Grand Theft Auto VI Had a Massive Leak. Why Should I Give a Shit?

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| September 22, 2022

In what I can only assume is a crushing blow to the developers over at Rockstar, work-in-progress footage of Grand Theft Auto VI just leaked. We’re not talking about a couple of photographs here, either. This is the most comprehensive leak of a AAA game I’ve ever seen, especially considering we weren’t expecting anything to come out about this game for maybe another two or three years.

With how unprecedented a confirmed leak of this size has been, it’s safe to say that everyone’s jimmies are a little rustled. Industry insiders are scared that Rockstar’s devs are going to face backlash from both the higher-ups and the public, and a certain cadre of gamers are attacking the devs for a perceived lack of quality in the footage (which, like, duh. What do you think a developing game is supposed to look like?).

The situation has been blown so far out of proportion that when I brought it up to my girlfriend, she already knew about it, and she basically only enjoys playing Minecraft and Stardew Valley. The point is, I’d be willing to bet that even your mother has an opinion on the GTA VI leaks by now. You sure as hell know Take Two’s legal team does!

So let me throw my own hot take into the mix. Why should I give a shit about what the game looks like right now? It seems apparent to me that if game development is like a 1,000-step process, then Rockstar is only on step 12 (at most.) Plus, the leaked materials are supposedly from 2018, so whatever build they’re cranking out now is definitely leaps and bounds ahead of what the public got a glimpse of here. 

I know that Rockstar is a video game development studio that takes its time and puts out quality content. They’ve pioneered some of the most in-depth open worlds ever with Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2. Nothing about this leak makes me lose trust in their capabilities… So explain to me why would anyone go for their throats over this? If you want to be mad at Rockstar, stay angry over the state of Red Dead Online.

Red Dead Online game logo showing three game character personas.
If you’re a gamer, the state of Red Dead Online is what you should really be angry about. (Credit: Rockstar Games)

I think people complaining about how the game looks are a vocal minority. Don’t get me wrong, that all sucks, those people suck; and I’m sure it’s extremely discouraging for the developers who have been working their asses off on this game for years already. Instead of critiquing a pre-alpha build of a game that needs years of development, though, I think it makes more sense to look at the really juicy bits of info that the leak has served up.

That’s ‘cause the leak has served to confirm some long-standing rumors swirling around the much anticipated GTA VI. The leaked footage shows off a female protagonist, plus police vehicles adorned with the letters V.C.P.D., proving that the franchise is making a much-awaited return to Vice City. This should be the number one thing that gamers are talking about. If you’re gonna give a shit, at least give a shit about something worthwhile.

Cover art for Grand Theft Auto Vice City.
The GTA franchise hasn’t seen a game set in Vice City in ~15 years now! (Credit: Rockstar Games)

Me personally? Well, I think the confirmation of those rumors is all swell and good, but I still haven’t really paid the leak much mind. What I really give a shit about is Rockstar. More specifically, I’m hoping that the developers don’t face the brunt of the beatdown from the higher-ups. Take Two Interactive is gonna be looking for someone to bring hellfire and brimstone down on, and management is surely going to be trying to pin the security error on somebody else. I expect the company is going to come down hard on these devs in one way or another. 

You know what sucks the most about that? Developers for AAA video games already get the shit end of the stick! The industry is notorious for crunch, where developers are forced to work their asses off to an absolutely unhealthy degree in the final stretch leading up to a game’s launch. And then they’ve gotta dust themselves off and get ready for the next title coming down the pipeline. It’s important to mention that Rockstar has reportedly pioneered a safer, more equitable workplace over the past several years, but I tend to have a healthy distrust of the AAA gaming industry as a whole.

I hope I’m wrong, but I suspect we’ll see a damning report from someone like Jason Schreier sometime in the future about how this debacle has negatively impacted the game and its development team.

How about you? What’re your opinions on this massive GTA VI leak? Do you give a shit? What’re your hopes or worries about the game? Let’s talk about ‘em in the comments down below!

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