Take-Two Interactive and its CEO Strauss Zelnick have confirmed that more information about GTA 6 will be shared on the Rockstar Schedule.
It did not happen.
Leaks start: “Here are 90 materials / clips from GTA 6”
GTAForums is one of the most popular online message boards where you can talk about all things Grand Theft Auto. September 18 became the unexpected site of an asset leak from the ever-expanding Grand Theft Auto 6. The leaks quickly spread to other social networking sites such as Twitter and YouTube.
Various clips, with unfinished resources, featured several elements of the game in development, including parts of the world, shooting, and NPC AI. The clips also seemingly confirmed some rumors of GTA 6 that were already spreading on the Internet, such as the existence of male and female heroes.
The leak came from a user named “teapotuberhacker” who also claimed to be the same person who hacked the Uber app that hacked the app earlier this month.
“Here are 90 videos / clips of GTA 6,” they wrote. The hacker also shared what appear to be various GTA 6 assets and in-game code.
Beginning of elimination
Later that day, leaked videos across multiple platforms were removed at the request of Take-Two Interactive. As reported by VGC, the takedown requests appeared to come from people with Rockstar email addresses, but confirming that the leaks were legitimate.
The next day, both GTAForums and the GTA 6 subreddit removed the threads containing the revealed content. The messages on both sides made it clear that they were complying with Take-Two’s requests to remove any copyrighted material. The original GTAForums thread was later restored, albeit locked for new comments, and all links to stolen material were removed.
Rockstar officially confirms the break-in
In a surprising move, Rockstar confirmed the reality of the hack, which has so far been touted by some as a very complicated hoax.
“We recently experienced a network hack in which an unauthorized third party illegally accessed and downloaded confidential information from our systems, including early-stage footage of the next 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 studio did not anticipate any disruptions or “long-term impact on development” of ongoing projects. Work on the next Grand Theft Auto game would also “continue as planned.”
The FBI is involved
Given the pervasive nature of the break-ins, and the fact that the reported victims are not one but two large companies, the FBI has become involved in an intrusion investigation.
Uber posted a blog revealing that it was working with the FBI and the US Department of Justice to investigate recent data breaches, and mentioned that their hacker was also suspected of being involved in the Rockstar hack. Uber has revealed that it believes the hacker or hackers are linked to a group known as Lapsus $ that has launched similar attacks against companies such as Nvidia, Microsoft and Samsung.
“We believe that these attackers (or the attackers) are linked to a hacker group called Lapsus $, which has become increasingly active over the past year.” As a reason for suspicion, Uber cites similar techniques used by a hacking group in major tech companies.
“There were also reports over the weekend that the same actor broke into video game maker Rockstar Games,” writes Uber. “We are working closely with the FBI and the US Department of Justice on this and will continue to support their efforts.”
Fallout of GTA 6 leaks
Although we are only days away from the leaks, the episode sparked a lot of discussion in the video game industry.
One such discussion is the harmfulness of sharing such early game footage and how it might affect the perception of the end product. While the next Grand Theft Auto game is still in development, the popular understanding of game development is still lacking, which could have negative consequences for the final game.
“My thoughts are with the team at [Rockstar Games]”He wrote on Xbox Sarah Bond. “It can be disheartening to have a project you’ve worked hard on to delight fans who have been exposed and criticized before it’s finished.”
For my fellow developers affected by the latest leak, know that while it seems overwhelming now, it will pass. One day we will play your game appreciating your craftsmanship and the leaks will be posted in a footnote on the Wikipedia page. Keep pushing. Continue creating art.
– Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) September 18, 2022
Jason Schreier of Bloomberg recorded the possible effects a leakage could have on workers and how it could “reduce the flexibility of working from home”.
As for early footage, any prior reviews of work still in progress have been removed.
“Anyone who rates disclosed footage [GTA 6] like an idiot clearly failed in game development, writes the game developer Błesziński cliff. “The number of hours / people / dollars spent on these games [equals] mad.”
One of the ways game developers have started to fight and educate about a game under development is by sharing footage of their games early in the development cycle. Developers at Insomniac, Remedy, and others have shared early footage of games like Control, Spider-Man, and more to illustrate what early game development looks like, even for AAA projects.
Since artwork is the first thing completed in a video game and CONTROL has won many awards for excellence in graphics, here is the 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 GTA 6 footage looks pretty good considering how early the game is in development. Some developers are widening the scope of how early the game can be shown, such as EA Motive, which shared views very early on the upcoming remake of Dead Space, while strongly emphasizing that everything they share is still quite early.
But if more players get deeper insight and context into game development, even for AAA games, then perhaps there is at least one benefit to this episode.
The full impact of the leak on the development of Grand Theft Auto 6 or Rockstar Games will not be known for some time. While all possible ramifications may not materialize for years, it will still be one of the biggest leaks in video game history, and perhaps the entertainment industry as a whole.
Matt TM Kim is the IGN news editor. You can get to him @Lawoftd.