The GTA 6 leak has been confirmed as real, and it's big. In fact, it could be the biggest security breach in gaming history. But while publisher Rockstar Games battles to take down stolen content, it says the delay won't delay the game and figures in the gaming sector have offered words of support.
Leaked GTA 6 content was posted to a forum on Sunday, and the hacker who posted it claims to have more assets from a game, which Rockstar only revealed it was working on earlier this year and probably won't be released until 2024 or 2025 (for games you can play today, see our pick of the best PS5 games).
As the first update to the Grand Theft Auto series since GTA 5 in 2013, GTA 6 is perhaps one of the most anticipated games in the making. Rockstar Games hasn't given any details away, but a barrage of leaked content was posted to GTAForums (opens in new tab) at the weekend.
The footage included animation tests, level layouts and some 90 videos of early footage from the game. Most notably, it appeared to confirm a rumour that GTA 6 will feature a playable female protagonist for the first time. It also appeared to reveal that the game will take place in Vice City, a fictionalised version of Miami which was the setting for the 2002 game GTA: Vice City.
Rockstar has since confirmed that the leak is real. In a statement on Twitter (opens in new tab), it said: “An unauthorized third party illegally accessed and downloaded confidential information from our systems, including early development footage for the next Grand Theft Auto." It added: "We do not anticipate any disruption to our live game services nor any long-term effect on the development of our ongoing projects.”
A Message from Rockstar Games pic.twitter.com/T4Wztu8RW8September 19, 2022
The original post has been removed, as have subsequent reposts of the content on platforms including YouTube and Twitter. The GTA6 subreddit (opens in new tab) was closed for a time while moderators removed content, but it seems inevitable that videos will pop up again elsewhere. As for the hacker, they, or people claiming to be them, appear to have been attempting to profit from the leak, both trying to negotiate with Rockstar and sell GTA 6 assets online (opens in new tab).
#gta6 full conversation with hacker and contact to prove legit pic.twitter.com/E510S2UIxlSeptember 18, 2022
Meanwhile, the gaming sector has rallied around to support developers working on the game. The creative director and programmer Neil Druckmann, co-president of Naughty Dog was one of those to respond. He suffered a major leak himself with The Last of Us. He wrote on Twitter: "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."
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. ♥️September 18, 2022
The gaming photographer Nik Baker said "A leak just adds to the hype. Knowing that work is actually being done to make another game is nothing but good news. Getting to see a glimpse only encourages talk of it. Understandable that Rockstar are probably pissed but it's got everyone excited!"
'NoM iZ Da Name wrote: "Hollywood movies get leaked months in advance and still bank. The companies need to stop crying and focus on making sure they deliver quality product."
As for fans, nobody seems to be saying that the leak makes any difference to their intentions to buy the game when it finally comes out. In fact, many say the leaked content merely confirms that the game looks like Grand Theft Auto. and that if anything it's made them more excited. "It's a game leak. Not the death of a family member. Calm down now," one person tweeted.
How did the GTA 6 leak happen?
A hacker going by the name teapotuberhackerhacker on GTAForums claims to have gained access to GTA 6 data by breaching Rockstar Games' internal feed on the Slack messaging app. The hacker claims to be the same person who recently hacked Uber using the same method.
How serious is the GTA 6 leak?
The GTA 6 leak is big, with at least around 90 videos leaked and several key details given away about the upcoming game. However, the content shown is believed to be an already old build of GTA 6, which is rumoured to have begun development way back in 2014. However, it's a big frustration for a company that carefully stage managers its releases.
What's potentially more serious is that the hacker claims to also have obtained the source code from the game and has apparently been offering it for sale online. Some fans have suggested the release of GTA 6 might get put back as a result, noting that Valve delayed Half-Life 2 by more than a year after an early version was leaked. But Rockstar's statement seems to have ruled that out.