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Grand Theft Auto 6 leak reveals over 90 gameplay videos

Report confirms the unprecedented ‘nightmare’ hack is genuine

grand theft auto 5 pest control Image: Rockstar Games
Oli Welsh is senior editor, U.K., providing news, analysis, and criticism of film, TV, and games. He has been covering the business & culture of video games for two decades.

In an unprecedented leak, more than 90 videos of the in-development Grand Theft Auto 6 have surfaced online. The leaker posted the videos on GTAForums under the username teapotuberhacker. They claimed to have accessed them directly from Rockstar Games’ internal Slack.

The videos show robberies, gunplay, open-world driving, and conversations with full voice acting. The footage appears to confirm a recent report from Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier that the game would be set in a fictionalized Miami — possibly the Vice City of GTA lore — and feature a playable female character. The game is clearly in development, with debug programming elements visible on-screen, but has many working features.

Right from the start there was little doubt over the authenticity of the videos — they were of a scale and detail that would be next to impossible to fake. Schreier subsequently wrote on Twitter that Rockstar sources had confirmed to him that the leak of “early and unfinished” footage was real, and said the scenario was a “nightmare” for Rockstar.

At time of writing, the videos are still available to download from links in the original post on GTA Forums, although Rockstar’s parent company Take-Two Interactive has started to issue copyright claims against videos on YouTube and social media networks in order to remove them from view. The videos have been so widely distributed already that Take-Two’s lawyers may be fighting a losing battle in trying to scrub them from the internet.

In total, there are about 50 minutes of footage. Many of the clips are very brief. One of the longer videos, about three minutes long, shows the female player character robbing a diner, threatening staff and customers, who react in fear to having a gun pulled on them. Then she and her male accomplice get in a shootout with police before jumping in the police patrol car and driving off. The graphical treatment is quite realistic, but still consistent with the GTA house style.

The words Vice City can be seen in some clips. At one point, the female character enters a strip club filled with a dense crowd. Further videos show shooting and conversation systems.

The leaker said it was “possible” they would release source code of GTA 5 and GTA 6, and even a test build of GTA 6. On the forums, they took questions relating to the source code, and appeared to share legally sensitive information relating to an ongoing court case over cheat mods for GTA Online.

Even if the leaker does not follow through and release source code or a playable build, this is still a highly damaging leak for Rockstar on a scale that has seldom, if ever, been seen. Rockstar only confirmed earlier this year that GTA 6 was in “active development.” The Bloomberg report claimed work on the game had begun in 2014, after GTA 5’s release, but that progress was slow and GTA 6 was unlikely to see release before 2024. Changes in company culture at Rockstar are said to have reduced overtime for developers and changed the tone of the game itself, with humor that is less likely to punch down at marginalized groups.

Update: The hacker claiming responsibility for the leak has responded in the GTA Forums thread, asking for anyone who works for Rockstar Games or parent company Take-Two Interactive to contact them. “i am looking to negotiate a deal,” they said.