Rockstar Games has confirmed that a slew of leaked material purporting to depict the in-development Grand Theft Auto VI are genuine.
Over the weekend, more than 90 images and videos were posted to the GTAForums website by a user called teapotuberhacker. The leaks appear to indicate that the latest instalment on the wildly successful franchise will feature at least one female protagonist, and be set in a modern-day version of Vice City, a fictionalised Miami that provided the 1980s backdrop for 2002’s Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and 2006’s Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.
The cache of material included gameplay tests, level layouts and animation tests, as well as conversations between characters that are already fully voiced. Rockstar only officially confirmed that the game was being developed earlier this year, but initial work is likely to have begun shortly after the 2013 release of Grand Theft Auto V, which, with over 170 million copies sold, is one of the most successful entertainment products in history.
Speculation swirled as to the authenticity of the leaks, but that has been put to bed this afternoon (September 19) by a new statement from Rockstar. “We recently suffered a network intrusion in which an unauthorized third party illegally accessed and downloaded confidential information from our systems, including early development footage for the next Grand Theft Auto,” the statement began. “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 in this way,” Rockstar continued. “Our work on the next Grand Theft Auto game will continue as planned and we remain as committed as ever to delivering an experience 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.”
The hacker claimed to have uncovered the material by hacking into Rockstar’s internal Slack feed, which allowed them to access the company’s servers. More leaks are threatened, including that of the source code for both V and VI. Take-Two, Rockstar’s parent company, has been issuing takedown notices today as the material continues to proliferate across the internet.