Sunday, 18 September 2022

Biggest video game leak for 20 years sees GRAND THEFT AUTO VI and DIABLO IV secrets unveiled

In possibly the worst day for video game developers since the infamous Half-Life 2 source code leak of 2003, two of the most eagerly-awaited video games of all time have had their secrets spilled all over the internet.

This morning, more than 90 development videos and a ton of screenshots were released from Grand Theft Auto VI. The sequel to Grand Theft Auto V (2013), one of the biggest-selling individual video games of all time, the status of GTA6 was a mystery until Rockstar Games confirmed earlier this year they were working on it, and had been for some years. The new leak confirms that the game is in a relatively advanced state of development, although the images and videos seem to run the gamut from very early development (with untextured characters running and jumping against a bare background) to high-quality, finished scenes with dialogue.

Although Rockstar and publisher Take Two Interactive had not commented on a potential launch window for the game, Take Two had allocated a large marketing spend for financial year 2023-24, later delaying that to 2024-25, suggesting they envisage a mid-to-late 2024 release for the game. Whether the leak delays that remains to be seen. Famously, when Half-Life 2 was leaked, Valve delayed the release of the game and reworked a huge amount of the source code from scratch, but that's really not viable with the scale and scope of modern games. It's also unclear if the GTA6's source code has been compromised in the same way as Half-Life 2's was.

This afternoon, an hour-long video of beta gameplay footage for Diablo IV was also leaked. Diablo III was released in 2012 and sold over 30 million copies, so anticipation for the sequel is also very high. Diablo IV is also closer to release, with the game tentatively scheduled for release before the end of 2023, with the video more likely to show things as they will be in the final release.

Leaks of this scale are almost unheard of in the video game industry, and both Rockstar and Activision-Blizzard will be looking closely to see how this happened and how to stop it happening again. Other video game companies may also be wondering nervously if any of their forthcoming high-profile releases have also been compromised.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The material may not be from early in development, but even very recent. Polished graphics are typically one of the last items added.