A huge leak of early footage from the next Grand Theft Auto won’t impact the game’s development, the publisher’s chief executive has said.
In what was one of the most high-profile cybersecurity breaches in the industry’s history, dozens of videos showing various robberies, shoot-outs, and open-world driving were posted to an online message board in September.
The incident saw the franchise’s notoriously secretive developer Rockstar forced to release a statement, acknowledging a “network intrusion in which an unauthorised third party illegally accessed and downloaded confidential information from our systems”.
Rockstar said it was “extremely disappointed” to have details of the next GTA “shared with you all in this way”, following almost a decade of speculation about the game.
The last instalment has become one of the highest-grossing entertainment releases ever since its 2013 debut, with development of the sequel only confirmed for the first time earlier this year.
Addressing the hack during publisher Take-Two’s second quarter earnings call, reported by VGC, CEO Strauss Zelnick said: “With regards to the leak, it was terribly unfortunate, and we take those sorts of incidents very seriously indeed.
“There’s no evidence that any material assets were taken, which is a good thing, and certainly the leak won’t have any influence on development or anything of the sort.
“But it is terribly disappointing, and it causes us to be ever more vigilant on matters relating to cybersecurity.”
The footage appeared to confirm previous reports GTA 6 would be set in Vice City, a fictionalised representation of Miami seen in previous games.
Reports suggest the game will feature two protagonists in a Bonnie and Clyde-style story, including the first playable female character in series history.
Fans will be relieved to hear that the leak will not impact development, given the already long wait. It is by far the biggest gap between new instalments since the GTA series began in 1997.
The last game has now sold more than 170 million copies worldwide, it was revealed in Take Two’s earnings call, helped by it being re-released on the current generation of consoles earlier this year.