Date: September 18, 2022
Rockstar Games, video game journalists, and GTA community are all still scrambling to understand the sudden, major leak that happened on GTA forums. One thing remains certain: 90+ videos containing footage from Grand Theft Auto VI with dialogue, in-game events, items, interface, map, environment, and much more got unleashed upon the internet yesterday.
As of right now, Rockstar confirmed the authenticity of these files through third-party sources, and is likely preparing for an emergency response — it wouldn’t be surprising if issuing takedowns across the web is only a minor part of it.
If you have seen AAA game leaks before, you are probably familiar with this setup: a hacker obtains a game build, leaks some of his findings online to attract attention, and then offers to sell the files (also giving a chance to the developers themselves to contact them). Sounds familiar?
However, as it usually goes with these, the details surrounding the event and the current bids for the files are murky. We only really know that someone by the name of Teapotuberhacker posted “GTA 6 (Americas) leak – 90+ .mp4 footage/videos” on the GTAForums.com, and the videos, code, and screenshots have been spreading around like fire ever since.
The rumors have it, the hacker snatched an early build of the game from a developer’s Slack account and is currently selling the files for about $50,000 or so, and is further considering selling the entirety of the code as well. That particular bit is probably why Teapot has been inviting Rockstar to contact them directly.
What Got Leaked?
Well… what doesn’t get leaked when it’s an entire game build we are talking about? Even in its unfinished state we got to see some NPC dialogues, a VIP club lounge, a store robbery and the police dispatch followed by a shootout, and then some clip snippets here and there demonstrating everything from the interface, down to the rain ambience.
Several takedowns have already been getting issued, so if you are seeing this later on you may need to do a little bit of digging to find all of the footage, but as with many things leak-related, you can start your search with Reddit.
Here are some highlights from the footage (obviously, most of it will likely change before the release!):
- A likely Latina female main character.
- A male main character who seems to have come from poorer parts of the South.
- Instant character switching.
- A backpack with a dedicated spot for it in the inventory wheel (perhaps you can stash things in it?).
- 4 inventory slots: Meds, Armor, and others.
- You can quickly swap between two weapons: one in your hands, one on your back.
- Weapons can now be freely dropped.
- A new ability to crouch.
- Much more flexible movement, a variety of shooting stances.
- Potentially a “sixth sense” ability to scan a room.
- The setting seems to be based off Miami, which could indicate a return to the fan-beloved Vice City.
What Does This Mean for Rockstar Games?
According to Jason Schrier (a well-known video game journalist), Rockstar sources have confirmed that the leaks are, indeed, real, even if they do come from an early build — as Schrier put it, “The footage is early and unfinished, of course.”
Not that there was much doubt, but I’ve confirmed with Rockstar sources that this weekend’s massive Grand Theft Auto VI leak is indeed real. The footage is early and unfinished, of course. This is one of the biggest leaks in video game history and a nightmare for Rockstar Games— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) September 18, 2022
And yet, with a leak as major as this, there will have to be some damage done to the development process.
After all, GTA VI has only been confirmed in February of this year or so, offhandedly, in an official blog post, when it was “well underway,” with more details to be revealed when the developers are ready. And, I bet you that the developers were not ready for what happened yesterday. And, the takedowns that are already starting to happen are likely going to be just the first step.
It would be silly to not expect Rockstar to tighten the security measures — work-from-home devs might have to deal with new restrictions, for example, which could become a minor inconvenience at best, or a significant slowdown in the production at worst. In fact, there are many more ways for the latter to happen as developers mitigate the damages and scramble to make any official announcements in regards to either the leak or the game’s development in general.
There is hoping that what happened will be eventually spun in a positive light, encouraging Rockstar to cover the features we have now seen in the leaked footage. However, there is no lighter way to put it: with the release of yesterday’s footage, any surprise announcements, teasers, and control of preliminary expectations are no longer fully in Rockstar’s control. This GTA VI leak has been one of biggest known to the video game industry.