In writing about video games, two words I’ve become accustomed to are “marketing cadence,” and “work in progress.” They are all related to authorized, pre-release, preview material that I see about new video games. And they help explain why Sunday is phenomenal Grand Theft Auto 6 The leak would disappoint many within the industry.
Consisting of nearly an hour of in-development footage, this leak is a work-in-progress in its raw form, albeit without that little disclaimer at the bottom of the screen. And it certainly doesn’t follow the plan of some marketers, which is to hand-feed a discussion of a big game’s features, to maintain interest in (and desire) from announcing a game’s launch.
But seeing Stuff They Don’t Want You to loose like this in the woods is hardly a victory for transparency, or whatever high-minded idea some might try to link it to online piracy. The truth is, it’s just a different kind of propaganda, and like more traditional propaganda, we would all do well to chill our hopes.
Obviously it’s incomplete
It’s strange to see Twitter comments comparing the Vice City environment to a Google Earth texture – both as praise and insult – when it’s possible that everything seen here is a placeholder. Yes, as Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier reported this summer, gta 6 Has been in development “in some form” since 2014. But I have no idea what “in some form” really means, and what the game should look like at this point. Are you?
Take everything you’ve seen at face value: this is a visual confirmation of past rumours. It’s a cinch. The game is set in Vice City, and I’m excited to be back there after 20 years of playing the original. We also know that developer Rockstar is committed to playable female and male leads, a series first. But there’s more we don’t know about grand theft auto 6Or how it’s being made, Rockstar has little hope that we’ll enjoy in it.
You can’t find this game soon
The hacker claiming responsibility – who last week claimed responsibility for hacking into Uber’s internal systems – says he has the game’s source code, and has secretly indicated that he is working with Take-Two/Rockstar. want to make a deal with.
It’s not a pleasure to publish the source code for a game like this; Its closest analog is half life 2Whose source code was stolen and published in October 2003. Fans were able to compile a playable version of the game a year before its launch in November 2004.
it is not clear if gta 6 The hacker threat is credible; They seem to have derived most of their assets from the company’s internal Slack messaging system. But they seem to have gained even more reach within Uber. Either way, it’s unlikely that much of what was stolen from Rockstar will end up in the public’s hands much more than recreating the lively performances they see on Sunday.
And you can’t even find any more information
Remember what I said about marketing cadence? I’ve never seen a leak, no matter how big, cause a publisher to backtrack from their plan to talk about a game when they want to talk about a game. In 2015, a leaker dropped that Spike Lee was directing. NBA 2K16story mode, as well as two of the game’s three cover stars. 2K Sports (whose parent company is also Take-Two Interactive) didn’t acknowledge the leak until they made their official announcement, a month and a half later.
They hardly stick to the script. Last week, Capcom finally confirmed the launch roster of 18 fighters street fighter 6 Launching next year, even though it has been known since early June. most of multiverseThe roster was datamined in March, and WB Games still confirms things at their own pace.
The closest you can get is something like the recent case with Ubisoft, which saw major details about Assassin’s Creed Mirage (including the name) leaked via YouTube on August 30th, and then partially confirmed them two days later, mainly in the form of an announcement of a livestream event in which everything, anyway, would be revealed.
The thing here is, it’s not like Rockstar Games is looking at this leak and thinking about how to take the story forward, as in episode one. west wing, An ongoing campaign on Reddit, gaming forums, or other social media isn’t going to pressure the company into any sort of anecdotal disclosure or acceptance of leaks, which they’ve already said.
It will not change the finished product
Despite the leak of an unfinished game, half life 2Sales were largely unaffected and, critically, the game came home as one of the best of 2004 and one of the best of all time. Grand Theft Auto is the most valuable franchise in video games today.
Although shares of Take-Two Interactive fell in trading before the bell on Monday, they have recovered to where they were on Friday. Reuters, citing Bank of America analysts, say Grand Theft Auto 6 It is expected to generate bookings (ie contracted revenue) of $3.5 billion at launch and $2 billion thereafter.
When you’re talking about money in the billions-ab, none of the amount of creative options shown in the leaked video will change the minds of developers. This isn’t an intentional leak that the conspiracy-minded might claim was a female protagonist or a kinder, gentler test of fans’ reaction to GTA. The ship has already sailed on those design choices. This is something else entirely, and it is by no means a triumph of transparency.
people are working here
A key point in a Bloomberg report this summer is that Rockstar Games, which is sensitive to its reputation for crunch culture, backtracked on a more ambitious vision. Grand Theft Auto 6 To deliver a base game that can be continuously updated after release.
There’s no doubt that being stripped of your unfinished work to be exposed to the world is demoralizing as hell – I’m already wondering if you’ve seen this draft leaking, or my editors’ opinion. How would I feel if I saw my discussions with you. Gentle as all of them.
since red dead redemption 2 Launched in 2018, fans have expressed much-justified concern for the workers building something to their name. In this case, those fans can extend, or at least support, the damage done to said workplace by investing heavily in this leak.
Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of Rockstar Games, has already told investors that it has “taken steps to isolate and prevent this incident.” Workplace safety and increased quality of life are two points that are not difficult to connect. For example, remote work policies may be on the table.
Bottom-line? This leak doesn’t tell us how the pace of development is at Rockstar Games. It doesn’t even tell us what it’s like to be a woman working in that office. It doesn’t tell us if anything better has actually happened. But it can certainly make things worse.