A hacker has released gameplay test footage of the upcoming video game Grand Theft Auto VI, in what has been described as one of the biggest leaks in video game history.
Most important points:
- GTA is one of the most successful franchises in video game history, with over $11.4 billion in net revenue since its last major installment in 2013.
- The series is like a satire on the American dream, mixing crime-related storylines with biting commentary on popular culture
- The leak could lead to a delay in the release of the latest game if the source code is published
The footage, labeled “early development footage” by developer Rockstar Games, consists of more than 90 individual video clips featuring animation tests, level layouts and full gameplay demonstrations.
It also seems to confirm long-running rumors that the game, which is still in development, will feature the series’ first playable female protagonist, with one of the longer leaked sequences of a woman offering dinner.
The video clips were posted to the GTAForums site on Sunday by a user named “teapotuberhacker,” who claimed to have accessed internal communications from Rockstar employees through the Slack messaging app.
A similar technique was recently used to access Uber’s internal communications.
While the original post containing the leaked footage has been removed by forum moderators, clips and screenshots have since been widely shared on social media.
Developer Rockstar Games confirmed on Monday that the leak was genuine.
“At this point, we do not expect any disruption to our live game services, nor any long-term impact on the development of our ongoing projects,” the company said.
“We are very disappointed that all the details of our next match are being shared with you in this way.
“Our work on the next Grand Theft Auto game continues as planned and we remain as committed as ever to bringing you, our players, an experience that truly exceeds your expectations.”
‘A nightmare for Rockstar Games’
US video game journalist Jason Schreier said the leaks were a “Rockstar Games nightmare” and could affect the company’s work on the project indefinitely.
“It’s possible [also] management to limit the flexibility of working from home,” Schreier wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
The hacker was also found to have access to the game’s source code, which is the raw coding of the game as written by the developers.
If that code were made public, the company would likely have to devote significant resources to modifying the game’s underlying structure to reduce the vulnerability to potential exploits after the game’s release.
After the clips from the GTA VI leak went viral, the hacker posted another message saying that they “woke up to 3000 Telegram DMs” and were now “looking for a deal” with Rockstar or its parent company Take-Two.
GTA series is blockbuster entertainment
The Grand Theft Auto series is one of the most successful franchises in video game history, generating over $7.68 billion ($11.4 billion) in net revenue since 2013, when the series’ latest major installment was released. released.
It calls itself a satire of the American dream, mixing crime- and gang-related gameplay with biting commentary on politics, corporate advertising and pop culture.
The open embrace of stereotypes and graphics of violence and sexuality in the games has also made them a magnet for controversy, with some major Australian retailers taking GTA V off shelves in 2014 over concerns about its content.
Industry watchers currently expect GTA VI to have a 2024 or 2025 release date.