‘Grand Theft Auto 6’ Leak Draws Embarrassing Gamer Reactions
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Featured Image Credit: Rockstar Games
“If this is GTA 6 they can keep it, respectfully.” So posted one Twitter user beneath a video showing what is apparently leaked footage from the next Grand Theft Auto game - a game that’s still almost certainly a good two years from being released. Another in the same thread: “No way this is GTA 6, there is so much flaws in this.” Another: “TF is this sh*t.” Another: “GTA IV legit still looks better than this.” Another: “This looks like one of those mobile games.”
Yesterday (September 18 2022) some 90 clips were leaked online showing gameplay that for all the world appears to be in-development footage of Rockstar’s next massive open-world crime ‘em up. As the day unfolded, word circulated that the footage might date from 2020, or even 2019 - this GTA has been in the works since 2018 - and we’ve known for some time that Grand Theft Auto VI (or whatever title it releases under) won’t be out until 2024 or 2025. Nevertheless, a section of commenters couldn’t help themselves, immediately responding with negative posts, despairing at how terrible this in-development game looked to them.
Unlike movies - where behind-the-scenes documentaries are common - or music, where those involved likely post tweets and the like about their writing and production processes, games are largely made in a vacuum by comparison. It’s very rare for any developer, especially a major one dealing in what we still call AAA releases, to deliberately reveal work-in-progress material. And the response to this GTA leak illustrates why that is: you simply cannot avoid the ill-informed and uneducated responses. EA’s Skate 4 has been showcased with some buggy and frankly laughable clips which its devs have leaned into - it knows what it’s doing with such insights into how the game’s coming along.
Naturally, any studio of any size can filter between the look-at-me trash-talkers and the genuinely useful constructive criticism that follows any early-access period or beta phase. But while many of us in the media - and indeed in game dev itself - would love to see more transparency when it comes to how the magic happens at large studios, comments like those at the start of this piece are why that doesn’t happen. It’s just not worth the hassle of reading through reams of wrong takes from people - from gamers - who just don’t know what they’re talking about.
Hollie Bennett - now of Frontier, previously of CD Projekt Red - put it brilliantly in a tweet: “This is one of those ‘why don’t devs show us early gameplay and involve us in development more’ moments. If they do it’s the mass comments of ‘it looks like a PS3 game’ or ‘it’s so buggy’.” Sure enough, you don’t have to look far at all to find a comment that’s nearly exactly that: “Bruh, if this is true, then what the f*ck have Rockstar been doing for the past decade!? This sh*t looks like it could run on the PS3! This doesn’t look like a next-gen game!”
This game is also two or more years out from completion and we have no definitive date for when the footage is from, either. Which leads me to simply conclude: gamers, please, if you want to know more about the process that is making these amazing things you love so much (and I appreciate that I am not addressing all the gamers here, as a lot of you already know this), maybe don’t act like idiots when rough-edged, super-early, evidently-unfinished gameplay is stolen and posted to the internet without the developers’ permission. You embarrass yourself first and foremost, and make this medium and the culture that we love to see grow around it look like the preserve of whining children to anyone who still refuses to take it seriously.