A user on GTAForums, who claims to have also been behind the recent hack of Uber, has just dumped nearly 100 videos online claiming to show development footage of Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto VI, which are currently circulating across pretty much every social media platform.
Matching much of what Bloomberg reported earlier this year—including that the game will co-star a woman and be set in Vice City—the videos are very much in-development footage, with unfinished textures and models all over the place, and code playing out in real-time across many of them. The leaker is currently taking requests asking people what else they’d like to see in more videos.
In one, a white male playable character encounters a racist NPC by a poolside, and as the conversation transpires you can see the code required for the interaction playing out alongside the in-game action. In another, the woman character—I’m only specifying it like this because it would be a series first—explores one of the series’ infamous strip clubs.
One of the more complete videos uploaded shows both characters partnering up to rob a diner, holding the patrons at gunpoint before the police arrive. Others are in rougher shape, and feature little more than a featureless placeholder character moving around an empty landscape acting out combat animations like taking cover.
There’s certainly a lot of footage, and faking both the action and the code running at the same time would be a lot of work for an internet prank. But it’s still a leak, and unless Rockstar comments (we’ve reached out and will update if we hear back), we won’t know it’s real until we can match what’s shown here with whatever eventually turns up in GTA VI.
If it is real, then holy shit. Given the status of the game and the amount of footage it would be one of the biggest of all time, right up there with Half-Life 2. So far, though, it’s looking legit: not only are reporters like ex-Kotaku behemoth Jason Schreier saying that Rockstar contacts have confirmed the info to them, Rockstar employees appear to be liking tweets related to the apparent hack. But the wildest part?
The hacker is trying to strike a deal with Rockstar right now, though we don’t know what kind. To stop distributing more material? To ensure that the leaker doesn’t get sued? Whatever the case, this is definitely one of the most unprecedented leaks in all of video game history.
Earlier this year, Bloomberg also reported that the next GTA would attempt to be more “culturally sensitive,” a subtler tonal shift that has already become apparent in the re-release of GTA V. The recent game saw Rockstar remove some transphobic content that had previously been criticized by some fans.
While things are moving fast on the hacking front, and rumors are flying regarding potential scams involving the sale of the source code, fans are busy trying to figure out what is visible in the footage that’s already out there. Already, there are theories about who plays the new lead.
And now, Rockstar has responded to the whole situation, noting that the “illegal” hack will not impact GTA 6 development but that the company is disappointed by this turn of events. Meanwhile, the messy aftermath of the whole thing continues to unfold, something you can read about in our follow-up to this bonkers situation here.
Update 1:55 p.m: Added details regarding the leaker’s shout-out to Rockstar, along with new developments in the story.
Update 7:10 p.m.: Added more details about GTA 6.
Update Sept. 19 9:39 a.m.: Added Rockstar’s response.