We are witnessing live one of the biggest leaks in the history of video games. The victims? Rockstar Games and the next installment in the ‘Grand Theft Auto’ saga, still in full development. It is, without a doubt, a scenario that no studio wants to experience in the first person because it could directly impact the original plans of the project and also trigger unexpected consequences.
When clips and images from ‘GTA VI’ began to circulate online after user Teapotuberhacker posted them on GTAForums yesterday, it initially sparked a debate as to whether this was a real leak. One of the first to confirm it was Bloomberg journalist Jason Schreier. Later Rockstar Games admitted in a statement to the theft of game information from its systems.
Rockstar Games statement
“We recently experienced a network intrusion in which an unauthorized third party illegally accessed and downloaded sensitive information from our systems, including very early development material for the upcoming Grand Theft Auto. For now, we do not foresee any interruption to our online services or any long-term effects on the development of our current projects.
We are extremely disappointed that details of our next game have been shared with you in this way. Our work on the next Grand Theft Auto will continue as planned and we remain as committed as ever to delivering an experience for you, our players, that truly exceeds your expectations. We will give you more information soon and of course we will introduce you to this new game when it is ready. Thank you all for your support in this situation.”
A Message from Rockstar Games pic.twitter.com/T4Wztu8RW8
— Rockstar Games (@RockstarGames) September 19, 2022
As we can see, the company confirms the download of unauthorized materials and tries to give a reassuring message by ensuring that will remain committed to the project, although he regrets the situation he has just experienced and does not forget to mention that they will present the game “when it is ready”. It is that the filtered material, according to what has been known, corresponds to an initial phase of the project and is far from what the players will see.
The challenges have just begun
Here is the first problem for Rockstar Games, at least according to the quest director at CD Projekt RED, studio behind ‘Cyberpunk2077’ and other games. “I dread to think what the Rockstar team is going through right now. Years of work is being shredded, torn apart, analyzed, misunderstood, taken out of context, and meme-created. A destructive cycle gaming industry knows this all too well,” he notes.
On the other hand, there is the self-esteem of the development teams and the work dynamics. According to Bloomberg, Rockstar Games employees are in “shock” by this large-scale leak. the well known youtuber LegacyKillaHDfor his part, assures that he spoke with some members of the company and that they were “devastated” and waiting until Monday to know what the steps to follow would be.
At the level of work dynamics, Rockstar Games will possibly initiate an internal investigation, which may have external components due to the fact that it is a crime, to clarify what happened. Also, According to Schreier’s point of view, the company could limit the flexibility of remote work to reduce the risk of leaks. “The repercussions of this leak may not be clear for quite some time,” says the journalist.
Another consequence of the leak is directly related to the market. Reuters explains that, after the leak, the shares of Take-Two Interactive Software Inc fell about 6% this Monday. The news agency also warns that the hacker behind the Rockstar theft was trying to negotiate a deal with Take-Two, so it is feared that more confidential files may be in his possession.
In addition, investment bank Jefferies Group released a strong message calling the situation a “PR disaster” likely to delay the game and damage team morale. “If the source code is leaked, it could require significant changes under the hood of the game to ensure its stability and the integrity of the GTA VI Online server once it launches.”
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