Rockstar has acknowledged the enormous Grand Theft Auto 6 leak of work-in-progress development materials that took place over the weekend.
In a statement published this afternoon on Twitter, as the company returned to work, Rockstar admitted it had suffered a "network intrusion" - a hack - from which the early development footage of Grand Theft Auto 6 had been taken.
Rockstar said it hoped the hack would have no impact on its live services - such as GTA Online - and insisted the leak would not impact the development of the game long-term. Still, Rockstar acknowleged it was "extremely disappointed" at what had happened.
Here's the statement in full:
"We recently suffered a network intrusion in which an unauthorised third-party illegally accessed and downloaded confidential information from our systems, including early development footage for the next Grand Theft Auto.
"At this time we do not anticipate any disruption to our live game services, nor any long-term effect on the development of our ongoing projects.
"We are extremely disappointed to have any details of our next game shared with you all in this way. Our work on the next Grand Theft Auto game will continue as planned and we remain as committed as ever to delivering an experinece to you, our players, that truly exceeds your expectations.
"We will update everyone again soon and, of course, will properly introduce you to this next game when it is ready. We want to thank everyone for their ongoing support through this situation."
A Message from Rockstar Games pic.twitter.com/T4Wztu8RW8— Rockstar Games (@RockstarGames) September 19, 2022
GTA publisher Take-Two saw shares fall six percent in premarket trading in response to the hack, Reuters reported today.
Take-Two itself acknowledged the hack in an SEC filing, in which it wrote it had "already taken steps to isolate and contain this incident".
Yesterday's leak was unprecedented in scope, with a stunning amount of material now out in the public domain.
Rockstar's lawyers have been busy scrubbing as much as possible from the internet, though after a quick check this afternoon, Eurogamer was still able to quickly find copies of yesterday's leaked footage doing the rounds - with nearly an hour's worth of video available in total.
Prior to Rockstar's confirmation that the footage was legitmate, the sheer scale of the leaked footage and the amount of work on show all but verified it to be real. At the same time, details of the leak also appeared to line up with what had been reported previously - that GTA 6 will star a pair of protagonists akin to Bonnie and Clyde, and that the action would take place in and around a modern day Vice City (the franchise's equivalent of Miami).
An individual believed to be behind the hack - who also claimed to be responsible for last week's intrusion into Uber's servers - previously posted that he was willing to "negotiate a deal" with Rockstar over the leak of further information. Last night, unconfirmed reports suggested GTA5's source code was being offered for sale.
Condemnation of the leak came quickly from other game developers, including Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann and God of War creative director Cory Barlog.
"To my fellow devs out there affected by the latest leak, know that while it feels overwhelming right now, it'll pass," Druckmann wrote on Twitter. "One day we'll be playing your game, appreciating your craft, and the leaks will be relegated to a footnote on a Wikipedia page. Keep pushing. Keep making art."
To my fellow devs out there affected by the latest leak, know that while it feels overwhelming right now, it’ll pass. One day we’ll be playing your game, appreciating your craft, and the leaks will be relegated to a footnote on a Wikipedia page. Keep pushing. Keep making art. ♥️— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) September 18, 2022
Barlog, meanwhile, was more succint.
I hate fucking leaks. pic.twitter.com/gjgb6vjBs4— the fake cory balrog (@corybarlog) September 18, 2022
In July this year, it was reported that GTA6 was still several years from release.
Rockstar itself has remained largely quiet on the project, even as it shifts development resource away from other games - such as Red Dead Online - to focus squarely on GTA6. In August, however, publisher Take-Two talked bullishly of GTA6 setting "creative benchmarks" for "all entertainment".