Since confirming that GTA 6 was in development back in February, Rockstar Games has been extremely quiet on the sequel to its mega-selling open world crime-'em-up. No more.
A leaker has released a dump of footage of an early build of the game -- and Rockstar Games has confirmed that the leaked footage of GTA 6 is real, saying in a tweet that it "suffered a network intrusion" in which someone stole "early development footage" of the game.
A Message from Rockstar Games pic.twitter.com/T4Wztu8RW8September 19, 2022
Rockstar claims that the leak won't have any "long-term effect" on the development of the game. That may seem obvious, but after an early version of Half-Life 2 was leaked during development, Valve decided to delay the release of its long-awaited sequel by more than a year, so there's form for leaks leading to delays.
"We are extremely disappointed to have any details of our next game shared with you in this way," Rockstar writes. "Our work on the next GTA will continue as planned and [we will] introduce you to this next game when it is ready."
Because Rockstar hasn't shown anything of GTA 6 or previously committed to a release date, there's less impact the leak could have. But it's certainly a major frustration for the developer – with its famously stage-managed game reveals – that so much about the upcoming game has been revealed and in such a messy way. Rather than a tightly choreographed game trailer, set to a perfectly-picked soundtrack, we instead have a dump of out-of-context clips of an in-development game. Studio owners, the Houser brothers, will not be pleased.
What's not clear is what else was stolen in the leak. The most public aspect of the leak is the clips of GTA 6, but there could be player data, source code for GTA Online, or any number of other sensitive files. Rockstar says its live games won't be affected by the leak, but anything that could compromise Rockstar's players could be a real issue for the studio.
Expect Rockstar to keep publicly quiet besides this statement, but behind closed doors, company lawyers and investigators will be working hard to find out who is responsible and punish them for the damage they've caused. The German coder who leaked Half-Life 2 source code was sentenced to four years probation for his crimes.
We'll be bringing you more news on the leaks in the coming days.
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Julian's been writing about video games for more than a decade. In that time, he's always been drawn to the strange intersections between gaming and the real world, like when he interviewed a NASA scientist who had become a Space Pope in EVE Online, or when he traveled to Ukraine to interview game developers involved in the 2014 revolution, or that time he tore his trousers while playing Just Dance with a developer.